Living, traveling, exploring, and sailing aboard our 70’ classic wooden schooner, Passing Cloud, our guests enjoy a rare opportunity to enjoy a piece of Canadian maritime history. Passing Cloud was designed by William James Roué (design #165), Canada’s first naval architect and designer of the legendary schooner Bluenose (design # 17).
She was built in Victoria, BC, by local shipwright and builder, Brian Walker. After spending years of building boats for other people, in the late 1960s Brian embarked upon what would become known as “Brian’s Masterpiece”. Brian and his family launched Passing Cloud on July 16th, 1974, and fulfilling another dream, sailed to the South Pacific and spent the Christmas of 1976 in the Cook Islands.
Passing Cloud was designed as a traditional fishing schooner, with a long bowsprit, gaff-rigged main and foresail, and running backstays; however, intending to sail offshore with his family, Brian modified the design and rig, converting it to a more easily handled Marconi-rigged “Knockabout” schooner (no bowsprit). She was built using traditional plank-on-frame construction methods, with oak frames and Vancouver Island Douglas fir, Sitka spruce, and red and yellow cedar. Her remarkable Burmese teak decks were salvaged from the Union Steamship Cardena are now over 120 years old.
Brian’s family shared with us that sailing Passing Cloud “will change your life”, and we agree. During our expeditions, we generally limit our sailing to comfortable, fair-weather sailing, but we always relish the opportunity to set sail, turn off the engine, and enjoy what we like to call “Passing Cloud magic”.
For our guests, we always enjoy getting everyone involved who wants to be, from setting and trimming sails and spending time at the helm, to learning sailing terminology, theory, and techniques.