- Basic Cruising Instructor
Francis bought a Grampian 26' sailboat on a whim when he was in college, after taking only a Start Keelboat Sailing class. He learned on the fly, by trial and error, and then decided to take a Basic cruising course on Lake Champlain. The course was barely over when he and a friend left for “down south”. He quickly came to the conclusion that sailing on a lake and offshore sailing is not the same thing! The New York — Cape May crossing, which was to last 24 hours, took them three weeks! Three months later, they arrived in Florida! This life experience taught him perseverance and resourcefulness.
A New York—Nassau (Bahamas) transport showed him the Gulf Stream up close ... a little too close since, the captain being indisposed, he and his crewmate had to take turns sailing the boat alone.
A long trip through Asia helped develop his patience and humility. Back in Quebec, sailing on the St. Lawrence River and the Saguenay, he joined Voile Mercator, where he was able to consolidate his cruising skills while developing confidence regarding management of the crew, equipment, vessel and safety requirements.
Francis has navigated 7,000 nautical miles.