Peter James Paget
December 7, 1946 – September 20, 2021
On September 20th at 4:30 PM at home in his big comfortable king-sized bed, my wonderful sailor and husband went cruising for the last time. My daughter Leslie, niece Katharine, my brother Bob and his wife Andrea were with us. Andrea played the guitar softly and sang. It was the last day of summer, a Harvest Moon was rising and it was full tide. What a perfect time to start his last passage.
Peter was pre-deceased by his father Alan, his mother Nancy, his oldest brother David, dear friend and best man at his wedding, Dan, and his beloved Border Collie Jake.
He leaves behind his wife and co-adventurer, Heather (aka me), his brother George Paget (Barb Gabrielson), his step-daughter Leslie Street (Chris Dick), grandson Liam Street, niece Katharine McMillin (Mario Ayala), great niece Olivia Crombie, great nephew Elliott Crombie, his brother-in-law Bob McMillin (Andrea Newsom), his sister-in-law Elaine Paget (widow of David), niece Alison Gomez (Hector), great niece Sofia, great nephew Sebastian, nephew Derek Paget (Kari), great niece Skylie and his niece Jennifer and her family. Many friends from Pender Harbour as well as the Lower Mainland, USA, New Zealand, Australia and Austria will have fond memories of Peter as well.
Peter was born and raised in Vancouver, attended Prince of Wales and (on occasion) UBC, graduating with a degree in Mathematics with an emphasis on Computer Science.
He was a mad, keen skier in his youth, boarding the bus at age 11 in Kerrisdale with his skis over his shoulder and busing to Grouse Mountain. A very independent boy. High school and Uni courses were planned around ski trips and parties organized by “Chief”.
His love of travel started on a solo trip to Europe in 1964 at age 17, departing on the Cunard ship Carmania. Interestingly I had sailed on the same ship two weeks earlier on a tour! We never met till 1979 but saw and experienced many of the same things while first travelling.
In his last year of Uni he convinced a group of friends to buy the sailboat Galadriel, and sail around the world. The five of them left False Creek from Clay's Marina on September 18th, 1971 at age 25. Peter was the only one who completed the circumnavigation, eventually returning to Vancouver.
While home in March 1979 to earn more money to continue cruising, Peter gave a talk and slide show at The Jib Set Sailing Club. I was taking lessons there and attended his presentation. I was so fascinated by the idea of travelling like a turtle, slowly and taking your house with you that I introduced myself after the show and the rest is history. He returned to his boat in June 1979 but came back to Vancouver and me in May 1980 when Mt. St. Helen's blew up! Should have known I was in for a wild ride!
We worked, bought our 40' ketch Harmonie II, sailed and had fun until we eventually sailed away in 1989, arriving in NZ in late 1990 where we stayed until 1999. During that time we had a wonderful life, bought and renovated a derelict house, made many friends and played lots of music. We sailed away to complete our circumnavigation and arrived back in Vancouver in 2002. Peter's favourite place was probably French Polynesia. He loved the warm tropical breezes and the beautiful islands.
Arriving back to reality was hard for both of us. We lived on Bowen Island for a few years but eventually sold our NZ property and the Bowen house and retired to Madeira Park...one of our best decisions ever. Peter was extremely happy here, especially when we could escape south in the winter to California or Mexico. He loved Harmonie II but sold it to good friends for a proper restoration and bought Slow Dance (Northern Hunter) from another good friend for our retirement cruising. Of course he also had to have a racy little sailboat so Dark Horse soon joined our fleet.
Peter's father had a plaque made for his first voyage. It's a quote from Robert Louis Stevenson: “Perpetual devotion to what a man calls his business is only to be sustained by perpetual neglect of many other things.” In other words, the most important thing in life is to enjoy yourself and Peter did.
If you have fond memories of Peter and want to make a donation in his name, please consider donating to the Pender Harbour Health Centre, Box 308 5066 Francis Peninsula Rd., Madeira Park, BC V0N 2H0 or to the Canadian Cancer Society. Be kind to each other and enjoy life.
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