The Beacon

Volume 28 Number 8 October, 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 are held on the third Thursday of each month (except in July and December) at 1930 in the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club. All members welcome. Articles for publication in The Beacon must be received by the Editor by that date.

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Fall is in the air. What a wonderful summer it has been for local cruising. Let's hope the winter predictions of doom are incorrect.

Twenty-six students are enrolled in the basic boating course and piloting begins in October. Instructors and proctors are hard at work. Greg Nutt, our Training Officer, is looking into securing less expensive classrooms for next year. The training department will be offering a one day first aid course to all members within the next few months.

Isn't our Beacon looking good. Interesting how each Editor brings a new look to our newsletter. Great jobs by Carol Sidwell and Diana McBratney. For those of you who put the Beacon together for mailing - Carol, Diana, George Eckenfelder and Agnes Simpson - I am sorry I caused you extra work last month. Merv Britten, please accept my apologies for any inconvenience my error in reporting may have caused you.

Had a great sail past last weekend at Genoa Bay. Thanks Bob and Mo for organizing the event. Bob ran a dingy race using only one paddle and a bucket! Was enjoyed by all - most used the bucket against the opposition. Greg and Paulette Nutt were the proud winners. Pleased to have Dennis Shull and Faye Dovell and children join us for the first time. The next cruise to Ladysmith promises to be just as interesting. Not many more social cruises left so please plan on joining in the fun and games.

Proud to report that our Squadron has filed the most MAREP weather and hydrographic reports in the South District. Ray Berry does such a good job of reminding us of the importance of filing these reports.

I will be attending the National AGM meetings in Toronto October 21 and November 1. Have purchased a seat sale air ticket for only $335. I know the issue of a fee increase will be voted on. At our next Bridge meeting I will be asking members how they wish me to vote. Please call me with your opinion on the membership fee increase.

Regards, Helen Louwerse

"The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody

appreciates how difficult it was."


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Courses underway . . . and planned . . . .

The Fall Boating Course got underway on Tuesday the 9th of September. Registration night had 26 candidates signed up at Parklands School for the twelve week course. The course will be taught by Doug Goodwin, Lesley Head and Ray Scott.

Proctors are Jim Dawson , Duncan MacRae, Gay Miller, Paulette Nutt, Les Orr, Barbara Sauve, Sallie Scott, Dave Stansfield, Dave Teece and Ann Tighe.

Piloting Course . . . set to begin on the 29th of October. Contact Greg Nutt for more information. 656-5684, or 920-6584 before 9:30 p.m.

BoatPro Course . . . Ray Scott and Cliff Kachaluba are working with District Youth Training Officer and Brentwood Sqn Commander, Len Fallan, to bring the course to Peninsula schools. Grades 6 to 12 are being targeted. To date, Parklands is running a course and we hope to encourage more schools, with our full support, to follow suit. Any squadron members who have questions about this program should contact either Cliff at 652-2359 or Ray at 656-4828.

In January we expect to begin another Boating Course and the Marine Maintenance Course, an elective course with a very practical application.

We have someone who is qualified and willing to teach a short first aid course in emergency procedures. Let Greg know if you are interested.

1st Annual VISD Gathering

From the District Executive Officer (our own P/Cdr Ken Clarke)

On Sunday August 16th we held our first annual Gathering at Otter Bay. Some people arrived by boat, others by Ferry. About 1500 hours people started to congregate at the Gazebo - some to chat, others to try their hand at some of the games - bocce ball, holey board, and horseshoes. Many thanks to Bob Parkinson (Saanich Peninsula Sqn) for supplying the games.

Then at 1630 we all gathered in the Gazebo for our potluck picnic, always a fun affair. After an official welcome from District Commander John Bishop, everyone introduced themselves and it became apparent that all eight of our squadrons were represented. Well done?? As well, Ed and Tanya Gurney, our cousins from District 16 USPS came to bring greetings and to wish us well.

Hope you can attend our 2nd Annual Gathering next year, 12-14 August. See the Coming Events column for more details.

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Sep. 8 - Dec. Boating Course

Oct. 10,11 Maple Bay Marina cruise. Games on Saturday afternoon; supper ashore at the pub. This is the last scheduled cruise of the season. Hope to see you there. Contact Bob, 727-8417.

Oct. 15 Bridge meeting at Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club, 1900. All members welcome. Informal chat time in the Club later.

Oct. 21 - Jan. Piloting Course

Nov. 1 Boating course Student Cruise to Otter Bay, North Pender Island. If you are available to help proctor or have a boat that can be used, please contact the Student Cruise Captain, Martin Pepper at 388-1727.

Dec. 8-10 Restricted Radio Operator Certificate Course

Dec. 1 Boating Course final exam

Dec. 31-Jan. 1 Otter Bay, North Pender Island. New Year's Eve Bash! Register now for this annual cruise. 15 spaces have been reserved and since this is the most popular cruise of the year, call Bob as soon as possible to let him know how many will be going. If he's out cruising, leave a message. 721-8417.


Jan. - Apr. Spring Boating Course

Jan. Marine Maintenance Course may be offered if we get the new books and there are enough applicants. Contact Greg Nutt at 656-5684.

May 8, 9 District AGM hosted by Saltspring Island Sqn, probably in Ganges. Plan now to attend.

Aug. 12-14 2nd Annual Vancouver Island South District Gathering at Otter Bay. Plan now to come along and among other things find yourselves served breakfast by members of the Bridge. Swim, golf n'other games, potluck dinners . . .

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Membership News

Welcome . . . to our newest member, Bruce Campbell. Bruce lives aboard his 32 ft. Nordic Tug, Limelight VI, at Van Isle Marina and comes to us from Vancouver Sqn.

Sympathy . . . is extended to members Merv Britten (P/Cdr 1980-81) whose wife Sylvia passed away in August, and Kay Worrall (P/Cdr 1982-83) whose husband Hal passed away in August as well.

Best wishes . . . to Bob Jones, currently in hospital in Ottawa. Bob and Ruth (our former Editor) were on holiday when Bob suddenly developed heart problems.

Did you know . . . that our MAREP Officer, Ray Berry, is also the District Environment Officer? Ray reports that our squadron submitted more than 20 MAREP reports this summer. Good, but could be better! Let's get busy and show Ray what we can do!

CPS Membership . . . VISD led the country with a 10.3% increase in membership last year. The overall National average was 4.2%.

Books . . . Squadron member Ann Tighe (who is a proctor on the Boating Course this fall) and her partner Terence Patten have opened a nautical bookstore in Sidney -Compass Rose Nautical Books - at 9785 Fourth Street (across from the old Post Office building). Their stock includes new and used nautical books and magazines and CHS Charts and Publications as well as video rentals. A discount is offered to Squadron members.

Help . . . we need outdated flares to use on the upcoming Student Cruise, Sunday the 1st of November. We try to give a good demonstration in the firing and safe handling of all types of flares to our new students - but we need more flares. If you have any that could be used, please call Ken Clarke at 656-9251.

Net Sites of Interest

Information about new boater regulations can be found on the Coast Guard website at

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Did you ever wonder about some old expressions . . . (continued from Sept)


By Jim Dawson, JN (Lake St. Louis Sqn)

We left the Morrisons in the last issue of "The Beacon" with a bit of a problem. Their son Bill seemed to have cut his painter, so to speak.

In terms of a ship in harbour, the expression "cut her painter" suggests a surreptitious departure, perhaps in the dead of night. In speaking of a sailor, "cut his painter" had the meaning of "he died". Let's hope this was not Bill's case.

What had actually happened was that Bill and his dad had had a serious discussion bordering on an argument earlier that evening. Bill had something to gripe about, but so did his dad. The exchange had become so heated that Mr. Morrison had told his son to pipe down. "If your mum hears us, there'll be the devil to pay!"

"To gripe" was a common term used to describe the tendency of ship to come up into the wind when sailing close hauled. "Pipe down" was the call made on the boatswain's pipe on a naval vessel for all hands to turn in, for silence on the messdecks, and for lights to be extinguished. The last expression used calls for more explanation. One of the meanings of "to pay" was to pour hot pitch into a deck or side seam after it had been caulked with oakum. The complete expression came to have the meaning of doing

something very difficult or awkward. "The devil" was the name given by caulkers to the garboard seam on a ship's hull next to the keel where the garboard strake or the devil strake was rabbetted. The full version of the expression is "there'll be the devil to pay, and no hot pitch!" this meant, of course, a hopeless situation since the job was clearly impossible.

One of Bill's gripes was that he wanted a bigger room since he did not have enough space for his various hobbies such as his tropical fish, his collections of pins and medals, and his many radio controlled ship's models. As Bill put it, "There's no room in here to swing a cat!" Mr. Morrison agreed, but his point was that if Bill kept his room tiddley clean, there might be more room.

Since there was little headroom in the gun decks of fighting ships, corporal punishment with the cat-o'-nine-tails was impossible below decks. The cat was made of nine lengths of cord each about 18" long and each fitted with three knots. These rope lengths were in turn fastened to a larger rope used as a handle. With "no room to swing a cat" below decks, punishment was inflicted above decks with the victim tied to a grating.

continued on page 7

Page 7

"Debt to the Navy" by Jim Dawson, continued

"Combing the cat" meant freeing each of the nine lengths after each blow of the "cat". Ironically this meant a better chance for the victim to survive the flogging! The practice of using the "cat" was abolished in the British Navy in 1879 but had been gradually dying out before that. The theoretical maximum punishment was twelve strokes, but we are told this was often exceeded. "Tiddley" is the seaman's word for neat or smart, something that must be fussed over. (To be concluded next month)

Polishing Metal (Hints for boaters)

1. To remove water spots from metal, try rubbing it down with a sponge dipped in lemon oil.

2. A lasting shine on stainless steel can be had by rubbing it down with lemon peel and then washing as usual.

3. To remove rust from boat metal, dip a Brillo pad in kerosene or turpentine and rub it off. Wipe it down afterwards with a wadded ball of aluminum foil, shiny side out. Serious rust removal can be had by using a strong solution of Salts of Lemon, obtainable at a drugstore. Soaking for some time may be needed, (try wadded paper towels or disposable rags soaked

in the solution and wrapped on the offending rusted parts) but use rubber gloves on job as the solution is corrosive to the skin. For rust in the dishwasher, put Salts of Lemon in the soap dispenser and run the machine empty on a normal cycle. The rust will vanish like magic.

4. A good brass cleaner can be had by mixing 1 tbsp. of flour, 1 tbsp. of salt, and 1 tbsp. of vinegar. Apply the mixture with a damp rag. To keep the brass looking its best, coat deck brass with a paste wax. Cabin brass can be protected with lemon oil.

5. Another quick brass clean-up can be had by slicing a lemon in half, dipping it in salt, and rubbing the tarnished brass. Wash afterwards with warm soapy water and buff dry with a cleaning rag. Brasso is a good commercial product for the job.

6. Chipping lacquer on coated brass can be removed by first removing the brass object and then soaking it in a mixture of a cup of baking soda in a gallon of boiling water. Then clean and polish as usual and re-lacquer if you wish.

7. Both brass and copper clean up well with a mixture of 1 tbsp. of salt to 1/2 cup of vinegar.

8. Pewter articles needing to be restored can be rubbed down with the outer leaves of a head of cabbage!

Wanted / For Sale . . .

Winter is coming. Dig out all the extra "boaty" items you have but don't need. Think about all the little items you want. Contact your Editor about an ad in the next Beacon. Call Carol at 656-4590.