In 2002, Pat and I headed for the Bahamas from Toronto aboard our Nauticat 36 “Tawee”. In the mouth of the Alligator River in North Carolina, we saw a boat named ‘Blame it on Buffett’. Plainly obvious that they got their cruising urge from Jimmy. Well, my sailing roots have a different beginning, but we resisted calling our boat ‘Blame it on Bob’.
In 1965, I was fresh out of tech school and working at channel 10 in Sydney. This is where I met Bob Gilchrist, a Canadian working his way around the world. Five years later, on my world tour, I was in Toronto and later that year we were both working at the Big Bright Nine, CFTO-TV..
Meet Old Bob….
Oops, wrong ‘Old Bob’.
So let’s make that a younger Bob.
This was back then. You don’t want to see him now…..he’s an old fart!
In 1970, Bob had a Northern 25 sloop that he kept at Queen City Yacht Club at the Toronto Islands.
He was always invited people out sailing.
And we came, no matter what the weather, and because we all had hair.
Some days it would be a crowd.
Some days not so much.
This is Vickie – Mrs. Gilchrist – doing her duties as figurehead.
Thanks to Vickie (aka Killer Kobelski) for digging through Bob’s albums and scanning these old photographs.
Somehow I became the defacto crew and helped at Queen City Yacht Club with launch, haulout and all the preparation involved which taught me a lot about boats.
Here’s Bob and me on ‘Anoway’ in her cradle at QCYC, Toronto. The pose is a little unnatural - as you can see our hands aren’t holding any liquid refreshment.
We did all manner of foolish things around Lake Ontario and somehow managed to live through it all to tell the stories.
Bob had two Northern 25s and in 1976 bought the 29 foot version. He named it ‘Cadieux’, after an imaginary childhood friend. But, there was nothing imaginary about this boat. It really sailed!
That’s me on the right with the hair and Bob in the bib overalls as we launch Cadieux at THSC for another Lake Ontario sailing season.
All in all I sailed with Bob for about 16 years and during that time I had a Laser and a DS16, both very small craft.
In 1988, Pat and I bought our first keel boat. ‘Quinkin’ was a Gilbert 30+, one of a “limited edition” of nine.
Bob took this picture on ‘Quinkin’ of me with John McNally (Mac) and Chris Cummerford (Cuddles). Sadly, both have passed away, but both sailed with Bob on Lake Ontario and both bought keel boats as a result. They left many fond memories in their wakes and at their wakes.
Pat grew to enjoy the sailing life and the white wine days. Red wine days were not to her liking, although, as she has observed, we can only control the weather we leave in, not what the weather later becomes.
Our current Caribbean cruising was made possible by Pat’s organizational skills and perseverance, but if it weren’t for Bob inviting me sailing in 1971 the dream wouldn’t have developed and we wouldn’t be here.
Thanks Bob for kick starting it all and for some great sailing memories.
Happy Birthday.......…this one’s for you mate!