The schooner Passing Cloud was designed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, by the famous Canadian naval architect William James Roué, and built in Victoria, British Columbia, by renowned local shipwright Brian Walker. Since her launching in 1974, Passing Cloud has cruised the South Pacific, weathered hurricanes, won many races, worked as a sail training vessel, and explored the far reaches of the BC coast. “The Cloud” has a rich history that we are proud to share with you. Enjoy!
“Passing Cloud heaved uneasily outside of the breakwater, where nearby coral reefs invisibly awaited Walker’s mistakes. Visibility was virtually zero, the wind picking up the sea and hurling through the air like horizontal rain.” – Tahiti, 1982
This is a unique classic charter yacht from the design board of William James Roué, designer of the iconic racing fishing schooner Bluenose.
1921: WJ Roué Designs Legendary Schooner Bluenose
William J. Roué design #17, commissioned by Angus Walters
1945: WJ Roué Designs Schooner for United Nations
William J. Roué design #165, commissioned by United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, eventually to become schooner Passing Cloud
1969: Construction Begins, Victoria, BC
Victoria, BC, boat builder Brian Walker begins construction of #165, the schooner Passing Cloud, at his small shipyard in Portage Inlet.
July 16, 1974: Passing Cloud Launched
Given the very shallow waters of Portage Inlet, Passing Cloud spends her first night aground under Craigflower Street Bridge!
1977: Cruising the South Pacific (Voyage 1)
The Walker Family departs on the first of two South Pacific voyages aboard Passing Cloud. This first voyage includes Cabo San Lucas, Marquesas, Tahiti, and the Cook Islands.
1982: Cruising the South Pacific (Voyage 2)
Now in their 60s, Brian and Dora Walker are cruising the South Pacific alone. After encountering a severe tropical cyclone and sailing for days under bare poles alone, the intrepid couple found safe harbour on the French Polynesian Island of Pape’ete.
1980s: Extensive Racing
During the early to mid 1980s, Passing Cloud won every major trophy in the Pacific Northwest schooner-racing circuit by “smoking the competition to windward.”
1984: San Francisco Bay, Passing Cloud Wins Master Mariners Regatta Deadeye Trophy
For the first time since the inception of this racing series in 1867, this coveted trophy leaves the USA aboard Passing Cloud.
1986: Second Owner, Greg Sager
Brian and Dora Walker sell Passing Cloud to Victoria-based sailor, boat builder, and businessman Greg Sager.
1991: Victoria to Maui Race and Hurricane Fefa
After a successful showing in the Victoria-Maui Race, Passing Cloud departs the Hawaiian Islands and sails off ahead of Hurricane Fefa carrying all possible sail and reaching speeds of 14 knots.
1998: Sail Training Vessel
Under the umbrella of SEA Programs Inc., Passing Cloud begins working with the sailing vessels Duen and A Fine Madness to offer sail training and environmental education programs to high school students.
2007: Third Owner, Anonymous Philanthropist
Passing Cloud comes under the care of a new owner/guardian and continues to work as a sail training vessel with SEA Programs Inc.
2012: Fourth Owner, Russell Markel
Under the care of Russell, Passing Cloud begins a new life as an expedition sailing vessel with Outer Shores, exploring the incredible coast of British Columbia.
Do you have any historical Passing Cloud images or stories?
We’d love to hear from you!