The Beacon

Saanich Peninsula Squadron

February, 2000


Bridge Officers page 1

Commander's Comments page 2

Coming Events for February; Email….. page 3

30 Years Ago. . .in Feb of 1970 page 3

Meet the Bridge: this month meet page 4

Ken Reeves and Diana McBratney

Member News: incl new members page 4

Training Page w/ Education Section page 5

Contraventions Act and Universal Speed page 6

Speed Restriction; Tips

Saanich Marine Rescue Society; Tips page 7

We Need You ! page 8

New Year's Eve Cruise; Tips Corner page 9

Have We a Hero or Heroine Among Us? page 10

Help -- member needs assistance page 10

Skippers on the Shore: model building page 11

Marine Communications & Traffic Services page 12

The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary page 12

Training Page: Quiz Answers page 13

Classified Ads page 13

P.O. Box 2122, Sidney, BC V8L 3S6

A unit of Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons -- Vancouver Island South District

The Beacon

Volume 30 Number 1
February 2000

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
Youth 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 at 1930 in the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club, except July and December. 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

Well, we're safely into the new century, despite the predictions of the Y2K gurus (who no doubt profited handsomely from the non-event). I would like, on behalf of the Squadron Bridge, to wish all members a happy and prosperous New Year. May the sailors enjoy beam winds and power-boaters fair skies!

The Fall boating course finished with high average exam marks, and its graduates were recognized at a social evening at the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club on 10 January, 2000. We welcomed seven new members pledged into the Squadron by the District Commander, Ken Clarke.

The next evening, 11 January, 2000, the Spring boating course started with 28 students. Doug Mitchell is again the instructor, and with his wide sea-going experience and excellent teaching skills, I think we can look forward to another very successful course. Good luck to all!

This year's AGM is scheduled for 1 May, 2000, again at the SNSYC. The purpose of the AGM is to review the past year's activities and to elect a new Bridge. A number of Bridge members are retiring and P/Cdr Helen Louwerse will be canvassing the Squadron membership for replacements. We need new members with new ideas and enthusiasm to help guide the Squadron in the first year of the new century. We need young people who are prepared to devote a few hours a month to help make Saanich Peninsula Squadron a continuing success. So, new members and others who haven't yet served on the Bridge -- why not volunteer? You'll participate in interesting and challenging projects, meet interesting and friendly dedicated people and have satisfaction and fun serving the Squadron.

Ken Reeves,


Part of having a strong sense of self is to be accountable for one's actions. No matter how much we explore motives or lack of motives, we are what we do.

Janet Geringer Woititz

Page 3

Coming Events Calendar

Feb. 18-20 Victoria Boat Show at Cedar Hill Recreation Centre.

Feb. 9-13 Vancouver Boat Show at BC Place Stadium. 604-296-1313.

Feb. 17 Bridge meeting at Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club. 1930 hrs. All members are welcome to attend.

Feb. 29 Student Cruise preparation for Skippers and Proctors at Parklands School Auditorium.

Mar. 5 Spring Student Cruise to Otter Bay. Phone Martin Pepper, 656-8101 or on his pager at 388-1727, if your boat is available, if you want to be a proctor, if you can assist in any way, or if you would just like to come along and join in the exercise. All Squadron members are welcome, not just students. It will be instructive and fun!


We now have more than 100 members of the Squadron with email addresses. For these members: if you are interested in joining the CPS mail list, follow this procedure: Send an email (excluding the quotes); leave the subject line blank. Do not use quotes anywhere. In the body of your email, type "subscribe cpsmail" and on the next line type "end". Your own name and address should be entered under "From" in your email -- this is usually inserted by your mail program. You will get lots of email! Much of it you will want to delete right away, but there is also some good discussion and interesting enquiries and answers. If at any time you want to stop the flow of email, simply repeat the above procedure substituting the word "unsubscribe".

30 Years Ago . . . in February of 1970:

SPS Piloting class students to the number of 28 took advantage of the opportunity to see how British Columbia ferries are operated on Sunday, February 1st. Under the able supervision of Executive Officer L/C Clifford Clive, they visited the bridge and engine rooms. Appreciation was expressed to Captain Jones, the skipper, for his interest and co-operation.

Page 4

Meet the Bridge

Meet Ken Reeves. Now the Commander of our Sqn, Ken has served in various capacities including Executive Officer and Treasurer. Ken is also a seasoned sailor, having sailed in Ontario before coming to Sidney. He and wife Mary can often be found on weekends sailing SeaMoggy in the waters off Sidney. Ken is a dedicated volunteer, working, in addition to his work with the Sqn, with the Red Cross and Emergency Social Services.

Meet Diana McBratney. Now the Editor of the Beacon, Diana served as Membership Officer last year. Diana has been with the Sqn since 1993. She sails her 30 foot C&C, Audacious, and enjoys crewing in races with the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club. In addition to sailing, Diana works with Emergency Planning through the University of Victoria, and enjoys her farm and horses, gardening, reading, music, and pursuing a genealogical interest in her family tree.

Member News

A great big thank you to Agnes Simpson and George Eckenfelder who have donated miscellaneous navigation aids to the Squadron for use in our courses and cruises.

A big welcome home to Doug Goodwin and Muriel Ciencialla who have returned from cruising the world; Doug from Barbados and Muriel from New Zealand.

Congratulations also go out to Bob Caldwell who successfully completed the Piloting Course in December. Bob took the course with Victoria Sqn.

At this time we would also like to extend a warm welcome to the following new members: Kerry Spanier who comes to us from Brentwood; Warren Franklin, from Burlington Sqn; Bob Whistlecroft, Robert and Sunny Johnson; and the following graduates of the Fall Boating Course: Kathleen Scott; Deighton King; Sheldon Kushner, John Fowler; Anne Oxley; Bruce Oxley; and Peter Radford.

Page 5

Training Page


The Fall Boating Course wrapped up in December with sixteen students graduating on the 10th of January. Now we are well into the Spring Course with 28 students. Doug Mitchell continues as instructor with Sita Pillay, Paulette Nutt, Ann Tighe, Les Orr and Morris Thompson as proctors. The Marine Maintenance course, so popular last year, is back again with our master mechanic and Executive Officer, Greg Nutt, as instructor and David Stansfield as proctor, and a full class of 14 students. And the Weather Course got off to a good start on the 19th of January under the tutelage of Bob Richardson, our MAREP Weather Officer, with David Struthers and Cliff Cunningham as proctors, with 8 students.


Collision Regulations: Navigation Lights: Rule 21

A power-driven vessel of less than 50 metres is required to show, from sunset to sunrise, a white masthead light, a red port side sidelight, a green starboard side sidelight and a white sternlight.


1. What are the arcs of visibility of these four lights? ___________________________________________________________________________

2. What are the visible minimum ranges (miles) of these four lights?


3. What is the visible minimum range for an all-round light for a vessel of this length (eg. Anchor light)?


Jot your answers down here and then check the answers on page 13.


Abaft -- towards the stern

Abeam or Off the Beam -- the direction at right angles to the line of the keel

Abaft the Beam -- any direction between the beam and the stern

A cockbill -- the position of an anchor when it hangs by the chain over the bow

Page 6

The Contraventions Act

Last issue we talked about the Contraventions Act. How many of you are aware, however, that although it is a Canadian act, it has as yet not been "signed on" in BC? The way it works now is, if you are apprehended doing something dastardly, you can be issued a summons to appear in court where a fine may be imposed by the judge -- who will, in all likelihood, refer to the Contraventions Act. Authorities believe that BC will "sign on" sometime in 2000. The difference, then, will be that if you are similarly apprehended, you can be given a ticket on the spot that has an associated fine.

This issue we will look at another proposed regulation:

Universal Shoreline Speed Restriction

Certain provinces have adopted a restriction to limit speed to 10 km/h within 30 meters from shore on all waters within their boundaries, except for:

water-skiing, where the vessel follows a trajectory perpendicular to the shore; or

within an area designated by buoys as an area where another speed is permitted; or

in rivers of less than 100 m in width; or

in waters where another speed is prescribed under the Regulations.

This limit is not posted. As of the date of printing, this restriction applies in the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario.

In the interest of public safety, the Canadian Coast Guard Office of Boating Safety (Pacific) is planning to institute the above "Universal Shoreline Speed Restriction" in British Columbia. Anyone wishing to comment or receive further information may do so by writing to:

Canadian Coast Guard

Office of Boating Safety

25 Huron Street

Victoria, BC V8V 4V9


Clean before you clean: Rinse down your boat thoroughly before washing it. Dirt and grit caught under your sponge or cleaning rag can scratch the fiberglass finish or, overtime, dull it. Brittle, dry sponges can leave small pieces behind that cause a light surface abrasion. Throw them away. (Page 15)

Page 7

Saanich Marine

Rescue Society

Several members of the Squadron were present on Saturday the 22nd of January at Tulista Park to take part in the launching of the SMRS's newest vessel. In fact, it was our own Agnes Simpson who christened the vessel, the Sidney Titan. The Champagne bottle actually broke on Agnes' second try! The vessel was backed into the ocean to the sound of horns, whistles and bells, the flashing of lights and the streams from two fire hoses, all from the various Coast Guard craft on hand to witness the launching.

And Agnes was presented with a framed photo of their former vessel, the Jack Simpson, named in honour of Agnes' husband, a former founding member of our Squadron and Chief Commander of CPS.

SMRS is a non-profit society and operates as the primary search and rescue service for the waters surrounding the Saanich Peninsula and adjacent islands. Vessels are crewed entirely by volunteers, 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year.

During 1999 they responded to 78 emergency calls involving 63 vessels in distress, with 128 people and 6 dogs. These calls covered an area from Active Pass in the North to Cattle Point, on San Juan Island, to the South and from as far as Maple Bay in the West to Orca Island to the East.

The Rescue Society is only able to provide this service through the generous support of organizatons (such as our Squadron) and members of the public. The Society would like to thank all their supporters, and looks forward to continuing support in 2000.

If anyone would like further information about the Sidney Marine Rescue Society, please contact Gary Blake at 655-3025.


The 5-Cent Wax Test: Want to know if your boat wax is still working? Hose down your boat, and if the resulting water spots are bigger than a nickel, your wax is no longer working properly. (Page 8)

Screws: Rub candle wax on screws before installation to lubricate them and keep potential fiberglass or teak damage to a minimum. The lubricant will make them go in smoother and helps prevent the fiberglass edges from "spidering" and the teak edges from cracking. (Page 9)

Page 8

We need you!

It's that time of year again. The 1999-2000 Training Year will be drawing to a close in April and it's time to elect a new Bridge. Some current Bridge members will continue over into the next year; others will be stepping down. At the present time we are not sure how many positions will have to be filled. But now is the time for all members to consider volunteering their time and energy to assist in the smooth running of the Squadron.

What About You ?

Do you have the inclination and time to consider taking on one of the many tasks? Perhaps you would like to help, but don't know what you could do. Or maybe you have a definite idea of what position you want, or how you want to help.

Helen Louwerse heads up the committee charged with finding people to fill all Bridge positions.

Please think seriously about it!

The Squadron trains new boaters year after year. Our message of safe boating will continue only as long as we have dedicated volunteers. The more helpers we have, the more we can spread the tasks. Call Helen and discuss with her how you can help the Squadron. 544-4358.

Who would like to be the next Editor of the Beacon? It's a great job for someone who likes a challenge!

PS Happy Valentine's Day!

Page 9

New Year's Eve Cruise

Five Squadron boats met at Otter Bay Marina to see in the New Year along with friends:

"Ethelda" with Greg & Paulette Nutt, and friends Dorothy & Brian

"Onaway" with Dick & Donna Cotton

"Ragtime" with John & Judy Bishop (Juan de Fuca Sqn)

"Bellis" with Mike & Mary Hanna

"Charlotte Time" with Gay & Bill Miller

The super pot luck dinner was set up on "Onaway". We dined on several of the larger boats, and finished with dessert, all together, while visiting, on "Onaway".

At midnight we joined the Cowichan Bay Sqn, which was well represented, up at the "Otter Pit" to welcome in the New Year. A visit also was paid to Chuck, the Marina Manager, at his home above the ramp.

The rain held off until after we were tucked into our cozy beds, and lo and behold, a beautiful blue sky greeted our awakening the next morning. Calm seas and sunny skies! A wonderful start to our year 2000 boating!

Gay Miller


Tips Corner

The items in the Tips Corners this month are all taken from Boating Magazine's Quick & Easy Boat Maintenance -- 1,001 Time-Saving Tips by Sandy Lindsey. Published by McGraw-Hill 1999. The publisher takes no responsibility for the use of any of the materials or methods described in this book, nor for the products thereof.

Rust stains on fiberglass deck: Rust stains that haven't penetrated the gel coat of your fiberglass can often be scrubbed away with a mixture of cola and enough salt to make it gently abrasive. Rinse thoroughly. Cola and salt are the enemy of rust discoloration. (Page 6)

Copper: Sweet pickle juice cleans just about everything copper, from dirty ends on electrical wires to galley cooking pans. (Page 4)

Aluminum: Silver polish makes an excellent aluminum cleaner. (Page 2)

Page 10

Have We a Hero or Heroine Among Us?

Each year a Safe Boating Award is presented by the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons to a member or non-member who has been instrumental in a rescue or has helped another boater in distress.

As you may recall, there was a serious accident in English Bay last summer during the fireworks display. There are many incidents that happen on our waters, year round, where other boaters will offer help, or indeed aid in a rescue. This could happen on the ocean, lakes, or rivers.

If you recall an incident that might qualify, please submit details to me, and they will be sent on to Headquarters for consideration of the Award. It is a reminder to us all that we have an obligation to offer help, if we are not endangering our own lives in doing so. If there has been a newspaper article of the incident, please send a copy along with your submission.

D/Lt Gay Miller 1989 Barrett Drive, Sidney, BC V8L 1A5


A Squadron member is in need of assistance. He has a Garmin GPS 3 and hasn't been able to figure out how it works. Is there any member out there who could talk to him and perhaps get him started?

If so, please contact the Editor and I will put you in touch with him.

Diana ( or 656-4590)

Page 11

Skippers on the Shore

by Ron Armstrong

An article by Ron Armstrong, Victoria Model

Shipbuilding Society. First of five parts.

"Nothing, absolutely nothing, compares to simply messing about in boats" says a character in Lewis Carroll's "The Wind in the Willows." It's a sentiment that finds full-size expression up and down the BC coast, especially in marinas around Victoria. But not everyone can afford the expense, or space, required by even modest pleasure craft.

This is one reason some nautical enthusiasts have taken up the hobby of radio-controlled model ships and boats. Another is Victoria's long history as a commercial port and active naval base providing a rich variety of prototypes. The hobby has attracted marine buffs of all ages and vocations, including serving members of the Navy and retirees from the merchant marine. The Victoria Model Shipbuilding Society has grown to 60 members, making it he largest in Western Canada.

While all types of models can be seen on mantles and on waters around Victoria, most hobbyists in and outside the VMSS favour either power scale replicas or racing sailboats. The former are reproductions of full-size vessels, usually ships. Tugs are a favourite choice on the West Coast, as well as ferries, freighters, destroyers and submarines. Accuracy of detail combined with operating realism is the aim. Racing sailboats, however, are purpose-build for speed and handling, the aim being to win organized races in all conditions of wind and wave. The models resemble full-size sloops but are designed from the keel up for specific class performance.

The appeal is diverse. Some power scale modellers relive seagoing memories by replicating vessels they served in during war and peace. Jack Lenfesty was a freight clerk with Canadian Pacific's Coast Service and his favourite ship was "Princess Kathleen." His four foot model celebrates a slower, more elegant time of steamship travel as she glides gracefully to and fro with toots from her electronic whistle.

Nelson Combe built a three foot model of HMCS North Bay, the corvette he fought in during the Battle of the Atlantic. With her dark camouflage she brings back many memories for RCN veterans.

Others just like the look, the lines, the style of a particular prototype.

To be continued in the next issue. Members who would like more information about the VMSS are invited to phone Ron Armstrong at 391-0101.

Page 12

Marine Communications and

Traffic Services (MCTS)

Late in December Fisheries and Oceans Canada opened the new Victoria Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) centre at the Institute of Ocean Sciences in North Saanich. The move concludes a $7.26 million relocation project dividing Victoria area services (from Race Rocks through the Gulf Islands to Texada Island) from Vancouver Harbour operations.

The new Victoria centre now has new digital radar, new computer imagery and special daylight radar screens. New computer software provides detailed information about each ship movement.

MCTS officers handle traffic, weather broadcasts and emergency calls. These are the voices you will hear first in the event of a marine emergency -- before it is handed over to the rescue co-ordination centre. The busiest year round centre in Canada, the Victoria sector handles 300,000 boat movements and over 900 marine incidents every year.

While only larger vessels such as tugs and barges, ferries, and fishing vessels need to identify themselves, smaller vessels are encouraged to call in to find out about larger vessel movements in their area.

Edited from an article by Susan Down which appeared in the Victoria Times Colonist dated December 20, 1999.

The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary

The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary is a national, non-profit volunteer organization that assists the Coast Guard to prevent loss of life and injury on the water. Many members of the Auxiliary are commercial fishers and recreational boaters. Once they have been trained, Auxiliarists volunteer their time and use their own vessels to help rescue those in distress and assist in safety awareness activities. Auxiliary Units can be recognized by a special pennant displayed on their vessels.

Page 13

Training Page (continued from page 5)

Nav Lights -- Answers:

The arc of a masthead light is through the bows from 22.5 abaft the beam on either side. The arc of a sidelight is from right ahead to 22.5 abaft the beam on one side. The arc of a sternlight is through the stern from 22.5 abaft the beam on either side.

In vessels of 12 metres or more in length but less than 50 metres in length: a masthead light, 5 miles; except that where the length of the vessel is less than 20 metres, 3 miles. A sidelight, 2 miles; a sternlight, 2 miles. In vessels of les than 12 metres in length: a masthead light, 2 miles, a sidelight, 1 mile, a sternlight, 2 miles.

An all-round light, 2 miles.

Questions or comments on the questions should be directed to the Assistant Training Officer, Jim Dawson, at 658-8204.

Classified Ads

For sale: 17' Chestnut river canoe in tip top condition, recently re-canvassed. This is a classic. Lowered seats. Mast, lateen sail and lee boards included. Asking $1,700.00. Call Carol at 656-4590.

For sale: Boston Whaler - 11 ft.c/w bow rail, nav lights, depth sounder, compass, battery, fuel tank, refurbished brightwork, blue canvas cover, 25 hp Mercury Outboard, electric start. Asking $4,200.00.

Also cradle for above whaler c/w boom with electric winch. Same mounts on stern of vessel. $500.00. Phone Jim at 383-9528.

For sale: Achilles Inflatable dingy, soft bottom, 10' (approx.) c/w 4.5 hp Mercury outboard motor, fuel tank. Asking $700.00. Phone Jim at 383-9528.

Portable AM/FM Stereo Dual Cassette Recorder. AC with 12V boat adapter. As new, cost $136. Asking $45. Call Bill or Joyce Morrow at 656-7826 or email