The Beacon

Volume 29 Number 5 June, 1999

The Official Newsletter of the Saanich Peninsula Squadron


Commander Cdr Ken Reeves 655-3602  
Past Commander P/Cdr Helen Louwerse 655-3532
Executive Officer Lt/Cdr Greg Nutt 656-5684 nutz@
Training Officer Lt/Cdr David Stansfield 655-4619  
Assistant Training Officer 1st Lt Jim Dawson 658-8204
Boat Pro Officer 1st Lt Barbara Bond 384-4268
Training Aids Officer 1st Lt David Teece 658-0299
Treasurer 1st Lt Ray Scott 656-4828
Secretary 1st Lt Paulette Nutt 656-5864
Membership Officer 1st Lt Carol Sidwell 656-4590
Supply Officer 1st Lt Chris Sterling 656-7927  
Editor, Beacon 1st Lt Diana McBratney 656-4590
Publisher, Beacon 1st Lt Agnes Simpson 652-1291
Communications Officer 1st Lt Tamara Nutt 889-1506
Marep Officer 1st Lt Bob Richardson 544-1577
Computer Officer 1st Lt Colin Gallins 656-4904
P.R. & Entertainment Officer 1st Lt Cliff Kachaluba 652-2359
Social Cruise Captain 1st Lt Barry Levi 727-8417
Student Cruise Captain 1st Lt Martin Pepper pgr388-1727
Port Captain 1st Lt Hank Louwerse 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 will be held on the third Thursday of each month at 1930 in the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club. All members welcome to attend. Please contact the Editor, Diana McBratney, at 656-4590 or if you have comments on the material contained in this publication. Information, advertisement requests and articles for publication in The Beacon should be in the hands of the Editor as early as possible. The material in this publication is also published on the Squadron website at

Page 2

Commander's Comments

I am honoured to have been accepted as Commander of the Squadron for 1999-2000. Following P/Cdr Helen Louwerse will make the initial month or two easy for me; keeping up the high standards she set will be difficult. Thank you Helen for your leadership with its accompanying sense of humour, which you have given us for the past two years.

I will be supported by a very strong group of dedicated volunteers on the Squadron Bridge, and I look forward, with them, to a challenging and productive year taking us into the new millennium.

Ken Reeves, Commander



I attended the Commander's meeting which turned out to be a huge success as Chief Commander Doreen Hinksman was there and encouraged all Commanders to ask questions. We did and even liked some of the answers!

The Training session was in progress when I was able to join the meeting later. We were advised that the new boating course is not yet ready, but they said it will be by September. Plans to shorten the boating exam are underway.

The AGM held no surprises other than the award to our Squadron an individual members won. We were awarded the George McKimm Trophy for MAREP Hydrographic, and Bob Parkinson was presented with a "keeper". He actually won the award for our Squadron. The Jim Bryce Memorial Award is the District Commander's award for individual efficiency and dedication and Ken Clarke was pleased to accept the trophy. Our Barry du Temple award was presented to Hugh Barclay of the Victoria Squadron. Ken Clarke also won the Harold Wright Memorial Award for producing the most MAREP Weather Reports. He won that award last year as well. You could say that Ken Clarke cleaned up!!

Of course the highlight of the weekend was Ken Clarke being pledged as the new District Commander.

Helen Louwerse, Past Commander

Page 3

Coming Events

Jun. 5 now CRUISE WAS CHANGED TO MAY 29TH. Cruise May 29 to Maple Bay. Because of changes outside our control, it was decided to move the date of the Maple Bay cruise ahead one week to Saturday May 29th. We regret that prior notice could not be provided in the Beacon.

Jun. 12-13 The Kelowna Squadron has invited one and all to join them in a fun weekend. On June 12th they have planned a Poker Run using aids to navigation, and a social evening at the Yacht Club. On Sunday the 13th we have been invited to participate in the Commander's Sailpast. They will also book a wine tour for that afternoon or the following day. Please call Helen Louwerse @ 544-4358 ASAP so she can book accommodations.

Jun. 17 Bridge meeting at Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club, 1930. All members are welcome to attend. Last meeting until August.

Jun. 26 Day cruise to Sidney Spit for Kids Special -- This one is for the kids, and/or grand-kids. Lots of fun and games for everyone, you can even come on the ferry if you don't have a boat available; or grab a ride with another Sqn member. No reservations needed for this one, as you can anchor anywhere, or catch a mooring buoy. And still time to get home for the evening if you don't want to stay. Hot dogs will be supplied, but bring your own drinks or additional eats. Again, please let Barry Levi know if you will attend so we can make sure we have enough hot dogs etc. Hope to see you there!

Jul. 1 Sidney Days Parade. The Squadron is planning to enter a boat (on a trailer towed by a truck) again this year. Anyone with bright ideas for decoration or who would like simply to help decorate or walk in the parade, please contact Cliff Kachaluba at 652-2359.

Jul. 2-4 North Island District Rendezvous at Transfer Beach, Ladysmith.

Hint: Secure all fenders inboard when leaving pier or dock facility. Nothing will make you look more like an inexperienced boater (to put it delicately) than to run your boat across the water with your fenders flopping outboard.

Page 4


The Sidney Floating Boat Show, from our standpoint, was a huge success. This year we made $1600 dollars for our efforts in taking charge of the entrance gate. Particular thanks to our PR & Entertainment Officer, Cliff Kachaluba, who coordinated the gate volunteers, and spent many hours there himself to make sure everything went like clockwork. We were not too happy that we were unable to have booth space, but we made the best use we could of the extra space at the gate to advertise our courses to the public. People are slowly coming to realise that operator certification is coming and are looking for a course that will give them the Pleasure Craft Operator's Certificate.

We would like to thank the following members and friends who volunteered their time to look after the gate for the duration of the Boat Show:

Nevio Corazza James Dawson John Schippers

John Forge Ray & Joyce Berry Mike & Mary Hanna

Jim Forsyth Duncan MacRae Gerry Hutchinson

Cliff Kachaluba Dan Martinusen Tom Harkness

Gay & Bill Miller Lloyd Elling Philip Govan

Barry Hawkswood Greg Nutt Marg Griffin

Gerry Kachaluba Giles & Helen Perodeau Maureen Fowles

Helen & Hank Louwerse Carol Sidwell Len Howland

Jackie & Barry Levy Catherine Miller Diana McBratney

Noni Kemball Ken & Mary Reeves Ken and Joan Clarke

Ruth Jones Vern Fischer


Our Squadron's Annual General Meeting was held on Monday evening, the 3rd of May, 1999 at the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club. After hearing reports from the Bridge Officers, our outgoing District Commander, John Bishop, conducted the swearing in of our new Commander, Ken Reeves, and the new Bridge Officers for the coming year. For those of you who missed the meeting, the listing of the new Bridge is on page 1.

Hint: Yield in narrow channels, where Collision Regulations require smaller, more manoeuvrable vessels to give way to restricted vessels like Ferries. Also remember that ferries require about 500 ft. of clearance when turning near a terminal.

Page 5

Sailpast and Dinner

Under perfect weather conditions new Commander Ken Reeves took the salute from the foredeck of his boat, Sea Moggy, during the annual Sailpast, May 15th,1999. The "fleet" looked a little confused as we milled around just outside Tsehum Harbour, with some going off in different directions, someone not knowing where Graham Rock was, some not answering their radios. There was a great deal of neat radio traffic as well, some of which was missed by me, as my antenna was folded down. But we all had fun, and when the time came, everyone fell neatly in line astern, and the Sailpast went perfectly. Thanks to Stephen Denroche and the phone committee.

Ken & Mary Reeves Hank & Helen Louwerse

Greg Nutt Ray Scott & Amber

Bill & Joyce Morrow Carol Sidwell & Diana McBratney

Bob Parkinson & Mo Robertson Cliff Kachaluba & Catherine Miller

Gerry Hutchinson Bruce Campbell

Stephen & Marjorie Denroche Chris Sterling

Bob & Ruth Jones Heather & Martin Pepper

Barry & Jackie Levi

Following the Sailpast, the crews found their way to the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club. There we had cocktails and lots of good natured conversation, and an excellent buffet meal. All in all a great way to spend a Saturday evening.

Hope to see you at next years event,

Barry Levi, Social Cruise Captain


Bob Parkinson writes: You'll love this one.. a true story: Sunday, the day after the Sailpast and dinner, Mo was aboard Dorian 1 and saw J & M ( Lady M) walking down the dock all dressed to the nines. She inquired as to where they were going all dressed up and they said "It's Sailpast today and we are going, aren't you?" Mo said "It was yesterday" to which J exclaimed "we screwed up!" So they came aboard Dorian 1 and J blamed M and M blamed J for missing the date. What fun!!!!!!

Hint: Do not exceed the maximum capacity as shown on the boat's capacity plate. If there is no such label or plate on your boat, use the formula "number of people = (length of boat) times (width of boat) divided by 15".

Page 6

Vancouver Island South District -- Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons

1999 District Gathering

Otter Bay, Friday - Sunday, August 13 to 15, 1999

Games -- Races for the Kids -- Swimming in the Freshwater Pool -- Golf -- Fishing Derby -- Prizes -- Dinghy Races -- Fun for All!!!!


FRIDAY AFTERNOON: Arrive when you please; play golf if you wish at the nearby 9 hole course, or swim in the pool, or just hang out.

FRIDAY DINNER: On your own. Make full use of the Gazebo (as we have rented it for the weekend) and arrange a pot luck with friends….. whatever.

FRIDAY EVENING 2000: Happy Hour and Social in the Gazebo

SATURDAY 0900: Coffee, tea, Juice, and donuts at the Gazebo

SATURDAY AM: Games, such as: treasure hunt, kids races, rope toss, dinghy races, balloon toss, bag race (?) etc, etc. plus pool lounging.

SATURDAY LUNCH: on your own

SATURDAY AFT: more fun and games -- Holey Board, Horseshoes, Bocce Ball, fishing derby, swimming at the pool.

SATURDAY DINNER: Time will depend on the arrival of ferry travelers. Bring your own eating gear. Steak BBQ and corn at the Gazebo. We supply the steak and corn, coffee and tea; you bring the pot luck fixin's depending on the first letter of your last name: A to M bring salads; N to Z bring desserts.

SATURDAY EVENING 2000: Socialize at the Gazebo. Squadron skits, blindfolded sheet folding, singalongs.

SUNDAY 0900: Breakfast (sausage, pancakes, coffee, tea and juice) served by members of the new District Bridge!! Bring your own eating gear.

SUNDAY 1030: Awarding of prizes (for those leaving on the Ferry on Saturday and who won a prize, it will be awarded before the last Ferry leaves)


For further information call the Lasseys, Sharon or Don, at 250-642-6504 or FAX 250-642-6512 (Sooke -- May be long distance, depending on where you live.

Page 7

Vancouver Island South District -- Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons

2nd Annual

1999 District Gathering

Otter Bay, Friday to Sunday, August 13 to 15, 1999


Member's name and rank ____________________________________________________

Mate's name and rank ______________________________________________________

Street Address _______________________________________ City _________________

Postal Code ______________ Squadron SAANICH PENINSULA Phone _________

Children - names and ages ___________________________________________________


Guest name(s) ______________________________________________________________

Travel Mode: Boat ____ Ferry ____ (10 min. walk; do you need pick up?

You are responsible to book your boat into the Marina. Call Kay and/or Chuck Spence at 1-250-629-3579, or FAX 1-250-629-3589. Tell them you are with the VISD Power Sqn. You may also anchor off free, but there is a daily $5 charge for use of the dinghy dock and all facilities. Limited tent and cabin facilities are also available. Check with Kay or Chuck for details.


Each Adult ____ adult(s) x $15 = $_______

Children age 5-12 ____ children x $7 = $_______

Children under 5 ____ free

Total $_______

NOTE: Because of the need to plan for food, games, and other facilities, only pre-registrations can be accepted. Sorry, but no "walk-ins." Cheques should be made payable to: Vancouver Island South District, Box 762, 7163 Cedar Brook Pl., Sooke, BC V0S 1N0.


Page 8

Member's Experience: Adrift at Sea

by Ken Clarke

What to do when suddenly the engine of your 34 foot trawler dies at sea, and for whatever reason, you are unable to restart? This happened to me early one day last spring, and I ended up with a commercial tow back to my home port . This was the first time I ever had to call for assistance, and the purpose of this article is to tell you what I learned , and to offer a few tips that I later picked up from talking to people in the business of rendering assistance. These were : Ashley James, Owner of Classic Yacht Services - Ashley towed our boat home, and did a great job; Dave Lindley, Unit Leader, Saanich Marine Rescue Society; and Alan Betton, a Marine Surveyor, and owner of Total Boat Marine Surveyors Ltd.


I called the Coast Guard on ch 16 giving them the necessary information. They put a call out for any vessels in the area who could Assist. Being early in April, and early in the morning (0630), I was not surprised that there was no response. Then I heard the commercial tow vessel `Terrier' come back with an offer to tow. I asked the Coast Guard if the Auxiliary Coast Guard could come, but was told this was not possible. I then talked to Terrier, and asked them to come to my assistance; they would be there in about 20 minutes. Done deal. No contract, no price, nor did I ask.


Within a half hour I was under tow. The tow skipper (Ashley James as I later learned) came alongside and handed me a line which I tied to the sampson post, and we were under way. It was a calm day and no sea was running. I was surprised at how fast we were going - a bit over 6 knots by my GPS: I thought we might be going at half that rate. Once we arrived at Canoe Cove, my home port, my 34 foot Trawler was tucked into the boathouse just as neat as could be. Obviously the skipper knew what he was doing! Several days later the bill arrived : it was for $300. for two hours work. A lot of money ? We will discuss that later.


I was lucky. I was towed by a competent skipper for a fair price, even though I had asked no questions beforehand, nor was I asked to sign anything. However, I decided to find out more about the towing business and pass on what I found out.

continued on page 9

Page 9

Along the way, I read an article in '48 NORTH' that highlighted the salvage situation south of us. At night, a Freedom 33 ran aground near Block Island, Connecticut, with no damage to boat or crew. A local towing and salvage company was called, and towed the vessel to the inner harbour and placed her at a mooring. The skipper signed a form that he could not fully read in the dim light. He expected a charge of "about $127. per hour", based on VHF conversations he had heard on other days. There was never any discussion regarding payment. He was billed $12,100!! In court, the amount was reduced to $9,000. All very legal and part of Maritime Law, about which most of us know little or nothing.


*The towing business is not regulated. Marine law applies. If a towing charge is deemed too high, your insurance company may negotiate with the towing company.

*Usually, not always, your costs are insured only if there is an accident, ie: an external force is involved (eg: hit a log and dinging your prop). A tow resulting from a breakdown due to normal wear and tear is often not covered especially if the vessel is not standing into danger. * The Coast Guard Auxiliary will not come to our assistance unless in a life threatening situation, or if none other will come to assist.

* If you have a cell phone you can ask, via ch 16, that the CG patch a call to your buddy. But be sure that buddy has the expertise to prevent a bad situation becoming worse. The same goes for vessels in the area that respond.

* You can talk to the Coast Guard on Ch 26 (simplex) wherein what you say cannot be heard by others. CG may be able to give you some hints.

* Before engaging a tow company, ask the hourly rate. Read carefully any paper that you are asked to sign.

* If you are aground especially on a lee shore, the tower puts his boat at risk to assist you. In that case a higher rate will be charged for the time the towing boat is endangered. On the other hand if the tow skipper is on standby - eg waiting for a tide change, a lesser rate applies.

* Current rates charged by Classic Yacht Services (January, 1999), who towed my boat, - $150,/hr standard - portal to portal; $75./hr standby; $300./hr but only during the time that tow vessel is standing into danger, as when you are on the rocks on a lee shore. If these rates seem high, bear in mind that insurance, other than Liability, is not available to cover extra wear and tear or damages to their vessel because of the nature of their business. As well they must cover the capital cost of equipment that is used maybe 10% of the time but is available 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week.

concluded on page 10

Page 10

Boating Safety Regulations

The Federal Government recently promulgated several amendments to the Small Vessel Regulations, a subsection of the Canada Shipping Act. These amendments make changes to the minimum mandatory safety equipment requirements for pleasure craft and also introduce a recreational boat operator competency requirement with phased-in implementation dates.

Squadron members who are boat owners/operators are urged to obtain and consult closely the new 1999 edition of the SAFE BOATING GUIDE which should be available through local marine chandlers and suppliers. This publication includes the latest minimum mandatory safety equipment requirements for pleasure craft, according to vessel length. New requirements include, for example, a "reboarding device," watertight flashlight, and (for vessels over 39 feet (12 m) a self-igniting lifebuoy light.

Once you have ensured your vessel has been upgraded to meet these minimum safety equipment requirements, it would be a good idea to contact a qualified member of your local Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Unit to come down and do a voluntary "Courtesy Check" of your vessel to confirm it meets the required standards. These Courtesy Checks are free and performed annually and are valid only for the calendar year in which they are done and for which an annual decal is issued for display in a prominent location. Call me, Doug Mitchell at 656-2959, for any further queries on this subject. I am available to inspect and certify pleasure craft under 65 feet in length.

Doug Mitchell

Adrift at Sea (concluded)

* If you are on the rocks and call for help, ensure the tow company has the pumps, collision mats, air bags, even divers available to help.

* I suggest you do whatever investigations you feel necessary, and decide on a potential towing company, then pin their business card to the bulkhead. They say lightning never strikes twice, but I have Ashley James' card (Classic Yacht Services) on our boat just in case...

Page 11


Wynn's Canada Envirosave Awards

Criteria and Guidelines:

The submission must include evidence that a member (or members) of a Squadron has (have) carried out a special project, or has (have) demonstrated an ongoing commitment to enhance or conserve the environment.

The award will not be restricted to matters of a marine nature.

The activity must have taken place prior to Aug. 31, 1999.

The entry must include a description of the activity and supporting documentation such as:

written description


newspaper clippings

letters of recognition

Squadron Environment Officers, or designates, should forward entries to the Chairman of the Environment Sub-Committee at HQ for receipt by 1 September, 1999.

Wynn's Canada Envirosave Awards will be presented at the CPS Annual General Meeting, October 16, 1999 in Niagara Falls. A plaque will be awarded to the overall national winner!

If you are interested, contact Lesley Head at 655-4656.


Warning -- Marina/Home Thefts

Those who park at marinas while off on boating holidays should pay particular attention to this -- police have found a connection between home thefts/breakins and boat owners who are out of town. It seems that thieves note cars parked for some time at marinas. They then break into a car that has been there for a time, check the insurance or registration papers to find out where the owners live, then go to the address and check out the house to see if anyone is there. If not, they break in and take their time about what they want to steal, sometimes even clearing homes right out…. You might want to make sure no address identification is left in your vehicle if you are going to be away for any period of time.