This past October was one of the driest on record here on Vancouver Island, making for a lovely extended boating season and several fall day sails. The crisp chill out on the water served as a reminder that before too long, Aeriel would be tucked snugly under her cover for a long winter’s nap.

Thankfully, wonderful memories of summer sailing will tide us over until spring. Bill and I cleared our calendars for the month of August, stocked our galley and began our journey by setting sail for Vancouver. We had great fun docking in Coal Harbour and playing tourist in the big city from the boater’s perspective—a little change from the protected anchorages and small marinas that we frequent. Then, with the winds out of the south behind us and the gennaker set, we headed to Desolation Sound and the Discovery Islands, capping off our northerly leg at the Shark Spit Regatta on Marina Island. For the southerly leg of our trip, we attended a wedding at Bird’s Eye Cove Farm in Maple Bay before exploring the southern Gulf Islands and Saanich Peninsula; here, we enjoyed our annual visit to Butchart Gardens.

With few exceptions—including a stellar stuffed challah French toast at Sea Glass Waterfront Grill in Sidney—all of our meals were made onboard. Before we left home, I prepared several items from our book, including bacon jam, apple and cranberry trail bars, panforte, coastal cluster granola, chocolate chip cookies spiked with cinnamon, cardamom and chipotle, and pulled pork (which was vacuum packed and frozen in advance). In total, 38 recipes from Sea Salt were enjoyed on our 2013 summer cruise. After cooking from handwritten recipes scrawled in notebooks for the past few summers (all part of the trial process during the creation of our book), it was a pleasure to have a copy of Sea Salt: Recipes from the West Coast Galley to refer to and know that my daughters, Alison and Hilary, were such a big part of its creation.

Best wishes for a wonderful fall and holiday season ahead,