Tuesday, March 16, 2010


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.

Bob’s just a few years older than me.
Thanks Bob for kick starting it all and for some great sailing memories.

Happy Birthday.......…this one’s for you mate!


  1. Wow!! Nice story Geoff. Thanks for sharing.
    PS You're still cute with or without hair!!!

    I don't know why I have to do this as ANM.

  2. My God,
    There are people in these photos that I know, and some of them had hair!
    Happy Birthday Bob!
    Thanks for posting this Pat and Geoff.
    Cheers all,
    Dave and Rose

  3. Yo from West Oz,
    Really miss you both and the cruising life,great to see old pics too,.....very cool.
    Hope to share an ale again soon mates!
    Garry & Lisa (land bound) Jake & Anastasia glad to be land bound!!!

  4. Imagine my surprise when first opening this. What a sweet and thoughtful thing to do. Love you.
    Captain Bob

  5. Hi Pat and Geoff - your blog is AWESOME - very informative and comical! We were so happy to have met you. Thanks very much for the dinghy pictures. We've saved them in our 2010 St. Vincent folder. Hopefully when we meet again we'll be on our own catamaran.

    "We've traveled many a highway
    We've walked for many a mile
    Here's to the people who made our day
    To you who waved and smiled!" Tom T. Hall

    Take care. Fair winds
    Jim and Brenda Kern

  6. My Uncle was John McNally. I know Bob through him as well. Cheers...

  7. To Anonymous....
    Mac was a special person.
    You were luck to have him as an uncle.

  8. Thanks! He was a character that is for damn sure! Bob actually came to visit John near the end and both where laughing hard and loud. I was close to John so thanks for the love!