Friday, May 10, 2019

Loretta's book, "Moonbows and Shadow Benny"

I have published another book. This one is called "Moonbows and Shadow Benny (and other delightful revelations)" and is available on Amazon as an e-book. It is a collection of stories from topics such as moonbows to how high spy satellites fly. If you are curious, here is the link to the book:

If the link doesn't work for you, simply sign on to your Amazon account and search for "cankata" and you will be able to find all my books.

I have published in e-book format only, so no hard copies are available. If you don't have a Kindle, not to worry ... there is a free download for the viewer that you will see when you go into the link.

If you do find the time to read the book, I hope you enjoy it. As always, thanks to all of you who have contributed to some wonderful memories, and to those who have allowed me to mention them in the book.

Cheers.  Loretta.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

CanKata Thaismiths YouTube Channel

Our YouTubes

For a number of years now, we have been creating YouTubes of our various adventures.

These adventures include trips to Angkor Wat, the Cameron Highlands, the San Blas islands, the BVIs, Dresden, South Africa, and more.

These YouTubes are easy to find. You can search for them with the words "cankata thaismiths". Once you find our YouTubes, you can click on "Subscribe" to get notifications of any new YouTubes that we post.

An easy way to find our CanKata Thaismiths channel is by clicking on the following link:

We hope that, if you find time to look at any of our videos, you enjoy our photos and commentary. Any comments are welcome.

Cheers!  Loretta and Darrel.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Books by Darrel and Loretta

We have written a couple of books that are now "live" on Amazon.

Loretta's book is "Sailing from Canada to Thailand: Adventures on CanKata" which is material that was previously on our web site and blogs.

Darrel's book is "Sailing from Canada to Thailand: Behind the Scenes" which is fairly technical but still a great read.

Here are the links.
We have published in e-book format only so no hard copies are available. If you don't have a Kindle, not to worry ... there is a free download for the viewer that you will see when you go into the above links.
 If you do find the time to read the books, we hope you enjoy them!

Friday, November 21, 2014

CanKata's Guest Book - Last Entry

November 1 – 5, 2014


For our last trip on CanKata, we invited our friends Mink and Jordan, who, like us, live in Nai Yang, Phuket.


They have written the final entry in CanKata’s Guest Book, and they put so much love, thought and effort into the entry that we thought we would share it.

Original photos from Mink & Jordan:

Before the fire.

Escaping the burning sausages?

Telaga Harbour Marina

Our last "visitor drop off".
To Mink & Jordan:
Thanks so much for joining us on our last passage
and helping to make it a very special journey. 
L&D xx


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Our Last Journey on CanKata

On November 1, 2014, CanKata left Ao Po Marina after spending seven months on the hard. She’s always so much more alive when she is in the water.


Darrel had spent most days tending to CanKata while she was on the hard, and she benefitted from his attention. All systems were operating smoothly, and she gleamed just like a new boat.

We invited a couple of friends to join us on our last journey (a young Thai woman and her Chinese husband … passports from three different countries for immigration), and I think having visitors on board was very healthy for us – helping us to stay occupied and keeping us from getting too sentimental.


This wasn’t a sad journey for us. While CanKata was on the hard, we had plenty of time to prepare ourselves for the inevitable delivery to her new owner.  We have looked back over the thousands of photos, reread our logs and guest books, retold our more interesting stories, and agreed (time and time again) that we are making the right transition. Ten years of living on a catamaran and sailing more than half-way around the world was an incredible adventure, but ten years was enough for both of us.


We arrived at Rebak Marina (Langkawi, Malaysia) on November 5, 2014. As we approached the canal into the very-well-protected marina, I saw a senior-aged gentleman walking towards the break-wall. When he saw CanKata, he broke into a run. It was a very hot day, so I wondered why he would be running. Then he started shouting, “CanKata! CanKata!”


Darrel figured out who it was right away. “It’s Alfred!”  Alfred is CanKata’s new owner. He was there to greet us (well, CanKata) as we pulled into the marina. It was a very touching moment for me.


Moments later, when we were snuggly tied to the dock, Alfred arrived, panting a little bit, but obviously very happy to see his new boat safe and sound and in excellent condition. We invited him aboard and gave him some water, and then Darrel gave him a tour. Just a couple of days later, all the business transactions were completed and CanKata was no longer ours.


Another touching moment was when we dropped off our two visitors at Telaga Harbour. “You were our last visitors,” I said, and then tears welled up in my eyes. I composed myself, and then I asked them to sign the last entry in our guest book. We were so happy that we could share our last journey with our sweet young friends.


So now we are landlubbers again. No regrets, a gazillion memories, stories to tell and retell, and so many friends that we made along the way. Fair winds to our friends who are still out there. Cheers to all of you!


Jordan minded the helm for most of the trip.

Mink kept a lookout.

The guys enjoying a pleasant evening on the foredeck while at anchor.

Another beautiful sunset at sea.

Nature even presented us with a rainbow.

There are numerous beautiful islands between Phuket and Langkawi.

The sky and seas were mostly friendly for our trip.

This was common for us -
sharing an anchorage with fishing boats.

Fishing nets - always nice to see at a distance instead of wrapped around a prop.

Please think of these hard-working guys when next at a seafood restaurant.

One of our last gatherings around CanKata's cockpit table.

Darrel and Mink raising the Malaysian and Q flags.

Watching our crossing into Malaysian waters.

Hamming it up for the photographer.

CanKata in Telaga Harbour.

Darrel's last time at CanKata's helm.

Rain following us out of Telaga Harbour. Timing is everything.

Last time for shoes on the dock.

CanKata in Rebak Marina. Good-bye, girl.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

CanKata's Journey - A Summary (2002-2007)

In November, we hand over CanKata to a new owner. Darrel has written a summary of our adventures with her, and Loretta selected some photos to highlight how much beauty the adventures added to our lives.


Our first visit to what was then called "Camcat".
Loretta is trying to figure out if we can afford her.
We purchased CanKata in Florida in February, 2002.


We sailed CanKata up the East coast of United States with one short leg up the international waterway. We entered the Hudson River at New York and transited the Erie and Oswego canals into Lake Ontario. We kept CanKata is this area to fit her up for long distance cruising and to get accustomed to sailing her.



In September, 2004 we left Canada and returned south through the Oswego and Erie canals, down the Hudson River to New York and then sailed offshore to Cape May. From there we went up the Delaware Bay and through the canal into Chesapeake Bay. After cruising down Chesapeake Bay we joined the West Marine 1500 Rally in Norfolk, Virginia from which we left on our first long offshore voyage down to the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean. We cruised the BVI’s and the US Virgin Islands for a month and then moved south to St. Martin.

Chesapeake Bay

The Rally heading off to the BVIs

On our trip to the BVIs, flying fish often landed on the boat.
We didn't really eat them.

In the BVIs




We sailed through the Caribbean Islands (St. Martin, Sint Maarten, Saint Barts, Saba, St. Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, Montserrat, Guadeloupe, Marie Galante, Isles des Saintes, Dominica, Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Canouan, Mayreau, Union Island, Bequia, Grenadines, Carriacou, Grenada) down to Trinidad for hurricane season and then later in the year back up into the Caribbean Islands for another season.

This was a big dream of ours ... to anchor in this bay in
St. Martin and eat at this fabulous restaurant.

Anchoring at Tintamarre

Tintamarre, St. Martin

St. Martin

Caribbean sunset


Oops - this cat had a bad landing.

Hauled in Trinidad



We spent the non-hurricane season in the Caribbean Islands and returned to Trinidad for the hurricane season where we did final preparations on CanKata to commence our circumnavigation. In October we headed west towards Panama with stops in Los Testigos, Blanquilla, Los Roques, Las Aves, Bonair, Curacao, Aruba and the San Blas Islands. We transited the Panama Canal leaving to our stern the Atlantic Ocean and entering the Pacific Ocean at the end of December.

Again at Tintamarre, St. Martin

Anchored at Forchue, near St. Barts
A "jump up" in St. Martin

Walking the beach at Tintamarre

A rugged shoreline at Tintamarre

A sand spit at St. Martin

A Caribbean sunset

Could never get enough of these:  Playful Dolphins

A double rainbow (the double barely visible, but there, in reverse)

We never ever lost appreciation for the beautiful skies of the Caribbean

A photogenic local boat

A typical beautiful Caribbean beach

Fishing was good!

Walking the beach ... a favorite activity.

A "squid" getting a well-deserved rest.

The swallows in Trinidad loved our fishing rod

The anchorage in Trinidad - commercial but lovely nonetheless.

Bad weather coming!

Photos of the islands north of Venezuela and the ABC islands:

Las Aves - town council?

Las Aves - mama and baby

Darrel scuba diving in Bonaire.

Loretta snorkelling in Bonaire.

The beautiful colours of Bonaire.

Downtown Bonaire.




San Blas islands

Fruit vendors in San Blas

A hand-crafted "mola" from San Blas

Crabs were plentiful in the San Blas islands.

There's always work to do on CanKata, even in the San Blas.
 (Bow seats, before and after).

Another island in the San Blas.

The perfect back rest.

Another back rest starting to grow.

Local boats in the San Blas.

A beautiful shoreline in the San Blas.

Leaving the Caribbean - an emotional moment -
and preparing to transit the Panama Canal.

First - Christmas in the Chagres River.

All set for a turkey dinner in the Chagres River, Panama.

Old tires to protect CanKata while going through the Panama locks.

CanKata and another cat going through the Panama locks.

Into the Pacific Ocean!


We left Panama on March 8th to begin our longest passage, i.e., 4100 nautical miles – 36 days, to the French Marquesas in the South Pacific. After visiting the French Marquesas (Hiva Oa, Atuona, Hanamoenoa, Fatu Hiva) we stopped in the Tuamotus (Ahe Atoll, Rangiroa Atoll) and then into Tahiti. From there we then cruised through Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea, Tahaa, Bora Bora, Rarotonga, Niue, Tonga (Neiafu, Vakaeitu, Kapa Island, Pangai Island, Euakafa Island, Mala Islet), Fiji (Savu Savu, Makogai, Naigani Island, Nananu, Nukuivovo, Lautoka, Malolo Lailai, Musket Cove, Beachcomber Island, Namotu, Momi Bay), and New Caledonia and its Isle of Pines. After eight months of cruising through the South Pacific we arrived in Brisbane, Australia in October just before the southern hemisphere’s hurricane season began.

Panama, Pacific side.

We shared the anchorage with lots of big ships.

We went to Las Perlas, and visitors flew in to meet us.

A Las Perlas beach.

A Las Perlas sunset.

Snorkelling in Las Perlas. That's not CanKata.

Las Perlas anchorage ... I think CanKata is in there somewhere.

A beach fire in Las Perlas.

Rhythm pals.

Always good - food that comes with its own dish.

A creation by Dawn (Darrel's sister).

Crossing the equator!


It was a calm, slow crossing, so we put up another sail to catch more wind.

It was so slow and calm, we were able to "drag" for a quick cool-down.

Sunrises and sunsets were unobstructed (except for the odd cloud)
when we crossed from Panama to the Marquesas.

Laundry - just sarongs.

Yeah - fresh fruit.

A Polynesian beach.

Waiting to hitch a ride into town.

A Polynesian beach.

The only dinghy on the beach. It was a gentle landing.

Breath-taking shorelines.

A much-appreciated shop. Not many around the small islands.

We visited a pearl farm (they are in abundance). See the pearl?

A pearl farm.

Beach combing in Polynesia - for pearls maybe?

A calm Polynesian anchorage.

Beautiful Tahiti.

Rugged Polynesian skyline.

A river cruise.

There was never a shortage of flowers for her hair.

Loretta and Lynn admiring a Polynesian view.

Graceful Polynesian dancers.

Beach-combing with friends.

Local children watching the boat races.

The winners.

CanKata, with Bora Bora in the background.

Bananas were in abundance.

The locals let Loretta try on a traditional costume..

A Polynesian beach and a threatening sky. Time to get back to the boat!

Dance competition.

An anchorage close to a luxury resort.

These cost a pretty penny to rent.
Just ask Tom Cruise.

The rugged little island of Niue.

Always appreciated - an ice cream stop.

Canadians helped fund a school in Niue.

A whale - perhaps trying to make friends with SY Talerra?

It was a challenge to hike along the rugged shore.

We found a little oasis.

Climbing out of the oasis.

Carefully trying to find a path along the shore.

Moonscape on Niue.


We hiked up a mountain in Rarotonga for a fantastic view.

We rented a bike to tour the island and search for an ice cream stop.

Our first time to moor this way.

A basket from Tonga.

A sunset in Tonga.

Yikes - we were very worried that this worker might fall.
He didn't.

Yeah - another ice cream stop.

Local transportation in Tonga.

Putting in our order.

School uniforms in Tonga - very traditional.

Beach combing in Tonga.

A lovely little resort in Tonga.

A friendly anchorage.

We hiked for a view.
This night, we heard the whale songs.

Our first anchorage in Fiji.

A common sighting in Fiji - a Tiki.

We took a scenic bus ride in Fiji.

No problem landing the dinghy.

CanKata at anchor in Fiji

Checking out a beach in Fiji

Local talent

Fiji race week - we joined this boat.

Darrel joined the kayak race.

New Caledonia

Tricky to get into this anchorage in Isles des pins - but worth it!

Perfect - a safe landing, only one there.

Gunkholing in the dinghy in a New Caledonia lagoon.

Wonder why they call this "Iles des pins"?

At a waterfall in New Cal

We took a river cruise in New Cal with the dinghy


Waiting for Customs, Immigration and Quarantine inspections

Exploring an Australian beach

Low tide

Soooooo different from the South Pacific

Our first exposure to a multi-didgeridoo player

First time for a lorikeet to land on our boat

Sooooo different from the South Pacific

Getting ready to anchor in Brisbane

The mimic

We're not really that tall, or that slim.

Our first "Beach Closed" sign

A lively Australian market

Costumes quite different from those in the South Pacific

Not CanKata. Soooo different from the South Pacific.