On July 19, after clearing the paperwork through Canada Customs in Calgary, Alberta, I took delivery of Kit #3, a wooden crate containing the CNC cut plywood components plus sails, hardware, lines and fastenings required to build a sailboat. The Mana 24 is the first kit boat to be sold by James Wharram Designs. The prototype  boat, #1, designed by James Wharram and Hanneke Boon, was launched in the summer of 2016 at Cornwall, England.  Kit #2 was shipped a week ahead of mine to another boat builder in Norway.


On my return to Saskatoon, I unpacked the crate, moved  it into our garage, and reloaded everything back in the crate until the time construction would begin. I was pleased to see the plywood components had been packaged to facilitate the construction process with parts sorted into various steps as well as port and starboard sides.

Summertime is for sailing boats, not for building them, and I still had my WindRider 17. Little did I know that my sailing was not going to amount to much – other events and the weather played a role in that.

No worries. With the kit at hand, it was now time to get prepared for the winter ahead, assembling tools and locating a heated workshop.

Sailing season is still at least two months away, but while we can’t sail, we can paint about it. This one was inspired by a shot taken at the 18 minute mark of the video of last year’s  camping/sailing expedition, the Elbow Run 2016. My brother was charging up behind me like he owned the lake, and it wasn’t long before he surged past me.


20 X 16 Acrylic on stretched canvas

IMG_2862 copy.jpg

Lake Diefenbaker is a big lake – 145 miles from one end to the other. Keeping eight boats in sight at any one time can be a challenge, especially when each sailor is trying to find a whisper of wind.

Acrylic on (salvaged) plywood 10″ X 41″

Sailing has been one of my passions for many years. I love the way that we are propelled by an unseen force, sometimes barely moving across the water and at other times driven at heart stopping speed.

I also appreciate the unspoken kinship that exists between all those who sail. These are my sailing brothers from last year’s “Elbow Run”.

Darryl (1)

My long time sailing buddy, Darryl, flying his new reacher

Ken (1)

Ken, sailing his “Flying Squirrel”

Rick (1)

Rick, sailing his home Lake Diefenbaker

Dave (1)

Dave, flying three sheets to the wind

8 x 10 Acrylic on canvas

Yes, another sailing scene, and once again drawn from The Elbow Run 2015 on Lake Diefenbaker. We had some fantastic sailing conditions that week and on the Thursday, Rick set the pace. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t catch him – he had his WindRider 17 flying!! In this painting, I cheated – I was never really this close to him – I just tried to make it look that way! 🙂


12 x 16 acrylic on canvas

Sailing generates plenty of material for painting. This is one of the WindRider trimarans that took part in The Elbow Run 2015, the annual sailing/camping trip on Lake Diefenbaker. It was named in memory of the owner’s friend – the two friends had a running joke about the Flying Squirrel. What a great name for a sailboat, eh?


12 X 16 acrylic on canvas SOLD

When the weather is not conducive to sailing, there are alternatives. One of those is to paint it. During the 2014 camping/sailing trip, we had one particularly exhilarating beam reach on the third day under full sail where things get a bit wet and wild.


12 x 16 acrylic on canvas

If you saw a previous post, you will already know that one of my passions is sailing, and that one of my favourite places to sail is Lake Diefenbaker. In 2013, my sailing buddy and his friend and I packed our camping gear onto WindRider trimarans and set out from Tuft’s Bay, near the village of Elbow, Saskatchewan. We pulled up on a beach next to Hitchcock Bay and chose that for the first campsite of the trip. It was near perfect, especially the next morning as the sun rose and from the hilltop behind our tents we could see the lake stretching out to the east and south. Check out  more about the week’s experience on this Youtube video.

12 x 16 acrylic on canvas


Well, I promised to post some of the paintings that I have done this winter and so here goes the first one. Inspired by a photo that I took in July, 2014 when on a sailing/camping trip on Lake Diefenbaker with my sailing buddy, Darryl. This was our favourite campsite for this trip, and one which we used a second time on the return leg of the trip. I posted a 20 minute video of the trip on Youtube. Lake Diefenbaker was created when two dams were constructed on the South Saskatchewan River in the late 50’s/early 60’s. It stretches out 140 miles from the Gardner Dam at the east end to Saskatchewan Landing in the west. Darryl and I outfitted our WindRider trimaran sailboats with camping gear for the 5 day/4night expedition. There are many excellent places to pull up on shore for camping or picnicking.

12 x 16 acrylics on canvas


With the encouragement of several folks who are close to me, I am reawakening this long dormant blog and adding a new category to it – Painting. Last year I had the urge to try something that for far too long I had considered to be beyond my abilities – painting. It was something that I had not done since my days in the one room country school that I attended. In those days, for art class we shared a limited selection of watercolours that came in large round tins. I don’t recall any of our teachers being particularly talented artists and without anyone to inspire us, our efforts showed it!

When my own children were in high school they had different opportunities. My son took lessons in painting with watercolours and my youngest daughter followed suit. They each produced paintings that are still on display, and later their sister joined in, adding to the wall displays. I was rather proud of their artistic abilities, and even a bit envious because I did not think that I could do nearly as well.

Last year, that changed. I started off some acrylic craft paints and some cheap brushes, painting on sketch book paper. Although I didn’t think much of those first efforts, others (meaning my partner and my children – I was not quite ready to subject myself to any “real” criticism!!) were generous with their praise and encouragement, and over a period of a month or so, I had produced a dozen “paintings”!! I will share a few of last year’s efforts here, and then will follow up with some from this year:

First campsite, Lake Diefenbaker 2014

First campsite, Lake Diefenbaker 2014

Surfing at Cape Three Points

Surfing at Cape Three Points

Snow Route

Snow Route