•    Plumper Cove   

    The SLYC crew sailed to Plumper Cove for June 23-25, included in the fleet were Irish Cream, White Feather, Free Spirit II, and Hale Pau Hana.

    The crew of Hana had a great sail out of English Bay, but got caught in the “washing machine” of wind-over-tide off Point Atkinson. Six foot swells, mmm, lots of fun! Fortunately that didn’t last long, and we charged into an entirely different sea, much calmer and different coloured water, which was the incoming tide running over the outgoing tide.

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    Rounding Cape Finisterre

    A nice run up past Snug Cove, where the wind died off as usual, forcing us to motor around Cape Finisterre. White Feather was well behind, they managed to miss the nasty chop off Point Atkinson. There was a beautiful breeze up Collingwood Channel, we hung onto that almost all the way to Plumper Cove, just had to motor in the last little ways.

    The docks were pretty crowded already – we managed to snag a tight spot at the end of one of the docks when a power boat moved up a bit to give us room. Irish Cream was already at a mooring buoy. White Feather arrived later, and was very lucky to snag a spot only just recently vacated by another boat.  Seems like it’s mostly the Gibsons crowd that comes over for a sunny weekend, such a long trip, eh?

    First item – mix up some G&T’s, while we still have cubed ice! Followed by our first corn on the cob on the BBQ of the season, mmm yummy. After dinner we made a visit by dinghy over to Irish Cream, where Gil insisted we sample some of their latest vintage of wines. We were pleased to oblige.

    The following day, the crew of Hana went out on a little hike, checking in on a few geocaches along the way. Free Spirit II arrived, and was also lucky to grab a spot recently vacated by another boat. Little Nate got to see Plumper Cove for the first time, and most of us congregated on FS II for drinks and a yak.

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    The sun was so hot though, that some of us had to seek shade and a nap, and recuperate when the heat of the day had passed. Time for another BBQ! Steaks are on. Now that things have cooled a bit for the evening, time to take the dinghy out for a little exploring. The little Honda 4 worked just dandy, we circled around the little islands, out past the old government dock, and back… well, almost back, I did run it out of fuel at the last! A little row is good for you.

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    A sunset dinghy ride

    Meanwhile, Commodore Peter went on an exploratory hike of his own, all the way to the east end of the island, and then couldn’t find the trail back to the campground, and it was getting dark. He encountered a cottager, and upon asking for directions for the trail, the fine fellow offered to just dinghy Peter back to the marina, it was far easier than finding the trail in the dark.

    The only drawback to Plumper is it seems to attract some of the floating trailer park trash – there’s always one boat with the thumping stereo and party-makers who think everyone else wants to hear their music and rowdiness late into the night. Mixed with clouds of pot smoke to boot. That mooring buoy was starting to look like a pretty good idea.

    We did get sleep at last – though it was tempting to start blasting opera music at 7 AM to entertain those passed out on the party boat. No matter, a cup of coffee (or two) makes things right with the world. After getting things ship-shape, it was time to pull the lines and head home. Well, not for everyone – Free Spirit II stayed an extra day, and it was tempting to do the same – it sure would have been quieter after all the weekend warriors had to rush off home!

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    Free Spirit II caught some nice sunsets on their extra day

    We made our own adventure on the way home, we weren’t in any big rush. Turns out, there’s a geocache on a little islet connected to Hermit Island by a stony beach. It hadn’t been visited for about a year. I had carefully planned the best approach and anchorage ahead of time, but when we arrived we found the Coast Guard hovercraft had taken my spot! No matter, there’s another anchorage right nearby. Dropped and set anchor, it held well, so we launched the dinghy and hoped Hana would still be there when we got back!

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    Hovercraft “Moytel”

    We landed on the beach by the hovercraft, and after a short bit of bushwhacking (which turned out to be unnecessary) found our “treasure“. Mission accomplished! Back to Hana, the anchor came loose without fuss, and we sailed for home. A worthy weekend adventure. But maybe we’ll take that mooring buoy next time…

    Click Here for slideshow picsthumbnails
    Thanks to Rory and Richard for pics!

  •    Caulfeild Cove Cruise   

    Back when we thought summer was starting (late May), two SLYC boats decided to rendezvous at Caulfeild Cove. (yes it’s spelled right, it really is E before I). There’s a small government dock there, just big enough for one decent-sized sailboat – or two if you raft up. Signs posted allow 3 hours for tying up. But almost any time I pass by, (by sea or by air!) I see the dock is open.

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    Free Spirit II was returning from a weekend at Snug Cove, and Hale Pau Hana had my parents (visiting from Nova Scotia) on board for a day sail,  as well as First Mate Jen. We couldn’t pass up an opportunity for a nice sail and a rendezvous! We combined our collections of snacks and bevvies, and lounged under the shade awning on Free Spirit II, entertained by the newest little Free Spirit, First Mate Nate.

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    It’s worth a stop if you’re out for a day sail, and want to feel like you’ve “arrived” somewhere.

    Click here for photo album:

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  •    Sailpast 2017   

    We couldn’t have asked for a finer day for Sailpast! How many times have we done this in the rain? Alas, Commodore Peter could not make it, having fallen ill with some scurvy flu. So Vice-Commodore Bernard stepped up to receive the salutes of the fleet, and anchored Wasabi in English Bay.

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    The growing number of boats permanently anchored out there made it a bit of an obstacle course, but we threaded the needle, and enjoyed a nice sail afterwards. Saluting the Vice-Commodore were White Feather, Hale Pau Hana, Fan Sea, Main Brace, and Free Spirit II.

    Back at Mahoney’s Pub, the gang had a great spot upstairs with a fine view of the marina, the sun beaming in the windows, and some summery beers and other drinks and plates of appies. A fine day to break out the navy blazers and white pants!

    Click on the pic below for link to photo album:sailpast1b

  •    Snug Cove March 2017   

    Some people might think we’re nuts for sailing in March, but you know, the weather wasn’t as bad as it could be. A little drizzle never hurt anyone, and besides, you bought all the foul-weather gear for a reason, right?
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    It was a bit of a sea-trial for Hale Pau Hana, having just had the head of the engine rebuilt, all running like a charm now. The crew of Hana followed JJ on board Free Spirit II, and arrived at Bowen to find White Feather already there. The crews relaxed on Hana for a bit to dry out and have a beer.
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    Zelda III arrived not too long after, and we all went to Doc Morgan’s Pub for some Roast Beast and live music.

    To everyone’s surprise, the Saturday turned out sunny! Jen and I joined up with the British Army (Rory and David L.) for a patrol around the lake. Nothing unusual to report. Back at the marina, Mr. Swan came along tapping on boats and looking for crackers, and after the cabin opened up folks started to gather.

    The theme was Silly Hats, in case the pictures don’t give it away.
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    We had a special visit from Annie P., nice to see her doing well. Ted and Dorte brought some friends from Denmark, and the fire was warm and cozy as various folks arrived by ferry. Jean and Richard brought out our newest member, First Mate Nate, on his first ever trip to Bowen Island.

    The food was great, Ted told some hilarious stories, and JJ won the prize for Best Headgear. Jean and Richard organized a great Sunday Brunch, which kept us going for the return trip home. The rain was minimal, but strong winds on the nose and tide against us made for a slow crawl past Point Atkinson. And now we wait (and wait) for spring…

    Click on the pic of JJ below for link to the photo album:

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  •    Snug Cove Wind-up 2016   

    As usual, the weather was grey and damp, but spirits were in good cheer with the SLYC fleet. Several boats came over early, and we gathered at Doc Morgan’s Pub for some roast beef and drinks, and good cheer.

    Saturday was off and on with rain, but that didn’t stop some of us from getting out for local explorations. Jennifer and I went trekking in search of geocaches, a fine excuse to explore more of the island. First we trekked to September Morn Beach, just south of Dorman Point, and then we turned to the north-west for an epic march across the island to the north-west coast at Galbraith Bay, with a view towards Hutt Island. We found all the caches we were looking for.

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    The fire at the cabin was great to warm up to when we returned, and soon there was food galore and good cheer all around. The night sky cleared enough to see the “Super Moon“, which we all oohed and aahed over. Keith showed me how to dial down the F-stop and shutter speed to get a pretty good “moon shot”:

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    Bruce and Linda did a smashing job of Sunday Brunch as always, thanks guys! That hearty brunch was definitely a prerequisite for the journey home – with inflow winds gusting into Howe Sound over 25 knots, and tide and waves against us, it was a long hard slog to crawl our way out. Eventually I got the idea to just jog sideways towards Whytecliffe Park, were we found some respite from the wind and waves and could make better progress along the shoreline. Point Atkinson showed wind up to 50 km/h (27 knots) sustained, with gusting higher that afternoon.wind_speed

    It seemed to take forever, but once past the worst of it I had a well-deserved hot rum toddy on the last leg toward home port.

    Click HERE for a few slide show pics…
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  •    Gibsons Thanksgiving 2016   

    A highlight of this trip was having Bernard’s new boat, “Wasabi” join the fleet for the first time. What a nice shiny new boat! Looks good on ya, Bernard!

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    Wasabi and Hale Pau Hana sailed out of English Bay in light and lazy airs, heading south of Bowen and through the Popham Islands. Also joining us at Gibsons on the Friday were David and Marty on Zelda III, Rory on White Feather, and Gil and Sylvia on Irish Cream. David and Anne T. joined us by taking the ferry.

    Bernard on Wasabi

    Saturday was wet, wet, wet. So of course Jen and I donned out wet weather gear, and went for a big long hike in search of geocaches. We found most of the ones we were looking for, and by the time we were done, it was time to join the gang at The Waterfront Cafe for a nice dinner and to dry off. Restaurant owner Art welcomed us as always, and had put together a special turkey dinner for us. Thanks Art!

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    Sunday Brunch at Molly’s was also kept up as a fine tradition, nothing like Eggs Benny and bottomless cups of coffee to start the morning. And the sun was now shining! Wasabi, Zelda III, and Hale Pau Hana all left at roughly the same time, meeting up outside of Shoal Channel. A fine breeze piped up, and gee, it now looked like a race! Little Hana held her own against the bigger Wasabi and Zelda III all the way to Point Grey, where the other two finally pulled away. Only later did I learn they had started their engines! We sailed Hana all the way to the mouth of the Creek. Had to be one of the finest sail voyages end to end I’ve ever had.

    Hana leading Zelda III

    Click here for slide show:slideshow

    Thanks to Bernard and Rory for photos!

  •    August Long Weekend Blow-out   

    So, our planned weekend at Newcastle Island literally got blown to shreds. High winds over the last few days created big lumpy seas rolling all the way into English Bay. Hale Pau Hana and White Feather bravely motored into the big seas and winds, bouncing along and barely making 2 or 3 knots at times.

    Farther ahead, Zelda III had passed the bell buoy, and was giving condition reports. Usually there’s a patch of lumpy seas off Point Grey, but it settles down as one gets farther into the Strait. Not so, this time. After making a brave attempt to carry on, Zelda III reported being heeled way over on just a scrap of sail, and taking water over that big dodger. Skipper David suggested bearing off and making for Snug Cove instead. Being somewhat less than Zelda III‘s 39 foot length, Hale Pau Hana and White Feather opted to follow his lead. Even so, it was still a long and bouncy ride, crashing along towards Bowen Island.

    A call to the marina there revealed that there was no room at the inn. Skipper David suggested carrying on to Port Graves. About this time, Drift Away came along from Coal Harbour, and agreed with the suggestion. Alas, our troubles were not yet over. Zelda III reported problems getting the engine going, and after contacting C-Tow, said they were going to sail back to False Creek, where C-Tow would meet them and tow them back into the dock. The other three ships carried on. After Passage Island, the seas became thankfully calmer.

    Drift Away was first into Port Graves, and dropped anchor. Hale Pau Hana arrived next, followed by White Feather, all finding suitable places to anchor. Things were blessedly calm. G&Ts were mixed, and snack plates prepared. Free Spirit II arrived the next day, along with Irish Cream.

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    Drift away and Irish Cream

    Some shore expeditions followed, but at times the wind would pick up, and come blowing into the bay, whipping up some sizeable waves and causing the boats to strain at anchor. At one point, Free Spirit II started to slowly drag, while the crew was on shore. Keith and myself considered mounting a rescue attempt, but then Jean & Richard showed up in time and re-positioned the boat in better holding ground.

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    Re-setting the anchor

    Despite the occasional winds piping up, we managed to enjoy some trail explorations, including a trip to a beautiful bay on the east side of the island, and Jennifer and I made a hike up to the aptly named Lost Lake, a beautifully serene little spot. Back on board, we made trips to visit each other’s boats, and shared some drinks and appies. Saturday evening we enjoyed a campfire on shore, courtesy of the church camp there.

    Brigade Bay

    Brigade Bay

    Finally on Sunday the winds died down, allowing some of us to pull up anchor and leave Port Graves. A couple of us made for Gibsons, to replenish the ice and beer supplies. Note to self – never assume one can just leave things to the last minute and just re-stock at the next port of call!

    All in all, not at all the long weekend we had planned, but still an enjoyable, if accidental, adventure in Port Graves.

    Click here for slide show

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  •    Guest Speaker – Marine Parks Forever Society   

    On Thursday November 24th, at 7 PM, we will be hosting a special presentation about the Marine Parks Forever Society, to be presented by Mr. George Creek. Please join us upstairs at the Wicklow Pub for this special event, and bring as many friends as you can!


    About the BC Marine Parks Forever Society
    :

    mpfs_logoThe society was formed in 1990 by the Council of BC Yacht Clubs to raise funds through donations from members to assist BC Parks to acquire lands for Marine Parks. It was envisioned that if each member of each club donated just $10 per year, we could play a major role in the expansion of the Marine Park system.
    Since 1990, MPFS has donated over $1,250,000 to BC Parks for land purchases. A complete list of the amounts and years can be viewed on the website www.marineparksforever.ca

    In 2011, the mandate was amended to include the improvement and enhancement of existing Marine Parks in ways that would be a benefit to boaters.

    In the last few years, the Stern Tie Stewardship Program was launched. It is intended to install rock pins and heavy link chain to mid tide and identify each location with a stainless steel plate. To fund the materials, BC Parks donated the surplus Marine Parks Guides to be used for fund raising for the project. For a $10 donation, a Park Guide was given out. Over $15,000 was raised. In 2015, the first 12 pins and chains were installed in Melanie Cove, Desolation Sound Marine Park. 25 pins were added in Prideaux Haven in 2016.

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    In Princess Cove on Wallace Island, long link chain was added to existing rock pins with some pins being replaced. No longer does a boater have to make like a goat to shore tie there. Pirates Cove also received some replacements and additions to make shore tying easier. MPFS is also working with BC Parks to provide a Marine Access point in Burgoyne Bay Provincial Park (Sansum Narrows). We have requested docks and mooring buoys be installed along with shore facilities such as tables, benches, BBQ’s and eventually rain shelters for groups. MPFS is prepared to fund a significant portion. BC Parks has confirmed that this project will proceed but will be subject to the cooperation and endorsement of local First Nations.

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    In the last 5 years, MPFS has changed its relationship with BC Parks from being simply a source of funds for land purchases to a proactive partner in planning and management of the Marine Park system. It was awarded the “2014 Community Partner of the Year Award” by BC Parks partially in recognition of the significant role it played in the Quadra Island – Octopus Islands Marine Park expansion.

    We continue to seek opportunities to enhance and improve the BC Marine Park system for all boaters.

    George Creek, President

  •    Gibsons Jazz Cruise – June 2016   

    We changed gears this month, normally we do our cruise to Plumper Cove in June, but when we heard that a jazz festival was going to happen in Gibsons, we thought let’s check it out. Friday was a fine sunny day, making for a nice trip to Gibsons. The early birds decided to try dinner at Gramma’s Pub for a change, and we were rewarded with fine views over the harbour, and some beautiful sunset colours, even a rainbow in the middle of the orange glow! It was a fascinating sky for sure, but it also boded ill weather coming our way. We were also entertained by the efforts of an otter trying to get into a small powerboat, until the owner came along and chased it away.

    Saturday poured with rain. Really, really poured! Even so, a hardcore crowd of people showed up for the Jazz Festival, they had a stage set up in the middle of the street, and a beer garden tent offered some respite from the downpours. Some good music was heard too. And we got out for a few local hikes, after the rains passed.

    Click here for slide show
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  •    Slideshows broken   

    Hi all – apologies for the fact that none of the slide-shows work any more. This is because Google took over Picasa Web Albums, and in their wisdom decided that it was too much of a good thing and have now “retired” Picasa Web Albums, in favour of Google Photos, which in my humble opinion, sucks and blows at the same time. It will take me some time to find a solution, if it exists. I hope we haven’t lost access to all the photos we have uploaded over the years.

    – Your Rather Frustrated Webmaster (Sean)