(this is the last part of Peter's story - to read from the start, click here)
Move to the Jericho Sailing Center
I don’t recall the exact date the Jericho Center discussions began, but we got wind of the City redeveloping the site into some sort of marine park and beach. We pitched the UBC Sailing Club as an interested participant, since we were anxious to have our own dedicated facility and, in any event, KYC was beginning to tire of our presence. When we first explored the hangars, they were a mess – broken glass everywhere, junk on the floors, cabinets full of airplane parts – Quel Chantier!
We invited some City “dignitaries” to KYC to discuss what UBC would require at Jericho, and then took them down to the KYC dock, packed them into our rubber duck and drove them to the Jericho site. We even put a few boards in the water on the beach so the visitors wouldn’t get their feet wet.
But alas, it was rather drizzly and the water was a bit rough, so unfortunately our distinguished guests arrived with wet shoes. There was also a lady in high heels. But they were good sports! Fortunately, when all was said and done, we were given permission to move into one of the hangars, the one near the top of the picture, at the far west end of the property, where we had a ramp to launch and recover the boats.
(note from Jean-Baptiste: that building - the smallest on the picture - is the only one left now, and is the main facility at the Jericho Sailing Centre - more JSC history can be found here)
The former RCAF base looked in the mid-70’s when we moved in (stock photo)
This base was used during World War II to service amphibious patrol bombers, and until the mid-1970’s, they were just an eyesore. The land access to the hangars was from 4th Avenue, then north on NW Marine, then along Discovery St. to the hangars. Where Discovery St. enters the compound, there was a guard shack and a guard with an attitude, and his big German Shephard named Blackie. But we were very nice and polite to him, chatted with him, and he got to like us, so, if you said you’re with the UBC Sailing Club he’d smile and wave you through. Otherwise, he’d say “Sick-em Blackie”.
One of the FJ’s we were working on at the side of one of the hangars
The photo above clearly shows one of the hangars at the lower right of the picture, gleaming in the sunshine.
When I graduated in the spring of 1975, I had to leave the UBC Sailing Club, so I joined the Kitsilano Yacht Club and bought a Fireball in partnership with another young sailor, whose girlfriend was a UBC undergrad and sailing club member. So I still hung around the UBC sailing club, and watched them leave the KYC and move to Jericho. Here are some pictures of not just the UBC Sailing Club boats, but others at the Jericho hangars in the summer of 1976.
Summer of 1976: Sunset at the newly opened Jericho Sailing Center, boats are being stowed for the night.
Sailboats (including the UBC boats) stored at the Jericho Sailing Center hangars, after a massive clean-up. Summer of 1976
One last thing I recall, circa 1974 or 1975 we were in the process of replacing the Flying Juniors with Enterprise class boats. The FJ’s were in pretty rough shape, and the Enterprise seemed more sturdy and comfortable, while still pretty fast and powerful. I seem to recall that the order was placed for a dozen or so, but I didn’t stay long enough to see whether they were ever delivered.
Another thing I recall is that we had a faculty member in the club who had a Tornado catamaran that I think he kept at KYC, and he took out members in it – in fact, I sailed it single-handed a couple of times. Now that’s one powerful machine!
A few years later (1978) when renting a boat to sail around the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. This is a certificate that I received which was technically required for a non-US skipper to take a US registered vessel outside US waters. I got this on St. John Island in the US Virgin Islands, as we were going to the British islands. The customs office was at a little old lady's house with chickens and dogs near the dock. We all got a kick out of it. It's a nice souvenir
I hope you enjoyed my recollections – it certainly brought back fond memories. It’s hard to believe it was almost a half century ago!
If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me...
(note: kindly ask by email if you would like to get Peter's email or phone number)
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