There we were, back in the day, when we were immature and naive. Don’t get me wrong, we knew about boats and the work that comes with them. But we were still driven by dreams, not yet tainted by the expense of it all.


Maria and Cathy at a Tarts and Vicars party . Picton Castle

Cath and my friendship started on the Tall ship Picton Castle, which we both had saild around world on. So, as you can image, we had plenty of time to sit and throw ideas around. One idea kept coming up : let’s go sailing and try to make a living on the sea for ourselves. Yeah, I know, original, right? Just so happened that a few months back my father, Harold, had planted an old scrappy picture of a boat in front of me. I had taken a quick glance, loved her immediately but had other things happening. He knew, so he let it sit and stew.


And it did just that. Stewed for two more years, actually. Two more years of working and dreaming. And after a few boat surveys it finally led us to Sourie, Prince Edward Island, Canada, and the first ownership glances of our new lady.


She had her beauty marks, but like a new parent staring at their newborn baby for the first time (which are never good looking to others) we looked beyond those marks with joy in our eyes. Joana is a big steel boat, but that’s just what we were looking for – something that wasn’t an RV on the water. We wanted a boat you could cut, weld and redesign without it caving in on itself on the first tap. A boat that adapted to our crazy ideas if we wanted it to. And there she sat, high and dry just waiting for us.


We found our way to the waterfront and Parked next to the PEI Canadian Coast Guard station. Over the past eight years or so, the Coast Guard had built their entire complex around her rather than paying money to move her! Classic government procedure.






The guys were quite nice and loaned us a ladder to climb aboard. We made our way on deck and took down the smallest For Sale Sign anyone had ever put on a boat. We looked around at what would be our new home. Slowly through my joy glazed eyes, I started to notice a small crowd of locals forming, all wanting to see these two crazy girls that had bought the big steel boat. If any of you know the Canadian Maritimes, you know we were quickly becoming the talk of the town.


But those yarns will just have to wait ’till the next TBT.



For more info on Sail JOANA, please visit our website at or our Face Book Page Sail JOANA.