Geminis other half, Nicole Speckmaier

My name is Nicole but you can call me “Nic” most of my close friends and family do.

I have always loved any activity that has to do with being in the water, by the water or around the water. Growing up my parents actually did not have a boat nor were they interested in water related sports.

My Gemini sister Shannon Rae who had discovered she had a love for sailing, bought her first sailboat in the early ‘90’s and soon afterwards I had jumped onboard and we were sailing together and I loved it too. We got involved in some local weeknight races in English Bay and I was hooked.

When my marriage ended in 2015, I decided that I missed being on the water and would soon own a sailboat of my own.  Dreaming after all…. Is a form of planning! I have 2 kids, both are married and 5 grandchildren,   it was time for me to make some plans! And just as I was preparing to semi-retire, my sister Shannon was diagnosed with a rare form of aggressive cancer. She underwent emergency surgery which she survived and was told that she may only have 6 months to a 1 year to live. Her dream of sailing to Hawaii suddenly became my priority.  Life gets pretty precious when there is less of it to waste.  I told my sister we are going to buy a sailboat together and sail around the world, she stated:  “let’s just start with doing the VicMaui International Yacht Race with an all women crew!  The rest will follow.”  Finding Geminis Dream was quick, we purchased her in July, 2016. She is a sleek 44’ Jeanneau Sun Odyssey Sailboat and so the journey had then begun!   Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny!

I have always been an adventurous woman and never let anything get in the way of my passion for travelling to new and distant lands. Although for the past 2 years participating in all the pre-qualifying races such as the Swiftsure International Yacht Race 2017 and 2018, the Southern Straits Race 2017 and the VanIsle360, 2017 had become a priority over worldly travel.

But together this half crazy Gemini and my sister being the other half crazy Gemini turned our love of sailing into the most incredible, exciting journey of our lives.  This has been the most amazing two years involving training with an all women team, racing with an all woman team, learning and sailing together. Preparing for our journey  in the VicMaui, the 2306 nautical mile race to Hawaii. Also the goal was always to sail away from Cancer and raise money to help find a cure!

So here we are counting down the days until we leave the docks of Victoria to race in the VicMaui.  Shannon has been cancer free for almost 2 years now and I fell in love with the love of my life Peter, whom I have known since childhood. He will be waiting for me on the docks of Lahaina Yacht Club, Maui with open arms when we cross the finish line.

What’s next is unknown, after I sail with the return team and Geminis Dream back to Vancouver,  I think another adventure will be in the plans, Europe perhaps, hiking a mountain, there are many items on my bucket list! To be continued…. 😉


About Nicole:

Born May 28th, 19 nevermind
Canadian – GEMINI
Basic Cruising Certification
B.C. Sailing, Sail Canada
Offshore personal Survival Course
Certificate # CANBC1967
Marine Basic First Aid CPR/AED Level C
PADI –Open Water Diver
PADI – Advanced Open Water Diver
Member of The False Creek Yacht Club
Member of Blue Water Cruising Association

1 Comment

  • Ross Williams
    Great time Nic ,enjoy every moment !

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