The Beacon

Volume 29 Number 9
November 1999

The Official Newsletter of the Saanich Peninsula Squadron


Commander Cdr Ken Reeves 655-3602  
Past Commander P/Cdr Helen Louwerse 544-4358
Executive Officer Lt/Cdr Greg Nutt 656-4212 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 656-4212
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 Weather 1st Lt Bob Richardson 544-1577
Marep Hydrographic P/Cdr Stephen Denroche 656-6177
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 477-3702
Student Cruise Captain 1st Lt Martin Pepper pgr388-1727
Port Captain 1st Lt Hank Louwerse 544-4358
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 (except July and December) at 1930 in the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club. All members are welcome to attend. Please contact the Editor, Diana McBratney, at 656-4590 or if you have any 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 by the 15th of each month. The material in this publication will also be published on the Squadron website at

Page 2

Commander's Comments

A week ago, I dropped in to see how our current Boating course was progressing. The students had been at it for a month, so I thought the time was right for a visit.

My timing was impeccable, about 15 minutes before coffee break! Students were being introduced to the magic and intricacies of basic plotting and bearings by Doug Mitchell who is teaching the course to the class of 22 students. Doug is being assisted by Proctors Sita Pillay, Barbara Bond, John Hudson, Paulette Nutt, and Dave Teece.

The atmosphere in the classroom was one of intense concentration on the part of the students -- with an occasional question asked to clarify a point not clearly understood. Proctors were busy either marking homework or assisting Doug.

The total impression given was of students who were fully committed to getting the most from the course, an excellent instructor in tune with the class, and proctors, supporting the students and instructor, completing the team.

Certainly one of the best classes I have seen for a long time. I feel certain that, come exam time, we will have a class with a 100% pass rate!

Ken Reeves, Commander

"Knot" refers to the knots in a measured line attached to the trip log. Back in the days of Mr. Hornblower they would toss the log (a triangular piece of wood) over the transom, flip an hourglass (or minute glass or some other means of measuring time) and then count the number of knots that fed out with the line as the boat moved. Each knot equaling 1 nautical mile per hour. They would then pull a line which would remove a peg from the log making it easier to pull back aboard (hence trip log). Obviously they would have to take an average of several "readings".

Thanks to John Pennie

Page 3

Meet the Bridge

Meet Barbara Bond. Barbara is new to our Squadron and occupies a new position on our Bridge that will deal with the training of high school students in safe boating to a level where they can qualify for the new Pleasure Craft Operator's Certificate. Barbara completed the Piloting course last year and is proctoring on the Boating course this year. She and her partner operate BondBond's Bakery in Victoria. Barbara's dream is to be able to live aboard and sail off whenever and wherever she feels so inclined.

Meet Jim Dawson. Originally from Winnipeg, Jim has been with CPS since he took the Boating Course with our Squadron in 1992. Now holding his Advanced Piloting qualification, Jim proctored on the Boating course last year and joined the Bridge this year as our new Assistant Training Officer. He sails his 27 ft. sailboat, Yello Mello out of Van Isle Marina and enjoys exploring coastal shorelines in preference to racing. One of these days, he says, the switch will probably be made to power.

Pleasure Craft Operator Card

Hello to all,

I spoke to Jon Churchill, the Head of the Boating Safety Office for the Pacific Region yesterday. He told me that they are tired of the Minister waffling about enforcement of the law and they have begun enforcing the law with fines and tickets. He is also developing a major ad campaign for the Pacific region, for the new law as well as reminding everyone that all those born after April 1, 1983 must be licensed. This means all 17 year olds will have to be licensed in the year 2000. The CCG estimate about 300,000 youths fall into this category and so far only about 10,000 have actually got their card. Goes to show that the CCG are just as worried about lack of public interest as we are.

Regards to all,

Lesley Head

Page 4

Have you visited the

Vancouver Island South District

Web Page yet?

Point your Internet browser to

On the home page you'll be greeted by the cheery smile of our District Commander Ken Clarke ( a member of Saanich Peninsula Squadron and former Commander). This page is intended as a general introduction to CPS for members of the public. Follow the page down to find details of all CPS courses, membership benefits, and general information about Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons.

There's also an online form, which can be filled in by anyone requiring further information on the boating courses being offered by the South Island Squadrons. These requests are processed by the Webmaster and forwarded to the respective training officers by email. An increasing number of course registrations are being received via the web page.

Also on the home page you will find links to individual squadron home pages. At the present time we have links to Brentwood Bay, Juan de Fuca and Saanich Peninsula. Other squadrons will be added as their sites develop.

In addition to the Home Page we have a Members Page, which is only available for viewing by CPS Members. To access this page, bring up the picture of D/C Ken on the home page and move the mouse cursor to the hidden hotspot on his nose. Click once and the Members page will open.... a great chance to punch the D/C in the nose on a regular basis!

On the Members page you have access to all kinds of information concerning VISD such as minutes from the District Training meeting, AGM Minutes, District Nominating Committee reports and special notices as well as Marina information, Members Email addresses and schedule of Advanced and Elective courses.

So take a look and let us know what you think. There is always room for improvement and we welcome your suggestions. Please contact me at 656-9921 or by email to I look forward to your comments.

Keep Cruisin'


D/Lt Linda Larsson N, VISD Electronic Communications Officer

Page 5

Mandarte Island

Situated a short distance due east of Sidney Island and north northwest of Halibut Island, Mandarte Island appears white as one approaches. The reason for this becomes apparent the closer one gets. The island is home to thousands of nesting birds. Over 8,000 birds nest on the island. Double-crested Cormorants begin laying eggs in late April followed by Pelagic Cormorants, Glaucous-winged Gulls, and Pigeon Guillemots a month later. By September only a few replacement nests with chicks remain on the island. This island is one of the few places to see Brandt's Cormorants year round. In late spring a few immatures are present on rocky headlands. Gradually numbers build over the summer and by late August at least 1,000 birds are roosting on the island. This population remains in the area throughout the winter. Mandarte Island is the largest seabird colony in the Strait of Georgia and the only site in the province where Rhinoceros Auklets and Tufted Puffins breed in protected waters.

Mandarte Island belongs to the East Saanich Indian Band and permission to visit the reserve must be obtained before landing. Scientists have been studying birds on the island since the mid-1950's and have seen nearly 130 species.

The Northwestern Crow is a major predator and scavenger on coastal seabird colonies. On Mandarte Island, for example, it is a major predator upon the eggs of cormorants, the Glaucous-winged Gull and the Pigeon Guillemot. There it consumes 22% of all eggs laid in the first clutches of Double-crested and Pelagic cormorants (Verbeek 1982), and also preys on the newly hatched young of the cormorants (Butler et al. 1985). The disturbance caused by people landing among the cormorant nesting colonies results in the parent birds leaving the nests unprotected. The nests are then raided by the crows. Thus the number of fledglings produced by a colony is strongly influenced by the frequency of human disturbance at the colonies. Even a single landing party a week can result in many cormorant nests failing to produce fledglings. On islands with burrow-nesting seabirds, crows not only scavenge food droppings but also prey on the nestlings as they emerge from their burrows (Butler et al. 1985).

Excerpts from various sources including Waterbirds of the Strait of Georgia by Eileen C. Campbell, R. Wayne Campbell, and Ronald T. McLaughlin.

Page 6

Coming Events


Nov. 2 Student cruise instructions -- introductions and

orientation. 1700 in Parklands School Auditorium.

All skippers, proctors and other helpers are encouraged to attend in preparation for the Sunday cruise. Chart 3441 will be given to proctors in order to prepare the course.

ANY Squadron member who would like to attend -- as spectator or to take a refresher or for whatever reason -- you are welcome to come along. Call Martin Pepper at 381-1727 to arrange "a ride." This is a highlight of the program for our students and we look forward to this opportunity to team up veteran squadron members with new students for a day of navigation skills and other demonstrations, including, this year, assistance from our local Coast Guard Auxiliary.


Nov. 7 Student Cruise to Otter Bay.

Nov. 18 Bridge meeting at Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club, 1930. All members are welcome to attend. Last meeting of the year. Next meeting will be January 20, 2000. Informal discussion in the Club afterward.

Nov. 30 Boating course final exam.

Dec. 7 & 9 Restricted Radio Operator Certificate course and exam.

This one night course and exam on the following Thursday is open to all members of the Squadron, not just current students. If you are interested contact Ray Scott at 656-4828 or AT LEAST BY 30 Nov.


Christmas is coming! Think about attending the Squadron Annual Christmas Party which will be held on Friday the 10th of December at the Glen Meadows Country Club. For information -- tickets -- or to offer your assistance in setting it all up (!!!) call Cliff Katchaluba our PR and Entertainment Officer at 652-2359.

And for Christmas gifts (maybe for yourself even!) -- something with the CPS logo on it -- consider a purchase from stores -- shirts, flags, etc. Contact Chris Sterling, our Supply Officer at 656-7927.

And then there is the New Year's Eve Party at Otter Bay. For information or reservations call Barry Levi our Social Cruise Captain at 477-3702.

Page 7

Cruise Report --

Maple Bay -- 16 October

This was our windup cruise for the season, and was just great. We had a good turnout, and the weather was superb! A couple of boats arrived on Friday night, and stayed at the Maple Bay Yacht Club to partake of their special Friday night dinner. It is reported the cook has changed, but the dinner continues to be excellent as before.

Most of the boats arrived on Saturday morning to mirror calm seas, and a cloudless warm (hot) day. We spent most of the day socializing on each other's boats, catching up on everyone's news and cruising stories. Most of the people attending this cruise were "regulars" who we see on the cruises frequently. For the information of new members of those we don't see too often, they are a great bunch, ready to share a story, assist with a technical problem, or best of all share a good laugh with everyone. There were several guests along for this trip, and they were treated like "old salts" and immediately fit right in with everyone. Next year, you might want to consider coming out to some of these events. I'm sure you will enjoy the company and the experience.

We had 23 people for dinner at the Shipyard Restaurant ranging in age from 12 to 70+. Jackie Levi and Karen Jensen (Showtime) took it upon themselves to work with the pub staff to ensure we all sat together, and by bringing the menu to the boats and pre-ordering, got our meals at the same time. They provided two adjacent tables upstairs. Very cozy, and away from the "bar" atmosphere of the pub. The food was great, and again the staff did everything in their power to make our stay enjoyable.

I would like to thank Bob Parkinson's grandson Evan, who was kind enough to take a couple of the women cruising around Birdseye Cove in his dinghy, and also sell 50/50 draw tickets for us. The draw was eventually won by Pat Fisher (Lorelei).

This was a super way to wind up the social cruising season. I'm sure all the participants would agree to do this again next year.

My special thanks to the following: Eric & Pat Fisher & guest Mary (Lorelei), Bob Parkinson & Mo Robertson & Evan (Dorian I), John & Madeleine Bentley (Lady M), Clive & Georgina Farmer (Silver Bar II), Ab & Wendy Yates (Wenaby), Bill & Joyce Morrow (Et Tu), Ray Scott & Amber (Pilgrim), Barry & Jackie Levi & guest Karen (Showtime), Bill & Gay Miller (Charlotte Time), and guest boat Jade Myst with Larry & Wendy Hipfner from Calgary aboard.

Barry Levi, Social Cruise Captain