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All About Curare

One-Line Bio

The crew of SV Curare sailed from Canada September 11, 2007 and left Curare in Vigo Spain in October 2019. Covid-19 prevented travel for 20 months but the crew finally returned to Spain, and Curare, in July 2021


Jessie, Linda and Geoff have left suburbia for a nomadic life aboard their 36 foot sailboat, Curare. This has been a dream for the past 7 years and now it is a reality.

The original owner of Curare was an anesthesiologist from West Vancouver, hence the name “Curare” which is a muscle relaxant used historically in surgical procedures. He ordered the yacht and took delivery at the boatyard in Emsworth, England where he sailed Curare for a year before crossing the Atlantic with her in 1976. He then had Curare trucked across Canada to the west coast. In late 1979 Geoff's father learned that Curare was for sale and in January, 1980, on a cold and wet day, he went down to the marina to view her. Despite the weather, it was obvious that Geoff's Dad had decided on a boat to replace Calabash, the Redwing 30 that Geoff had spent many summers sailing, and suddenly Curare had a new owner.

In 1998 Geoff's Dad called and asked if Geoff was interested in buying Curare, as he was becoming the owner of a POWER BOAT, a Grand Banks 32. To finance this acquisition Geoff mortgaged the house and gave away his previous sailboat, a Thunderbird, Shazaam. Sadly Shazaam met her fate on the shores of Bowen Island a year later when her mooring let go in a storm.

It was about this time of boat transitions that Linda entered the scene, and a couple of years later Linda earned into Curare by putting up the funds required to complete a major refit in 2000.
During this refit, we started dreaming of sailing away to warmer climates and initiated our cruising “kitty”. But due to the depressed state of the mining industry that employed both of us at the time, we found it very difficult to put away much. The dream persisted though and over time our savings started to grow. And so did the job list and “must have” items that all seemed to cost $5000.

When 9/11 (2001) occurred, Geoff was working on a geology project in Nevada and Linda was working as a computer programmer in Vancouver. It was at this time that we acquired Jessie, the first mate. The first few holes drilled on the Nevada project returned visible gold and by mid-2002 there were five drills turning and the project employed 15 to 20 people. The project appeared to be long term so Linda quit her job, packed up the house and Jessie, and moved to Nevada for the next 18 months.

Finally we had the cruising kitty topped up - we could leave! We extricated ourselves from work on September 30, 2005 planning to leave the following fall (2006). But things got in the way - read on.

At our friends’ wedding, on October 2, 2005 we were offered a deal we couldn’t refuse, more money for the cruising kitty! and it sounded so great. After a bit of negotiating we agreed to put in one more year of work, finishing the end of January 2007, which would give us plenty of time to get ready and depart by end of August 2007. Of course it didn’t work out as rosy as presented, and in March 2007 Geoff was still working part time, but we managed to get the house sold and the boat ready by the end of July and on September 11 2007 we cast off the lines for adventures unknown.