•    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

  •    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)

  •    Sailpast 2016   

    Sorry for the late post, your webmaster has been a bit swamped lately! Sailpast 2016 was held on Saturday May 7th, at the usual spot off Kits Beach. Numbers of boats were a bit down this year, forecasts of high winds held some back at the dock, though the wind did not appear until later in the day. Plus your Webmaster (and Secretary) was on the opposite coast in Halifax at the time. However, the faithful did show up to salute Commodore Peter on Lorelei, and afterwards there were snacks on Bernard’s new boat, a sumptuous Hunter 30. Reception followed at the Pub with appies provided by the Club.

    Thanks to Bernard for photos!

    (Can’t see the slide show? Click here)

  •    We’re back!   

    Sean Smith
    Ahoy folks, after some hiccups and speed-bumps, the SLYC website is back online! We have transferred to a new web hosting service, and as with all things digital, things did not go as smoothly as promised. However, it looks like the bugs have been ironed out, and we’re back to smooth sailing! Stay tuned for details on the upcoming Sailpast on May 7th.

    – Web Master (& Commander) Sean

  •    Snug Cove 2016   

    Wow, what a fine start to the weekend, with a bit of sun showing itself for the first time in weeks! We had over 20 people come out and fit ourselves very snugly into Cabin 1, which was a great place for a party. Boats in attendance included Lady Dane, Main Brace, Blue Max, White Feather, Free Spirit II, and Hale Pau Hana.

    Some of us came over on the Friday, and we enjoyed an excellent roast beef at Doc Morgan’s Pub. Saturday turned out fine, Jennifer and I continued our geocaching adventure hikes across the island, and others took the opportunity to hose down the decks and get the winter moss and mildew scrubbed off.

    There was no shortage of food at the pot luck, and plenty of green for St. Patty’s Day, including a few leprechauns!

    For Sunday brunch, Jean and Richard made up some scrumptious offerings, very delicious! Thanks guys! And thanks to Barb and Tage for organizing the dinner party!

    The sail back on Sunday was a bit drizzly, but it turned into a bit of a race, as Lady Dane, White Feather, Hale Pau Hana, and Free Spirit II all converged at Point Atkinson, working the light breezes and currents and refusing to submit to turning our engines on. After squeaking past the point, the wind piped up, and we had a fine sail back into the bay. And the rain made a perfect excuse for a hot rum toddy!

    Slideshow of photos:

    (Can’t see the slide show? Click here)

    Video of the smooth sailing enroute to Bowen on Friday March 18:

  •    SLYC Annual General Meeting   

    SLYC’s Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday January 30th, upstairs at the Wicklow Pub. We had a very good turnout, and some nibblies were provided by the Club. It was a very friendly affair, with many good ideas coming forward, and much praise for those who have done a lot of work in the past year to keep the Club going. Every little effort is appreciated! All of the previous Executive stood for the same positions again, and were acclaimed. A new addition is David Thompson, who will take on the Rear Commodore role.

    Your Executive for 2016:

    From Left to Right:
    • Bernard Fletcher – Vice Commodore
    • David Thompson – Rear Commodore
    • Peter Boorman – Commodore
    • Jean Lehmann – Treasurer
    • Sean Smith – Secretary
    • Richard Lehmann – Fleet Captain

    And of course, we dusted off the old “Bent Prop” trophy, and after a bit of head-scratching, realized that yes, we have plenty of stories and suitable candidates for this esteemed honour! The winner – two years in a row – was Ted Henriksen, for blowing an engine, as hilariously recounted by Gary St. Michel. Congratulations Ted, we shall all have to work harder in the upcoming year!

    Thanks to Anne T. and Bernard for the pics!

    (Can’t see the slide show? Click here)

  •    David Lyon’s 70th Birthday   

    David Lyon celebrated his 70th birthday with us at the Pub on January 21st. Marty arranged it as a surprise, complete with cake and a great turnout of friends. I understand David promised to work less, and sail more!

    Thanks to Bernard for some great pics!

    (can’t see the slide show? Click here)

  •    Wind-up Cruise   

    Despite forecasts for soggy weather, we had 5 boats come out to Snug Cove, and of course more by ferry, for a total of 20 attendees at the pot-luck dinner. Four boats came over early on Friday: Free Spirit II, Lady Dane, Hale Pau Hana, and Zelda III. Fortunately Friday wasn’t bad at all, a bit grey and the occasional light drizzle, but nothing to complain too loudly about. Rory and guest crew Richard came over on Saturday on White Feather, and boy did they get rained on! Well, that’s what we buy wet weather gear for, eh?

    Captain Haddock sails for Bowen aboard Hale Pau Hana

    The early birds convened at Doc Morgan’s Pub, which was great to see still open this late in the season. Some of us hadn’t been to Doc Morgan’s for years, because it was only open for a shorter summer season, or at times not open at all. Great to be back, enjoying good food and live entertainment.

    Despite the downpours on Saturday, the crew of Hale Pau Hana braved the torrents and undertook an expedition to the far side of the island, just a convenient bus ride away. We explored “Crayola Beach”, in search of geocaches, and also noticed a number of large buoys just off-shore, which look just like the same that are at Marine Parks. Perhaps some of us might come back here in the summer and try tying up to one or two for a spell. We also explored a fascinating old mine shaft, from over 100 years ago, when prospectors thought there might be enough copper, gold, and other metals here to make a second Britannia Mine. And in the rain forest, boy did it rain! So glad I wore my Wellies! Some paths were white-water torrents! We were some glad to catch the island bus back to Snug Cove and dry out by the fire in the cabin.

    There was plenty of food of course, and some hilarious outfits for the “Religions of the World” theme. Saints and sinners alike enjoyed the food and drink. My “fishes and loaves” (salmon and herring on baguette) was snapped up by hungry believers.

    Manna from Heaven!

    Morning saw Jean and Richard host a simple but scrumptious breakfast for those of us who stayed overnight, and the coffee was much appreciated. A little Christmas shopping at the island shops, then back onto the boats for the return trip, and last cruise of the season for some of us. Alas, there was hardly any wind to speak of, in fact the water were glassy calm at times, but it was DRY, so there was no complaints from the crew. Back at home dock, it’s time to break out the tarps and put our boats to bed, though some of us die-hards will still head out on nice clear winter days. And maybe we might get a Christmas Carol Ships trip together this holiday season?

    Thanks to Bernard and yours truly for the photos:

  •    Gibsons Fall Cruise   

    The SLYC gang took advantage of a fine fall weekend for a cruise to Gibsons. Our little fleet set out on Friday, into a strangely grey and misty day, with not a breeze in the air, not a ripple on the water, all strangely quiet and muted. It was actually a very peaceful and calm passage, with the world transformed by the soft mist. The hustle-bustle of the city was soon left behind, and out of mind, we seemed afloat in a timeless place. Eventually, Hale Pau Hana found Gibsons, and was soon joined by White Feather and Zelda III.

    Being in Gibsons a day early, we opted to try a different restaurant for dinner, and found some fine Greek food at Leo’s restaurant. Nick Adonidas would have enjoyed it, I’m sure. The next day dawned bright and clear, and it almost felt like summer had returned. Some explorations were in order: Jen, Sean and David found some hiking trails (and geocaches along the way) while Rory met up with David and Anne to explore the offerings of the Bitter End Sailor’s Exchange, up the big hill.

    Dinner that night at the Waterfront Cafe was very good, with the proprietor, Art, always glad to see us. Sunday Brunch was by tradition at Molly’s Reach of course, and the Eggs Benny did not disappoint us!

    Reluctant to leave this paradise, our vessels departed via Shoal Channel into a fresh breeze, which slowly eased after a while. Our boats all ended up on different tacks, and only by chance did Hana find a fresh breeze piping up near the southeast corner of Bowen Island, a Howe Sound inflow that soon had us cruising along nicely at over 5 knots. In fact, we sailed all the way from Shoal Channel to the mouth of False Creek without having to touch the engine once! What a fine sail it was. And a fine way to remember Gibsons… with the town having approved the George Hotel development despite well-organized resistance, we may see changes a-plenty when we come this way next spring.

    Enjoy the slideshow!

  •    Newcastle Cruise   

    Could summer get any better? The sunshine was glorious for the whole weekend, and the evenings warm enough to sit out in shorts and T-shirts until the stars twinkled overhead. The crew of “Hale Pau Hana” got an early start to the weekend by setting out on Thursday, crossing the Strait for Silva Bay. Things were a bit lumpy around the Bell Bouy, with a bit of wind-over-tide action going on, but the seas settled down after a while, and the perfect north-westerly put us on a direct course for Thrasher Rock. Not a single tack required!

    Alas, the Silva Bay Pub and Restaurant was closed, on account of either a fire or a power failure, or maybe both, depending on where you heard the story. Plus, due to the ongoing drought, the washrooms and showers were closed from 4 to 6 PM each day to allow the well system to try and keep up. Things were dry indeed in the Gulf Islands! Luckily we had stocked up on plenty of liquids, water and otherwise.

    Jen and I took a hike to Drumbeg Park, which rewards one with great views across to Valdes Island, though it is a bit of a hike. A cool bevvy back at the boat was much appreciated. We enjoyed a quiet evening on the boat, with the afterglow of sunset lingering long into the summer twilight.

    In the morning, we conferred with Halfmoon II, who had arrived and dropped anchor overnight. The winds were up in the Strait, but the timing of the tides worked out well for doing the passage through Gabriola and Dodds Narrows, so we set off for the scenic route. After shooting through Gabriola with an ebbing current, and briefly hitting 9.5 knots on the GPS, the waters inside the Gulf Islands were calm as a bathtub.

    Boat traffic at Dodds had backed up quite a bit, as two tugs and log booms pushed through southbound. The crowd filed through in good order northbound, and we soon set the jib for a romp towards Nanaimo Harbour with gusty winds spilling over Gabriola Island. Halfmoon II and Hale Pau Hana arrived around noon, with plenty of dock space still available at the time. Irish Cream and Blue Max arrived shortly afterwards. Gil confirmed the crossing of the Strait that day was a bit “on the rough side”!

    Jen and I launched the dinghy and set out for Protection Island, to go exploring around and find a few geocaches. We also got some well-deserved ice cream from the island’s very own golf-cart ice cream truck! And a few veggies from the island’s community gardens – just leave a donation in the boot at the little booth! Another dinghy run in the evening (after BBQ ribs, mmm!) into Mark Bay rewarded us with encounters with a raccoon family, some otters, and even a mink!

    Free Spirit II arrived on Saturday and grabbed one of the last remaining mooring bouys… the docks and other bouys having long since filled up for the weekend. Also arriving that day were Jean & Richard’s friends, Bill and Denise, and Bill’s grand-daughter Mia from Montreal, and Sean’s friends the Bentleys (George, Carol, William and Richard) all the way from England, who happened to be on a Western Canada family vacation. The boat parties took turns drifting between Half Moon II, Hale Pau Hana, and the dock.

    The entire crowd joined us at the Dinghy Dock Pub, with some dinghies getting a tow from others. It was really great to see a big crowd of us at the Pub, and we were given a great outdoor spot to enjoy the late afternoon sun. The Bentley Boys even got some Dinghy Dock Pub T-shirts to take back to England with them.

    Sunday saw some of us doing local explorations of the island, as Jen and myself applied a little sailing expertise to engineer a way up a tree to retrieve a geocache hidden some 20 feet up in the branches – a rope ladder and a spare halyard did the trick! Ted and Dorte arrived on “Lady Dane” later in the day, under tow… Lady Dane blew her engine on the way over, and will be in Nanaimo for repairs. Hopefully insurance will help cover it! I’ll stay in touch with Ted to follow their progress.

    On Monday most of us set out for the return crossing of the Strait. The winds were blowing pretty strong at first, as we beat our way out towards Entrance Island, poor Jen laboured away down below in the galley making sandwiches as the boat lurched along. The forecast had called for winds to keep increasing throughout the day, but this time the weatherman was completely wrong – the seas eased as we passed Entrance Island, and about halfway home we had to start the engine and motor-sail. The breeze picked up enough to sail again as we passed Spanish Banks – making for a nice last leg as we made our way to home dock. And a drink with friends on the dock when we got there – what a nice way to end the day!

    The slide show, photos courtesy of Bernard and myself: