iN VIDEO: Kelowna lawyer swapped a RV for a sailboat and retired on the ocean | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?

Kelowna News

iN VIDEO: Kelowna lawyer swapped a RV for a sailboat and retired on the ocean

Liam Clarke and his girlfriend Monroe Land posing with their boat the SV Monashee.
Image Credit: Facebook - SV Monashee

A lawyer from Kelowna considered retiring and travelling in an RV but decided to hit the high seas on a sailboat instead.

Liam Clarke practiced law for 27 years and liked the idea of travelling in his retirement.

“The way people retire in the Okanagan is you buy yourself a 40 foot motor home and you travel down to Palm Springs or Arizona and go off on some adventure. In 2006, I discovered the joy of sail boats,” he said. “I realized the RV was no longer the option, we were going to go off on a large sailboat and live aboard.”

Clarke answered the phone call from aboard his 40 foot catamaran, the SV Monashee, in Bequia in the Caribbean. The boat is kitted out with everything a person would need to live: electricity, a water desalinator, storage and more. 

When Clarke moved onto the boat with his girlfriend Monroe Land they had some safety concerns.

“We had our first sail from the British Virgin Islands down to Venezuela and back. That was our first sail on the boat, I had probably accumulated 18 hours of ocean sailing prior to that, my sailing had been mostly lake sailing. I did some lake sailing where the wind went up to 60 knots, it can get pretty ugly. When we were sailing away from the islands 350 miles from the nearest shore, those waves were probably 3 metres high, 12 feet high, sometimes 15 feet high and swamped the boat. That was pretty hairy,” he said. 

READ MORE: 'Heartbreaking': Kamloops residents reflect on demolition of decades-old hotel, nightclub

Clarke decided to start vlogging and posting about his experiences on a Facebook page to keep friends and family up to date.

“I’m probably one of the last people with actual photo albums,” he said. “When people ask what’s up I just tell them to check our page.”

He said the anchorage points are filled with other sailors and make up temporary neighbourhoods where people go onto each other’s boat for dinner and invite each other to wherever they are from.

“We met these people from Germany and we have an invitation to Munich now, and they’ve got an invitation to Kelowna,” he said.

“There are even people who make it a business to boat out and sell water, ice, offer to do laundry and really just cater to the cruising community.”

He said the key to getting the courage to leave it all behind and live on the open sea is a bit of preparation.

READ MORE: Okanagan parents band together to create a homeschooling community

“Everybody is afraid. There's nobody out there who just says I’m going to do it, and then just walk off and do it. You always have butterflies in your stomach, and you always have questions," he said.

"What I would suggest is take sailing courses, they are offered at the Kelowna Yacht Club, or Central Okanagan Small Boat Association. There are even online courses to teach you things. Go take a diesel mechanics course. Go on a charter. We chartered a boat just like this one and lived on it for 11 days and that gave us a sense of what living this lifestyle is like.”

He hopes to inspire anyone considering living on a boat to take the leap.

“I like quoting movies and one of my favourites is from Lord of the Rings: ‘It's a dangerous business, you step into the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.'"

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jesse Tomas or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. SUBSCRIBE to our awesome newsletter here.

News from © iNFOnews, 2024

  • Popular vernon News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile