•    Gibsons Cruise   

    The SLYC Spring Cruise to Gibsons was held on the Victoria Day weekend of May 16/17/18. Wow, we couldn’t have asked for better weather! It may have started out a bit grey, but the skies soon cleared, and the sun was blazing away at summer temps! My parents had arrived from Nova Scotia only a few days previously, where they’ve only just seen the last of their mountains of snow finally melt away. Quite the change!

    White Feather, Hale Pau Hana, and Free Spirit II all started out from the Creek in a small convoy, that is until the breeze finally piped up around Spanish Banks, and we set our sails… and different tacks. Stubbornly, Bowen Island refused to yield to my heading, so Hale Pau Hana had to tack around it. The wind was nonexistent amongst the Popham Islands, but always a lovely little trip through there so we didn’t mind.

    We arrived at Gibsons to find Irish Cream already there, and the dock party soon began. Others who came by ferry joined in – David and Anne, and Peter and Marge. When the party got too big for Hana’s cockpit, we just moved up to Irish Cream. What a great day to sit out and enjoy each other’s company in the sun!

    Interestingly, the skipper of Free Spirit II was nowhere to be seen – it turns out JJ loaned the boat to Jean and Richard, who brought along their friends Bill and Denise too. For a couple’s weekend, Free Spirit II worked out just great, and it was very gracious of JJ to loan them the boat. Earl Grey might be jealous!

    Dinner was at the Waterfront Cafe, where we had a whole section to ourselves, the food was excellent, and the ever-exuberant owner, Art, was a most gracious host. We followed that up with oysters at Smitty’s, the oysters were delightful, the thumping music a bit less so. Morning saw us at Molly’s Reach for brunch, we were lucky that they could squeeze our whole party in at one big table. The eggs benny were scrumptious as always. And the bottomless cups of coffee!

    Later in the day, some of us more energetic types decided to take on the challenge of climbing Soames Hill, that conspicuous large knob that’s a notable landmark when approaching Gibsons from north of Keats Island. It was quite the uphill hike, but the trails are well marked, with stairs for much of the way, and the view was stunning. A long walk followed back to town, but ice cream at Mike’s Place made for a well-deserved treat! It was great to have an extra day in Gibsons, courtesy of the long weekend.

    Monday saw our fleet head back by way of going north of Keats Island, the fine breeze coming up Thornborough Channel made for some of the best sailing I’ve seen in a long time… over 6 knots on the GPS, and hardly more than a ripple on the water, the sailing was smooth as glass. Of course it never lasts, though we did *almost* squeak around the north end of Bowen before the breeze died.

    Some interesting information: Gibsons Marina is under new ownership, as of the very weekend we were there, and we are told that there will be more visitor moorage. Some 17 slips currently, and likely more to be available in the future – so that’s good news!

    Photos courtesy of Rory and myself:


    Note – if you can’t see the photo album, you likely need to update your Adobe Flash Player.

  •    Sailpast 2015   

    Wow, what a great day for a sail! The sun was shining, and the breeze was fresh, the fleet looked really great sailing along and having fun. Commodore Peter was on board Lorelei for the occasion. Boats in attendance for Sailpast included: Halfmoon II, Free Spirit II, Hale Pau Hana, Zelda III, Nahani, White Feather, and Kalima. Drift Away showed up a wee bit late to join in, but then the sailpast did get off to an early start too. Hale Pau Hana was pleased to have Fleet Surgeon Annie on board as well. We all had a great romp in the breeze after the Sailpast was done.

    Afterwards, we gathered at the Billy Bishop Legion Pub for the reception, the only hitch was that somehow their communication broke down and the person opening the pub that day didn’t get the message that it was supposed to be opened early at 3 PM, instead of the usual 4 PM. At least it was a sunny day to wait around, and we were extra thirsty by the time the doors opened. Catered snacks were on hand, and several of the folks who couldn’t be on the water joined us for the reception. It was great to see a nice turnout.

    Slide show, with pics by Bernard and yours truly:

  •    Sinking of HMCS Annapolis   

    The sinking of HMCS Annapolis went off as planned on Saturday April 4th, at Halkett Bay. Attending the event from SLYC were Rory on White Feather, and JJ on Free Spirit II. JJ forwarded this very impressive video (below) and plans to go dive the wreck soon.

    HMCS Annapolis Sink Day April 4th 2015 from Geoff Grognet on Vimeo.

  •    Early Easter at Snug Cove   

    The first official SLYC cruise of the year was a great success! Undaunted by the iffy weather forecasts, the crews of “Zelda III”, “Earl Grey”, “White Feather”, “Free Spirit II”, and “Hale Pau Hana” made the trip easily, even finding a fair breeze to sail by for a good part of the journey. New member Nigel made his first cruise with David and Marty on “Zelda III”.

    Coming by ferry were our hosts, Barb and Tage, Barb’s cousin Margot, Keith and Scotty, David and Anne, and Commodore Peter. And coming along as special guests on board “Hale Pau Hana” were Jennifer’s parents, Peter and Ruth, down for the weekend from Oliver.

    Almost on cue, “Zelda III” became the welcoming party boat for arriving sailors, and the rain held off long enough for us to enjoy sitting out on the deck. The swan seemed to want to join us on board!

    With the first sprinkles though, the party shifted inland to the cabin, where we found Barb had really gone to town with decorating for Easter. There were bunnies, bunnies, and more bunnies! Well done! The fire was soon crackling away, the food warming up in the oven, and conversation flowing. There was plenty of food of course! And it was especially good to see Scotty too. There was also a surprise birthday cake for Jennifer, with a fabulous chocolate bunny on it. The cake was supplied by Artisan Eats Cafe & Bakery, up the hill on Bowen Island, and it was delicious too! (and thanks Anne for picking it up for me!)

    The next morning, we had a good number of folks still here for breakfast of sausages, eggs, toast, coffee and orange juice, which we savoured leisurely while watching the rains pour down outside. Nobody was in a hurry to leave! But leave we eventually all did, as we suited up in our foulies and cast off our lines. It was a fairly damp trip home at times, though there was some good breeze to roll out the jib and do some sailing for part of the trip, and the crew of Hana was good enough to make up a hot rum toddy for the valiant skipper! Which finished off the last of my bottle of Ironworks rum from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, so now I have to go back and restock!

    Many thanks to our hosts Barb and Tage for making it a fun and enjoyable weekend!

  •    Caulfeild Cove Raft-up   

    The crews of “Earl Grey” and “Hale Pau Hana” decided to have the first unofficial SLYC raft-up of the year by meeting up at Caulfeild Cove, on the fine and glorious sunny Saturday of March 7. My new GoPro camera captured much of the sailing action from it’s mount on the dodger grab-rail, the mount is intended for bicycle handlebars but works just fine on railings, stanchions and such. And it’s in a waterproof housing too, so maybe next time I’ll try hanging it outboard by bolting it onto the low end of a stanchion, and get some good heeling action!

    There was not a soul at the Cove (well, save one canoe!), so we had the dock to ourselves and soon had snacks and appies out to enjoy, Jean and Richard even put a salmon steak on the barbie! Later Jennifer and I got out for a hike around the park, looking for geocache treasures. It was full dark by the time we found the last of them, good thing we had flashlights! The night-time run back was uneventful, though use of my Marine Traffic AIS app on the phone was handy to identify an out-bound freighter that crossed in the traffic lanes well ahead of us.

    The only drawback is that the sun sets early behind the high cliffs of Lighthouse Park, otherwise it’s a lovely spot, and has been completely empty any time I’ve passed by lately. I even flew over it the next day at 2000′ in a Cessna 172, with John J. as passenger, and it was empty then too.

    Photo slide show and YouTube video is below:

  •    Events for 2015   

    The calendar of events for 2015 is now updated, yes, even as far as the next Christmas Party! Please see this page: Events
    and pencil in the dates on your own calendars so you can be sure to be able to attend!

    First event – the Snug Cove Cruise on March 28/29 . With the Summer Cabin booked as usual, it’s Pot Luck Dinner, and the theme is Early Easter – bring an Easter bonnet, or maybe bunny ears! Please RSVP to host Barb Thomsen , at (604) 524-1710 or click here to email Barb
    Hope to see you there!

  •    AGM and 2015 Executive   

    The SLYC Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday January 24, at the Wicklow Pub. Turnout was a little low this year, but we realized that a number of members had already booked themselves for Robbie Burns Day dinners, so we’ll try not to overlap with that for next year. (and I actually LIKE haggis too!). The minutes will be provided as soon as we get them written up.

    The good news is that we continue to have a healthy financial situation, which allowed us to actually reduce our rates, partly in consideration of the fact that we’ve reduced expenses on some cruise events. (Thanks to Kathy for crunching the numbers!)

    Several of the previous Executive have stepped down, so we wish to extend a very big thank you to George Paget (Fleet Captain), Keith Pettican (Vice-Commodore), Kathy Ireland (Treasurer), and Stan Lavigne (Commodore), who will of course stay on with us as Past-Commodore. This means Tage Thomsen can finally retire from Past-Commodore, so thank you to all for all of your hard work over the years.

    The Exec for 2015 is as follows:

    • Commodore: Peter Boorman
    • Vice-Commodore: Bernard Fletcher
    • Fleet Captain: Richard Lehmann
    • Treasurer: Jean Lehmann
    • Secretary: Sean Smith
    • Past-Commodore: Stan Lavigne

    The Rear-Commodore position remains open, so unless there is an eager volunteer out there willing to join us, the rest of the Exec will share the duties of this position. As noted during the AGM, the real secret to making this club work is volunteerism, not just for Exec duties, but at all levels, including being a Host for an event, or assisting in any other way that you might think of. We are a small club, so if we want to continue having fun events, then we must be prepared to participate and help out in some way, and not just expect other people to do all the work.

    Commodore Peter already has plans in the works for a new Jack and Jill race this year, simpler than the old race we used to do to Gibsons, so stay tuned for details as they are worked out.

    Finally, there was the telling of tall tales for the Bent Prop Award. We seem to have a new tradition of nominating ourselves for silly things we’ve done in the course of the year! Richard nominated himself for using Jean as a human fender during docking at Gibsons; your webmaster (Sean) nominated himself in a tale of offering much sage advice on winches and halyards to Richard, only to immediately afterwards make the dire mistake of getting a riding turn on a halyard on his own boat, complete with a guitar-string tight line that took ages to undo; Janet for being caught on camera smiling cheerfully at Sailpast while flying the Maple Leaf upside-down; but the winner was Ted for his incredibly funny tale of waking up with Lady Dane aground, and the subsequent rescue by a MacGregor with a giant outboard engine. I think it was more the brilliantly funny delivery style of the story, than any facts (true or otherwise) that won Ted the award. Thank you Ted for giving us some great entertainment!

    So, let’s look forward to a year of good sailing, fun events, and cheerful company, and please give your support to the new Executive (now including yours truly), and remember, the more volunteerism we can get of any kind, the more we will be able to do and the more enjoyable we hope to make this club.

  •    Merry Christmas from Mexico   

    David and Carol Ann Faith send this message:

    Feliz Navidad y Feliz Ano Nuevo

    They say a picture is worth a thousand words; so, we’ll let these photos explain why we feel so fortunate to be celebrating Christmas at Marina de La Paz aboard Leap of Faith.

    Have a safe and happy holiday.

    Dave and Carol Ann

  •    Leap of Faith arrives at La Paz   

    “Leap of Faith” has arrived at La Paz, Mexico! The tale of the trip from San Diego to La Paz, by Carol Ann and David Faith, follows:

    Buenas tardes, amigas y amigos.
    Como esta usted? We hope that you are all doing well.
    Nostros somos muy bien! ….. couldn’t be better as a matter of fact!!!

    We are practicing our Spanish at every opportunity and, are determined to be “reasonably” fluent by the time we return in the spring. Surprisingly, it generally only takes a few words …. and a lot of hand gestures …. to make yourself understood. It certainly does, of course, get a lot of smiles ….. which, in the end, is the most important part of communicating, right???

    We learned from our spanish teacher, Susana Ramirez, in Nanaimo, that it is considered very impolite not to greet everyone that you meet and, because we really weren’t told where the “cut-off line” was, we spend a lot of our time saying hola or buenas dies or buenas tardes or buenas noches, when we’re wandering around. Our greeting never goes unacknowledged; so, we must be on the right track!

    Anyway, now we’ll give you our short update on how we got to La Paz from San Diego …..
    Read the rest of this entry »

  •    Snug Cove Wind-up Cruise   

    What a lucky break in the weather we had! Clear blue skies, a bit chilly, but DRY! Not much wind of course, but a pleasurable trip nonetheless to Snug Cove and back. Getting an early start to the weekend, Sean and Jen on Hale Pau Hana and Rory on White Feather buddy-boated across on Friday, and Zelda III (David and Marty) caught up to us just past Point Atkinson. The extra day gave us a chance to check out a new local restaurant, the Rustique Bistro, which had an excellent beef brisket special.

    Also arriving attending by boat on Saturday was Contender (George) and Lady Dane (Ted & Dorte). Joining us by ferry were David & Anne, Tage, Jean & Richard, and our host, Peter. And of course Gil and Sylvia just had to roll down the hill to join us!

    The Summer House cabin was warm and cozy as usual, and there was a great smorgasbord of offerings for the Pot Luck dinner on Saturday night. The theme was “Most Outrageous Hat”, which by popular vote was won by David Thompson. Congratulations!

    On Sunday, the Marine forecast was predicting some nasty winds in the Strait (25 gusting to 35 knots), so some of us decided it would be prudent to stay an extra day. George the Brave decided to test the waters anyways. And found that there was hardly a whisper of breeze to speak of. True, Entrance Island on the other side of the Strait recorded some strong winds, but it shows how variable the weather can really be. Meanwhile, extra time and the crisp fall weather allowed some of us to enjoy some nice hikes, and discovering a few geocaches. And sighting a few locals such as the swan and a family of deer!

    After a calm and pleasant cruise back on Monday, we reluctantly closed up the boat, soaking in the last of the sunlight and knowing that it will be a lot of damp and drizzle for some months to come.

    Slide show of photos is below, enjoy!