The Sea Will Steal Your Soul

Words & Photography by Patrick Valade

"I feel incredibly lucky to be here." It was a thought that kept repeating in my head as I sat on the deck of the boat listening to the sounds of a guitar drift from the cabin, the smell of steaks coming from the small barbecue hooked onto the back railing. The ice clinked in my glass as the boat gently rocked and I gazed over the water, the sun just a glowing orb on the horizon--I am lucky to be here.

It was a spur of the moment decision to get a small group of friends together for a weekend sailing trip, the planning was swift and we left Vancouver early one grey morning, the stresses of work, school and the city slipping slowly away behind us. Our destination was a small bay a few hours sail up the Sunshine Coast of BC named Smugglers Cove. From what I understand this is a popular destination for sailors in the summer months, but the warmth of spring had not yet made its way up the coast and when we arrived, there wasnt another human in sight.

I wont describe this place to you, the photographs should do an adequate job of that, but I will say that having to opportunity to go on a trip such as this makes me realize how lucky we are to live in a place of such endless beauty, and to be able to share it with an amazing group of friends is something I do not take for granted. These are the types of adventures that stay with you for a lifetime.

Through the weekend the water was still and cold, the sun was bright and the food was endless. As I looked through my viewfinder at the people around me, not one of them could take the grin off their face, moments like these are the biggest reason I take photographs. It is through pure luck that I met some of these people, and being able to go on a trip like this and visit these wild places is a privilege. I hope that through my photographs I can convey my enthusiasm for the natural world around us, and inspire others to grab their bag and head out the door to do something out of the ordinary, to create new experiences and memories of their own.