The Beacon

Volume 28 Number 11 December, 1998

The Official Newsletter of the Saanich Peninsula Squadron


Commander Cdr Helen Louwerse 655-3532
Past Commander P/Cdr Glenn Gallins 656-4904
Executive Officer Lt/Cdr Ken Reeves 655-3602  
Training Officer Lt/Cdr Greg Nutt 656-5684
Assistant Training Officer 1st Lt Arthur Scott 656-7010
Training Aids Officer P/Cdr Cliff Cunningham 656-7120
Treasurer 1st Lt Bill Morrow 656-7826
Secretary 1st Lt Paulette Nutt 656-5864
Membership Officer 1st Lt Diana McBratney 656-4590
Supply Officer 1st Lt Gay Miller 656-5190
Editor, Beacon 1st Lt Carol Sidwell 656-4590
Publisher, Beacon 1st Lt Agnes Simpson 652-1291
Communications Officer P/Cdr Stephen Denroche 656-6177
Marep Officer P/R/C Ray Berry 656-2790
Computer Officer 1st Lt Colin Gallins 656-4904
P.R. & Entertainment Officer 1st Lt Cliff Kachaluba 652-2359
Social Cruise Captain P/Cdr BobParkinson 727-8417
Student Cruise Captain 1st Lt Martin Pepper pgr388-1727
Port Captain 1st Lt Gordon McAninch 656-9587
Environment Officer 1st Lt Leslie Head 655-4656
Archivist P/Cdr Giles Perodeau 656-4525
Auditor ***** Brenna Litwack 656-0084
********************** ****** ************** **********

Meetings of the Bridge for November and January 1999 will be held on the Third Wednesday of those months at 1930 in the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club. All members welcome. Articles for publication in The Beacon are due by those dates.

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Commanders Comments

I was pleased to represent our Squadron at the National AGM in Toronto recently. The Commander's meeting (75+ attending) was informative but very low key. It appears that across Canada, all the commanders expressed the same concerns: recruiting instructors and other volunteers being the main topic. The membership fees have been increased by $2 - no surprise there. I was very pleased to receive the award for MAREP reporting for the third time in four years. Our Squadron members should be very proud of this record.

Our Squadron held another successful Student Cruise to Otter Bay with 24 Saanich Peninsula students and 15 students from the Kelowna squadron taking part. As usual, this cruise would not have been possible without the skippers and proctors who donated their boats and time. Thank you.

The Kelowna Squadron wants to host a group from our Squadron in early June. Wine tasting and a cruise on Okanagan Lake is on the agenda. Sounds like fun and I hope many will be interested in attending.

I also attended a training meeting in Nanaimo on November 8th along with Greg Nutt, Lesley Head, Ken Clarke and Marg Griffin. Brian Burch, CEO of CPS and the National Training Officer were present. The meeting was to up date all Vancouver Island squadrons in regards to what is happening in the training department. Greg Nutt's report will elaborate on Boat Pro and other topics discussed.

The annual Christmas party will be held at Glen Meadows Golf Club on December 18th. See more details in the list of coming events. Please plan to attend. I look forward to seeing many of you there.

At this time, Hank and I want to wish you all a very merry Christmas, a healthy and happy new year, fair winds in your sails and dry bilges.

Helen Louwerse, Commander

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Dec. 1 Boating Course final exam

Dec. 8-10 Restricted Radio Operator Certificate Course and exam.

Dec. 18 Annual Squadron Christmas Party at Glen Meadows Golf Club on McTavish Road. Cocktails at 1800 hrs and dinner to follow at 1900 hrs. The menu will be roast beef with all the trimmings. The cost of the tickets will be $11 per person. Please call Cliff Kachaluba NOW at 652-2359 for reservations.

Dec. 31-Jan.1 Otter Bay, North Pender Island. New Year's Eve Bash! Register now for this most popular annual cruise of the season. Over half the spaces are already spoken for so don't wait 'til the last minute to reserve; call Bob as soon as possible and if he's out, leave your name and number. 727-8417.


Jan. 5 - Apr. 6 Spring Boating Course

January Marine Maintenance Course may be offered if we get the new books and there are enough applicants. Call Greg, 656-5684.

Jan. 7 - Feb. 4 Piloting Course concluding classes and final review.

Jan. 20 Bridge meeting at Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club. 1930 hrs.

All members are welcome to attend. NB this is a WEDNESDAY.

Jan. 18 Fall Boating Course Graduation at Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club.

Feb. 28 Spring Student Cruise. Phone Martin Pepper, pager 388-1727 if you

want to proctor, to volunteer the use of your boat or to do a demonstration for the spring students.

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Welcome to new members Jack and Linda Parry. Jack is currently assisting with proctoring on the Boating Course and Linda is retaking the course as an update.

Congratulations to Supply Officer Gay Miller and husband Bill Miller who were invited to attend a Potlatch in the Queen Charlotte Islands in October.

Our thanks to our Computer Officer, Colin Gallins, who continues to post the Beacon to the Squadron website each month. If you haven't looked yet, go to

Welcome home to our Commander, Helen Louwerse, who was in Toronto at the beginning of November for the Annual General Meeting of the CPS.

New Membership Benefit

CPS has a new partner -- CHOICE HOTELS -- which includes Sleep Inn, Comfort Inn and Clarion Inn. Here's what to do if you want a reservation:

1. Call 1-800-424-6423 (if you are already in the lobby of a local hotel, go to the phone and call as you will not get the rate unless it is booked through this number)

2. Give the central agent our client number which is: C00088301.

3. The central agent will then give you the mid-corporate rate for the room and make the reservation. BUT BE SURE TO ASK if there are any other special rates currently available -- eg. weekend specials, senior's discounts -- that may be to your advantage.

Choice Hotels has indicated they will increase our discount to the VIP rate --if we use more than 2,000 night reservations!

1st Lt Diana McBratney, SPS Membership Officer

Inspect fuel tanks annually. Pay particular attention to bottom

surfaces which may have been in contact with bilge water.

Page 5 -


A much awaited clarification on BoatPro and mandatory operator proficiency licensing highlighted the regional training meeting held at the Nanaimo Yacht Club on

November 7th. Brian Burch (NCEO) and Dave Durward (NTO) were on hand from National to give us the low down.

April 1st, 1999 is still the target date that will affect boaters up to the age of 16 years. The wording is a little ambiguous here and we are still awaiting word as to whether 16 year olds are exempt or included in the April fools time frame. We who are over the age of 16 (or 15?) but under 55 on April 1st, 1999 will have until the year 2009 to become certified unless you operate a craft under 4 meters, in which case it is 2002. Over 55? No need for certification, you are grand parented in.

For us, CPS members, our certificates will be sent to us when we renew our memberships next year. That's right, our good old Basic Boating course will be accepted as long as it was started before April 1999. Look for the new two-part course in the new year. The two-part Basic Boating will consist of the Coast Guard approved portion, on which a pass mark of 75% will get you the Operators Proficiency Certificate, but will only qualify for associate membership in CPS. The second part must be taken and a pass mark of 80% achieved to qualify for full membership.

Over the last months there has been much debate over whether to open our advanced and elective courses to the general public. Word from the top is that Basic Boating and BoatPro are open to the public. After passing BoatPro, all elective courses are available but you still must take Basic Boating before moving on to advanced courses.

Speaking of advanced courses, JN and N are about to disappear. They will re-emerge as one new course called Celestial Navigation. If you are in the middle of JN or N, don't worry, the course will be supported until everyone in the system has completed it.

As you can see there are a lot of changes, with more refinements to come. Keep ya posted.

Lt/Cdr Greg Nutt, Training Officer

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The following report of a meeting of District Environmental Officers on 14 October, 1998 was brought to the October meeting of our Bridge :

This meeting concerned the Marine Protected Area Discussion Paper, "A Strategy for Canada's Pacific Coast" which is a Joint Initiative of the Government of Canada and British Columbia. The VISD has been asked to submit their thoughts and opinions on the proposed "no dump zones" under the provisions of the federal "Pleasure Craft Sewage Pollution Prevention Regulations" under the Canada Shipping Act.

Marine Protected Areas could include, coastal inlets, bays or channels, boat havens and favorite anchorages, marine-oriented wilderness areas, cultural heritage features, critical spawning locations, estuaries, foraging areas for seabird colonies, feeding and nursery grounds for whales, hydrothermal seavents, and a host of other special marine environments and features.

The Strategy would be defined by law, protect all or a portion of the elements within a particular marine environment and ensure minimum protection standards such as prohibition of ocean dumping, dredging and exploration for or development of non-renewable resources.

This affects CPS as a group as the legislation prevents the release of raw sewage from pleasure boats in designated bodies of water. Pleasure crafts operating in these marine protected areas must be equipped with adequate holding tanks. CCG, RCMP and Conservation Officers would be authorized to enforce this regulation.

At this time there are approximately 58 areas designated to be marine protected areas and the Ministry of Environment is inviting the public as well as marine related organizations to submit names of other sensitive water bodies to be considered for protection under this legislation. The Ministry has also invited feedback on this plan.

(concluded on page 7)

Page 7 -

Environment Protection (continued from page 6 )

Our meeting of the 14th covered some of these issues. Sara Steil (Pender Island Sqn) has been a long time activist and was able to enlighten us on many of the aspects of the program and how it is being handled. Dan Worth (Sooke Sqn) aired his concern of the pink waters sometime seen in the Sooke basin. Ray Berry (Saanich Peninsula Sqn and District Environmental Officer) felt that we as Squadron officers should inform our members as to the severity of the problem and remind them to leave where ever they go as clean as when they first arrived there. Lesley Head (Saanich Peninsula Sqn) suggested that we only pump out once a distance of about a mile is established from shore. Kirk Stone (Oak Bay Sqn) feels that unemployed fishermen should convert their fishing vessels to floating pump out terminals for areas where land based pump outs may be inappropriate.

At this point there are brochures available from the government that may be handed out to boaters: "Clean Water…It Starts With You" and "Protecting BC's Aquatic Environment: A Boater's Guide".

As a group we unanimously agreed that the squadron classrooms were the perfect forums for the passage of this information. With the upcoming CCG certification a large group of boaters will be forced to attend classes where this pollution prevention information can be given.

At this time Ray Berry is requesting a meeting of our group with Marc Pakenham, Officer of Boating Safety, Canadian Coast Guard who is responsible as environmental officer for supporting the CCG and Fisheries and Oceans initiative in the environmental program. We hope to be brought up to date regarding the number of designated areas and the status of the proposed legislation. We are concerned about insufficient areas being designated, about lack of pump out facilities, about pump out facilities in the northern coastal areas, and about funding and manpower for these facilities.

In the meantime I have a fair amount of paper work that may be borrowed for viewing if any member is interested.

1ST Lt Lesley Head, SPS Environmental Officer

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Seasons Greetings


The Members of the Bridge

Saanich Peninsula Power Squadron


To All Our Squadron Members

and their Families

Happy Christmas


All the Best for the New Year 1999

Helen Lowerse, Commander
Ken Reeves, Executive Officer

Glenn Gallins, Past Commander
Greg Nutt, Training Officer

Arthur Scott, Asst. Trg. Officer
Cliff Cunningham, Trg. Aids
Bill Morrow, Treasurer
Paulette Nutt, Secretary

Diana McBratney, Membership Offr.
Gay Miller, Supply Officer

Carol Sidwell, Editor, Beacon
Agnes Simpson, Publisher,
Stephen Denroche, Communications Offr.
Ray Berry, MAREP Officer

Colin Gallins, Computer Officer
Lesley Head, Environment Officer

Clifford Kachaluba, Public Relations
Bob Parkinson, Social Cruise Capt.
and Entertainment Officer
Martin Pepper, Student Cruise Capt.
Gordon McAninch, Port Captain

Giles Perodeau, Archivist

Page 9 -

An Ode to New Years

by the Martinis (Hank, Helen, Bob & Mo)

Listen people let us tell you this

We want to make a New Years wish

For friends that are present

And friends not here

We want to wish you a Happy New Year

Our boating friends are dear to us

They come from near, they come from far

By GPS and northern star

They missed the rocks, they missed the bar

They checked the weather

Calm and nice

They brought their friends

and they brought the ice

They brought the food

and they brought their booze.

They're paid up members

They paid their dues.

Hank & Helen & Bob & Mo

Make this wish before you go

We hope you have a happy day

To spend this time at Otter Bay.

To be sung off key and to the beat of the "kecha, kesha, oom pa, kecha, kesha ad nauseum.

Did you know . . .

that a car's wheel, inflated, the whole thing - will support eight people in the water?

Page 10 -

GPS Rollover -- August 1999

The Global Positioning System accounts for time by using a number for every week the service is in operation, and accounts for the seconds within each numeric week. It counts weeks using a starting point of midnight (0000) on the evening of January 5, 1980 (UTC), and has increased its count by 1 for each week since then. Both week and seconds are broadcast as part of the GPS message provided by the satellites and are used by receivers in their computations. The GPS week number field in this message can only provide for numbers up to 1024 which means that, at the completion of the week 1023, the week number field will roll over from 1023 back to 0. This will occur at midnight 21-22 August 1999. On 22 August 1999, unless repaired, many GPS receivers will claim that is it 6 January 1980.

It will be the responsibility of the user to account for this changeover, the satellite themselves will simply start broadcasting the new week number. How it will affect your particular GPS unit will depend on what brand and model of receiver you have. Some receivers may merely display inaccurate date information, but others may also calculate incorrect navigational information or might stop providing positions. If the rollover hasn't been taken into account at the time your GPS receiver was designed and built, then the unit might have problems. Some units will require a software upgrade. Mariners are advised to consult with the manufacturers of their receiver's compliance to GPS rollover.

If you are concerned about your particular GPS unit, there was an article in the May 1997 issue of Cruising World listing the various makes of GPS, whether they would be affected, and contact numbers to call for assistance. Your Beacon Editor has an extract from this article and would be happy to provide relevant information to anyone concerned. Call Carol Sidwell at 656-4590.
Knots obviously introduce kinks into a line that can diminish its strength. Some knots introduce tighter kinks than others. Any three-strand line that has been tied with a knot which causes a tight kink can lose up to 30 percent of its strength. This loss of strength can cause a line to part more quickly under strain.

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Nifty Nautical Notes #2

courtesy Steve Grant

Most people with an interest in things nautical are aware that the highest recorded tides in the world are found in the Bay of Fundy between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. A tidal range of 53 ft. has been observed at Burntcoat Head in Minas Basin at the head of the bay. These large tides are due to the fact that the length, width and depth of the Bay of Fundy/Gulf of Maine system has a resonant frequency almost exactly equal to the semi-diurnal or twice daily tides. The large tides are responsible for a number of interesting tidal phenomena such as: (a) tidal bores in a number of rivers that empty into the Bay of Fundy, most notably the Petitcodiac River at Moncton, NB and the Salmon River at Truro, NS, (b) the famous 'Reversing Falls' at Saint John, NB at the entrance to the Saint John River and (c) the world's largest whirl pool, 'The Old Sow', at the southern end of Deer Island, opposite Eastport, ME.

A short distance from the head of the Bay of Fundy, across the Isthmas of Chignecto, is the Northumberland Strait that separates Prince Edward Island (the home of Ann of Green Gables) from the mainland. From a tidal point of view this area is interesting because it is one of the few areas on the Atlantic seaboard where you find nearly 'diurnal' or once-per-day tides. The only other area is the Gulf of Mexico. However, even more interesting is the fact that there is an amphidromic point just off the western end of PEI. Another one is located just north of the Iles de la Madeleine in the middle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Here are a few questions to test your tidal knowledge:

1. What is an amphidromic point?

Bowditch gives the definition of an "amphidromic area" as "An area surrounding a no-tide point from which the radiating cotidal lines progress through all hours of the tidal cycle." An analogy would be to swirl water around the sides of a bowl. The water level in the centre remains a constant height, i.e. an amphidromic point. The water swirling around the side is like a 'tidal wave' - not to be confused with a 'tsunami'.

(concluded on page 12)

Page 12 -

Nifty Nautical Note #2 (concluded from page 12)

2. Where are the second largest tides in the world?

They are thought to occur at Leaf Basin, on the western side of Ungava Bay at the entrance to Hudson Strait. Indeed, they may even rival the Bay of Fundy tides. (Lat. 58 45´ N Long. 69 45´ W)

3. Where are the strongest tidal currents in the world?

They occur in Nakwakto Rapids at the entrance to Seymore and Belize Inlets, British Columbia (Lat. 51 06' N Long. 127 30' W) Maximum ebb stream is about 16 knots, while maximum flood stream is about 13 knots in the opposite direction.

4. There is one place in the world where tidal currents are observed in a lake; where is that place?

It's probably no surprise that the location is in the Great Lakes in the North Channel linking Lake Huron and Georgian Bay north of Manitoulin Island. The narrow part of the channel is adjacent to the town of Little Current. (Lat. 45 59´ N Long. 81 55´ W) The currents run up to 1/2 knot.

DISTRICT DOINGS . . . . Happenings Around VISD - Nov 98

In mid-October, our District Commander, John Bishop, attended the fall meeting of the CPS Governing Board in Toronto. One business item of particular interest was the matter of annual dues, and, related to that, the method of collecting them. The motion to increase dues by $2.00 per year was passed with a very substantial majority -- in the area of 80%. As well, CPS Headquarters will collect the 1999 dues for all Squadrons. This method of collection has already been done with some Squadrons as a pilot project. After 1999, it will be up to individual Squadrons to opt out of this method of collection if they wish. For 1999, though, it will do two things: First, it will be an effective way to issue the Coast Guard PLEASURE CRAFT OPERATORS' CARD to all renewing members free of charge. Second, it may well be a more efficient and effective way to collect the dues. Among other things, I understand that payment by certain credit cards will be accepted, Visa being one. In any event it will be up to each Squadron to decide for itself after 1999.

D/Lt/Cdr Ken Clarke, Executive Officer, Vancouver Island South District

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FALL STUDENT CRUISE. . . 1 November, 1998

Skippers Boats Proctors Students
Mo Robertson Dorian I Bob Parkinson Ian Berry (Kelowna)
Susan Berry (K)
Hugh Chamberlain Clearwater Cliff Cunningham Bill Morey (K)
Kim Morey (K)
Bruce Campbell Limelight VI Barb Sauve Peter Dowd
David Fraser
Bill Miller Charlotte-Time Gay Miller Clark Berry (K)
Marguerite Berry (K)
Agnes Simpson Senga Paulette Nutt
Greg Nutt
Mark Stofer
Carol Stofer
Bob Peacock Gryphon Bob Edwards Ursula Bates
Rick Jakimchuk
Rod Pringle Emerald Sky David Teece Rick McCall
Sandy Irwin
Ray Mitchell Kismet Les Orr Blair Williamson
Margaret Williamson
George Eade Greywing Jim Dawson Tony Ackerman (K)
Sharon Ackerman (K)
Joyce Berry Panache Ray Berry Adam Cowley
Rob Cowley
Lorne Cowley
Barry Levi Showtime Cliff Kachaluba Troy Osttrinski
Bret Swejda
John Colville F8 & Be There Jack Parry Maureen Dawson
Mike Ball
Archie McKay Kayden David Stansfield Greg Winton (K)
Sharon Baert (K)
Kirk Stone Klahani IV Lesley Head Galen Olstead (K)
Denis Murphy (K)
Marie MacRae Tonga Duncan MacRae Chris Sterling
Linda Parry
Doug Goodwin Island Time Ray Scott Gerard Bernhoff
Trevor Ross
Maureen Meadley Mr. Mustoffales Ted Meadley Les Keith
George Duncanson
Also participating: Ken Clarke and Joan Clarke on Legasea, Diana McBratney,
Doug Mitchell, and Martin Pepper on A Fine Madness

Page 14 -

The Fall Student Cruise was held on November 1st, and was a resounding success. Nineteen vessels participated, with eighteen volunteer proctors and thirty-seven keen students, and two guests. All of the students were successful in navigating their respective vessels to Otter Bay, and presumably, as no calls for Search and Rescue were heard, home again. During our stay at Otter Bay students were treated to demonstrations of Fire Fighting, Flares, Docking, Anchoring, and a MAREP Report. As with the Student Navigation, all appeared to be successful as all fires went out, (eventually), flares went off, (well most of them), the boat docked, (without damage), and the anchor set, (but more to the point, was recovered).

Of note regarding this cruise, fifteen of the students were from the Kelowna Squadron. With this participation comes a reciprocal invitation for their Student Cruise, on the Lake. Those that are interested should keep a watch in the Beacon next year for details.

As this was my first Student Cruise as Cruise Captain it was a learning experience for me. One change that I would like to bring about is the involvement of more Squadron members. That is, I would like to see more recent members of the Squadron participate as skippers, proctors, or demonstrators. New blood brings along new ideas and a heightened interest! Furthermore, Squadron members are invited to come along and do the cruise for practice. If you are interested in participating please call me and leave a message indicating what you would like to do, if you have a new idea bring it on, this cruise is a learning experience, and you can teach old seadogs new tricks!

1st Lt Martin Pepper, SPS Student Cruise Captain, Pager - 388-1727

A note of thanks . . .from Kelowna . . .

for all your help and assistance in making us part of your student cruise. Please convey our thanks to the North Saanich Yacht Club for the great dinner, to the instructors and proctors for all their patience and assistance on the cruise and to Hank and the rest of the Squadron who helped make our visit a trip to remember. Everyone had a wonderful time, you have opened our eyes to the wonder and beauty of blue water cruising and we'll be back in the spring for your next cruise. We're looking forward to hosting your Squadron in June, let me know as soon as possible when you are planning to come out and we can arrange wine tours and boating trips.


Sharon Baert, Kelowna Squadron.