Musings of a Former UBC Sailing Club Member and Fleet Captain – 1972-1975 (part 2)

5 Feb 2021 8:04 PM | Anonymous

(this is part 2 of Peter's story - to read from the start, click here)

During my tenure as Fleet captain, I also wrote a Sailing Training Manual that one of the departmental secretaries typed out and we distributed to the members. I don’t recall her name but I do recall that I had mad crush on her, but she wouldn’t reciprocate. Well, them’s the breaks!

We also organized long-weekend cruises, for example, Thanksgiving and Easter, where we rented larger sailing yachts to accommodate 4 to 6 members (and friends) per boat. These required bona-fide skippers with some formal pedigree, such as a Canadian Power Squadrons certificate and the rental company would also give us a check ride prior to the rental to make sure we were competent. There were a handful of us, including me, who qualified. The participants would share the rental cost, as the AMS wouldn’t cover that. We would sail the Gulf Islands or up Howe Sound, or in the US San Juan islands. The boats ranged from Cal-20’s to Catalina 22’s to Catalina 27’s.

There were a couple of rental outfits located on Granville Island and one in North Vancouver. The North Vancouver one was a pain, as you’d have to navigate the busy harbor, dodge the Seabus that doesn’t care about anyone else, and the Lions Gate Bridge with the tricky tidal current, with all the other marine traffic. We only did that once. There was also a really nice rental outfit on Vancouver Island, in Maple Bay, which was convenient because we’re already in the islands, no need to cross the Strait. There was also a rental outfit in Anacortes WA, which was only an hour and a half drive south, and nicely accessible to the San Juan Islands. If you go there, be sure to spend some time in Friday Harbor!

Sometimes we would organize two or three boats, and then tie up overnight. One of our favorite locales was Pirates’ Cove, at the north end of deCourcy Island, just to the west of the north end of Valdes Island. That was a quiet place to anchor, even in rough weather and raft up the boats if there were more than one.

On one memorable occasion, we were about three boats, and tied up at a marina, in such a way that one boat was tied up to the dock, the second was tied to the first and third tied to the second. At low tide, the boat closest to the dock got a couple of its lifeline stanchions bent because of the wave action. So one of the skippers said – “no problem, there’s a sawmill on Vancouver Island, just a few miles away, where my father is the big boss, we’ll just go there and have a welder straighten it and weld the damaged stanchions. So we did, the stanchions were fixed, but later on when his dad found out, the sh*t hit the fan. (That’s the guy at the left in the picture below) But as they say, it’s easier (and more effective) to ask for forgiveness than permission. Fortunately, we avoided having to pay for the damage.

Meeting of two boats off Vancouver Island. The fellow in the crazy white hat is me, the one at the far left is the guy whose father ran the mill where we had one of the boats repaired. Meeting of two boats off Vancouver Island. The fellow in the crazy white hat is me, the one at the far left is the guy whose father ran the mill where we had one of the boats repaired.

More cruising pictures...

Five members on a Cal 20 – yours truly on the bow pulpit Five members on a Cal 20 – yours truly on the bow pulpit

Packing up on the dock after breakfast, ready to move onPacking up on the dock after breakfast, ready to move on

Under way to the next Destination – Can you spot who’s steering the boat? Under way to the next Destination – Can you spot who’s steering the boat?

Under way to the next Destination – this group even has an entertainer Under way to the next Destination – this group even has an entertainer

(to read part 3, click here)

UBC SAILING CLUB

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