CREW & A
Captain Matt Lemay
There’s a lot of responsibility in being the Master of a classic wooden schooner like Passing Cloud, but Captain Matt Lemay is eager to rise to that challenge. In fact, it’s something of a dream job for Matt, who joined Outer Shores last year after more than a decade of nautical adventure and exploration along BC’s coastline.
How did you hook up with Outer Shores?
When I decided to focus on ecotourism, I looked at the various companies under sail on the coast. As I learned more about Russ, Passing Cloud, and Russ’s vision for Outer Shores, it became clear to me that this was an organization I wanted to be part of.
Why did you want to pursue a career in ecotourism?
I spent the better part of eight years sail training on wooden tall ships up and down the BC coast. I’d gained a real appreciation for the awe and wonder that this landscape inspires. I wanted to share it with people while also being able to explore it more.
What do you love most about Passing Cloud?
She sails beautifully. She’s a well thought out and well cared for boat. You just know that every single inch of her has had someone pour their love into it. She’s crisp and clean, bone dry, and in beautiful shape. As soon as you set sail, she just takes off.
What’s your favourite physical feature on Passing Cloud?
The biggest wow factor is the salon. The space feels so much larger than it should be. It’s not what you’re expecting. I still like watching people’s faces when they walk down there for the first time.
What’s your favourite kind of weather?
I really like a sunny day with a nice 10 to 15 knots of quartering breeze and just a gentle ripple on the sea. You can’t beat it. It doesn’t happen a lot, but when it does it’s magic.
What’s the best wildlife encounter you’ve had?
We’ve had opportunities to sail with large pods of Pacific white-sided dolphins. Sometimes there are 300 to 500 dolphins and you can’t see the end of them. It’s spectacular.
What’s your favourite part of the coast?
There’s something exceptional about the west coast of Haida Gwaii. It’s so wild, so rugged, so exposed and so hard to get to. We don’t get out there very often. I’m always blown away by how much life is there.
What do you like to do when you come back to land?
I love to explore Vancouver Island. It’s an amazing place, especially in the northern half of the island where the population density drops off. The opportunities for camping, hiking and fishing are endless. Once I’m finished with my laundry, I generally pack a bag and head right back out the door.