Mimico Cruising Club members Tanis and Peter Boger led the Shellback Club on a whirlwind circumnavigation of the world. As it took the Bogers and their children five years to complete their travels, their lunchtime presentation to the Shellbacks necessarily omitted a few details.
Sailing on their boat Wind Woman, the Bogers traveled from Toronto down the east coast of North America, through the Caribbean, across the Pacific and Indian Oceans, around the Cape of Good Hope, and back to North America. En route they experienced many adventures and their children went from youngsters to teens.
Back in Toronto, the Bogers have spent the intervening years cruising locally on Wind Woman, which they still own and sail.
About Tanis and Peter Boger
Tanis was born in Port Arthur but her family moved to Montreal when she was six. She was ten when her father built a sailing pram for her to sail out of their cottage on the St. Lawrence near Gananoque, where the family spent each summer. Peter emigrated from Germany to Montreal when he was 11. When they met in their late twenties, Peter, an engineer, read one sailing book and became an instant expert. Regardless, he too was hooked and for their engagement he gave Tanis a 16’ Tanzer called “Diamond”. Tanis was much happier with it than any ring. They moved from Montreal to Toronto in 1974, as did many Quebec Anglophones.
In Spring 1975, they chartered in the (then relatively unspoiled) BVIs with close friends – their first experience of a keel boat and the cruising life. That winter in Toronto sitting together in front of a crackling wood fire with brandy flowing, the two couples made a pact to circumnavigate together. The other couple divorced but the Bogers started searching for a bigger, ocean-worthy, boat. They found it in the Goderich 41, a bare hull steel cutter. Wind Woman was commissioned in 1983 after Peter dedicated almost every spare moment for five years to finish her.
In 1986, Peter and Tanis resigned from their management positions and sold their Bloor West Village house. The first week of September they and their home-grown crew, Jennifer age 8 and Alex age 6, left Mimico Cruising Club on their trip around the world. Five years later they returned to MCC in July 1991.
On their return, Peter and Tanis both found employers with whom they stayed to retirement. They settled in Etobicoke where they live still. Their pre-teen children integrated back into “real” school, completed university, married extraordinarily suitable life partners, pursued so far successful careers, and Jennifer at least has produced two grandchildren. Extra points for Jennifer.
Peter, Tanis, and Wind Woman are still active sailing members of Mimico Cruising Club.
Much has changed since Judith gave the Shellback Club her last update in 2016. The Mission to Seafarers is expanding across Canada, and Judith is central to its expansion.
The Mission to Seafarers provides contact and connection to seafarers in ports around the world; a critical service that has no counterpart.
Internationally, the Mission to Seafarers provides help and support to the 1.5 million crewmen and women who face danger every day to keep our global economy afloat.
The Canadian Mission to Seafarers extends that work across Canada.
The Mission is active in Southern Ontario: http://www.mtsso.org/.
About Judith Alltree
Judith Alltree has had three careers: first as a travel agent, then as a music agent, and now as God’s agent. She’s been in sales her entire life!
Judith was born and raised in Vancouver but has lived most of her life in Toronto. A graduate of U of T in 1990 with a Bachelors’ Degree, majoring in Political Science, and in 2003 from Wycliffe College Seminary with a Masters Degree in Divinity, Judith was ordained as deacon and priest in the Anglican Church the same year. She was in parish ministry for the next 9 years, as both curate in St. Andrew’s Scarborough for 2 years and Incumbent of The Church of the Holy Spirit in Mississauga for 7 years.
Judith left parish ministry in 2012 with no fixed plans but within four months she found herself at the Mission to Seafarers, and six months later was appointed interim-Executive Director during the process of amalgamation with the Hamilton Mission to Seafarers. In January, 2014, she was appointed Executive Director of the newly amalgamated Mission to Seafarers Southern Ontario. In June, 2017, that new mission expanded with the opening of the Terry Finlay Seafarers Center in Oshawa, named for our former liaison bishop. In October, 2019, Judith was appointed Regional Director of the newly incorporated Mission to Seafarers Canada, which includes stations in Vancouver, Thunder Bay, Sarnia/Lake St. Clair, Windsor, Hamilton, Toronto, Oshawa, Saint John and Halifax. We hope to add to that number during the next few years with Mission stations in ports on both coasts.
The granddaughter of a Master Mariner in the Merchant Service, Judith is an honourary member of the Great Lakes Division of the Master Mariners Association, and sits on the board of directors for the Marine Club as Chaplain. She is also the official Port Chaplain for the ports of Toronto and Oshawa, and senior Port Chaplain for Hamilton. In her abundant spare time, Judith enjoys photography, making jewelry, reading real books with pages, music, theatre and films, and travelling especially when it involves places of historical interest. However, it is her work with the Mission to Seafarers has been the highlight of all three careers - never a job, always a joy.
“D”, as he is called, was nominated as Sailor of the Year for his off-shore races, his boat deliveries and, after he was caught in a house fire, his amazing recovery and return to sailing.
D's talk to the Shellbacks interweaves his extensive lake and offshore racing and boat delivery experience, as well as his contributions to disabled sailing and other sailing ventures with his personal experiences in life. The pattern of his adventures is one of highs and lows; just when everything seems to fall into place, a reversal resets everything. D has chosen this life, and lives it with gusto.
About D Mitchele
D is one of Canada’s most experienced offshore bowmen.
Over the years he’s competed in races including the Transpac, Marblehead to Halifax, Newport Bermuda and LA To Cabo San Lucas to name a few. He’s also done thousands of miles of offshore deliveries and crossed the Pacific twice.
Not only has he represented Canada at a number of prestigious offshore events, he has given numerous Canadians the chance to join him for races and deliveries and experience offshore sailing first hand. In his fifties, he still does bow on boats as big as eighty feet.
Three years ago, D was caught in a house fire. He ended up in intensive care in a coma with third degree burns to a third of his body. That night, the hospital staff told D’s family that they should consider saying goodbye as it wasn’t certain that he would make it through the night. But he pulled through and a few weeks later, they brought him out of the induced coma.
The doctors told him that he would not walk for a year. D set about learning to walk again and set his goal as the Newport Bermuda Race nine months later. Three months after the fire, he ran a mile. Three months after that he completed a twelve-hundred mile delivery aboard a sixty-footer with two other sailors. Nine months after the fire that almost ended his life, he realized his goal and competed in the 2014 Newport to Bermuda Race as bowman on a vintage Volvo sixty.
Looking for a change and a chance to put the fire behind him, D set off for the Philippines where he was looking after a fifty-five foot catamaran owned by a friend that was in Spain at the time.
Sadly, in September 2015, the marina where D was living was overrun by Abu Sayyaf terrorists and four people, three of them Canadian, were kidnapped. Two were since beheaded. Unarmed and looking out the window at eleven gunmen brandishing AK 47’s, D kept his head down. After the kidnapping, D readied the boat for a six hundred mile, double-handed sail to Palau. The first hundred miles through the southern Philippines were tense as there was a significant pirate threat in the area. He made it safely to Palau where he spent a couple months leading sailing and shark diving expeditions before returning to Canada.
I am a disabled Canadian sailor. D has been a friend and companion sailor for more than ten years. You’ll see him two or three days a week at the Queens Quay Disabled Sailing Centre in Toronto where he volunteers and shares his love of sailing with Canadians living with disabilities. At his own expense, D has travelled to multiple national Mobility Cup events as a volunteer.
For all he’s been through over the years, D has always found time to serve as a companion sailor and coach to disabled sailors. As we sail out together, D often looks back and comments on how happy it makes him to see a dock full of empty wheelchairs. You see, to D, we’re not disabled, we’re just his sailing buddies.
- Biography provided by Kevin Rogers
The Shellback Club will make occasional posts on this blog. If you want something added in a blog post. let us know.