The Beacon


Volume 31      Number 6      December 2001 & January 2002


The Official Newsletter of the Saanich Peninsula Squadron


A Unit of Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons




Diana McBratney


Training Officer


John Hudson


Assistant Training Officer 1st Lt Sita Pillay 656-5675
ATO - Chief Instructor 1st Lt Doug Mitchell 656-2959
ATO- Chief Proctor Lt Peter Vivian 655-4773
Treasurer 1st Lt Jim Dawson 658-8204  
Secretary 1st Lt  Inez Weberg  656-9564
Membership Officer 1st Lt Cathy Campbell 656-5717
Public Relations Officer 1st Lt Marion Marlor 652-6192
Supply Officer 1st Lt Ron Townshend 655-3365
Student Cruise Captain 1st Lt Martin Russell 652-5543
Communications Officer 1st Lt Jackie Levi 656-3420
Environment Officer 1st Lt George Winn 472-2219
MAREP Officer 1st Lt Kit Raetsen 544-2026
Port Captain 1st Lt Gay Miller 656-5190
Webmaster Lt Peter Payerl 652-1682
Social Cruise Captain P/Cdr Bob Parkinson
Archivist P/Cdr Stephen Denroche 656-6177
Past Commander P/Cdr Ken Reeves 655-3602    
Auditor ***** Brenna Litwack 656-0084

Meetings of the Squadron Executive Committee (the Bridge) are normally held on the third THURSDAY of each month at 1930 in the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club, except in July and December.  All members of the Squadron are welcome to attend — indeed we encourage members to turn out to see those you have elected working for your Squadron.

 The Beacon is currently undergoing examination as to its continuation as our official newsletter.  In this regard we are asking you to let the Commander know if you want this publication to continue in some kind of written format or whether you feel it could be discontinued in favour of published information on the Squadron web page.  See page 6 for the specific request we are making of you at this time.


Commander’s Comments

 2001 has been a busy time for your Squadron Bridge officers.  As you all know, Greg Nutt found it necessary to resign his position as Commander in September and the Bridge asked me to assume that role in his place.  Having served as Executive Officer for only four months, I found myself catapulting up an extremely steep learning curve — or as we used to say, up to my eyeballs!

 At the end of September I attended the Vancouver Island South District Council meeting, and in mid-October I attended the Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons’ Conference and Annual General Meeting in Kelowna.  And I can tell you it wasn’t a case of just go to the meetings and sit and listen!  The reading material alone for all these meetings is something else again.  And, of course, we, as a Squadron, have problems and concerns that we wanted to be heard — and heard they were.  Now to see what comes of it all.

 This Beacon is coming to you as a result of a collaboration by a few members who felt that we really had to get busy and do something in spite of the fact that we still do not have a full-time Editor.  We have a volunteer who would like to do the job, but feels he will need a little more time to learn.  In the meantime we will attempt to get issues on an “as we get enough info” basis.  So, if anyone has anything they would like to see published (timely articles, notices, classified ads, recipes, etc) please pass them along to me and I will see that they get into the right hands.

 Right now we are preparing for our Annual Christmas Dinner that will be held on Friday the 7th of December.  Please see the write-up on page 5.  This should be a good dinner.  I hope many of you will be able to attend.

 You will note also that we will be holding a Graduation ceremony on Monday the 14th of January.  Please turn out to welcome those who become new members, and to have time to socialize with other Squadron members.  See page 6 for details.

On behalf of the Bridge officers I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy and joyous Christmas and a new year filled with the realization of all your boating dreams.

Diana McBratney


page 3

Calendar of Events 

 Dec. 1             Lighted Boat Parade in Sidney

 Dec. 4             Boating Course exam and course ends.  Meet later in the Blue Peter.

 Dec. 7             Annual Squadron Christmas Dinner.  See details on page 5.

 Dec. 11           VHF Radio Qualification course – one night.  Prior registration with the Squadron Training Officer, John Hudson is required. 


Jan. 9              Piloting course begins.  First week only, before 1845 for registration etc, 1900 subsequent weeks.  Will be held at SNSYC.   Twelve weeks, ends Mar. 27.  Prior registration with the Squadron Training Officer, John Hudson  is required along with a  $40.00 deposit.  Instructor:  Cliff Cunningham. 


Jan. 13            Roster meeting with District Committee, for Commanders, Membership Officers and Public Relations Officers


Jan. 14            Graduation ceremony for Fall Boating Course candidates, at SNSYC, 1900 Social half hour, Graduation at 1930.  Refreshments will be served.  Come out and welcome new members along with D/C Peter Jennings.


Jan. 17            Bridge meeting, 1930 at SNSYC.  Everyone welcome.


Jan. 20           District Council Meeting.  Commander and Squadron Training Officer will  attend.


 To prevent corrosion on infrequently used tools you carry on board for emergencies, coat them with a thin layer of oil and wrap them in plastic wrap.  Placing carpenter’s chalk in a toolbox helps absorb moisture and also prevents corrosion.

 Another effective anticorrosion technique for tools is to store them in a wooden box with camphor and sawdust.

page 4

Membership News

 We would like to extend a hearty welcome to new members who have recently joined us:


Ted VERMEULEN regular member who has rejoined 

Roy REYNOLDS regular member originally from Seymour Squadron

Neil ALIPERTI   associate regular member

Bill RAY regular member transferred from Saltspring Squadron

Ross BRUCE regular member – boating taken at Oak Bay spring of 2000

Dick KAMIKAWAJI regular member

Roger ROGERS regular member transferred from Vancouver Squadron

Susan ARCHIBALD regular member

David OAKLEY regular member

Susan Archibald and David Oakley have joined our squadron to enable them to take the piloting course. Good luck!


As of October 31, 2001 our membership is as follows:


Regular members    216
Family members 60
 Life members     5
 Associate – regular      4
Associate – junior      2
 Lady associates   12
Dual members     2
All-inclusive total   301


Cathy Campbell

Membership Officer  or 656-5717

page 5

Annual Christmas Dinner

This year the dinner will be just that — dinner, with QUIET background music, and time to chat with other members — no dance this time as we have found that most people want to get home fairly early.  Please note also that this year it will be on a Friday night — as this was also expressed as a preference by members.  We will have a chicken cordon bleu dinner with all the usual trimmings, accompanied by a cold salmon platter.  We’ll consider this year a bit of an experiment and ask for feedback later.  As usual, much of the cost of the dinner will be subsidized by the Squadron from the funds received for the work so many volunteers did for the Sidney Floating Boat Show in April. 

To reserve your place at the dinner, call Gay Miller NOW and let her know how many tickets you want.  Because of the catering, we must know early exactly how many servings to order.  And please remember, if anything happens so that you can’t attend, let Gay know as soon as possible.

Date:  Friday, 7 December, 2001           

Dress:  Informal

Time:  1800 No host bar social hour                                                                           

Dinner: 1900 

Place:  Glen Meadows Country Club (McTavish Road) 

Cost: $15.00 each (remainder will be subsidized by the Squadron)                               

Reservations:  call Gay at 656-5190 before Monday, Dec 3rd at the latest                                             


 Classified Ads


Need some help swinging your compass?  Have some “boaty” stuff you want to sell?  Need something to add to your already burgeoning kit of supplies?  Take advantage of our free classified ads.  Squadron members may submit personal advertisements for publication in The Beacon and/or on our website in the following categories:  (1) boats for sale or wanted; (2) marine related items for sale or wanted; (3) assistance required (marine related only).  (It is not our intention to advertise for commercial purposes, for members’ businesses, or for member’s friends and relations.  There will be no charge for these advertisements.  Editors reserve the right to limit the number of ads per person and the length of time they may remain listed.  Photos cannot be accepted for The Beacon, but can for the website.)

 If you want to place an advertisement in the next issue, send the details to Ralph Hodd, ; or for the web, to Diana, Full details of our guidelines for the publishing of advertisements will be provided on request.

page 6 

Graduation 14 January, 2002

Graduates of the Fall Boating Class and the Weather Class will be honoured at our semi-annual Graduation ceremony at the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club on Monday the 14th of January.  We would be pleased to have as many squadron members as possible turn out to congratulate these candidates and to welcome to the squadron those of the Boating Class who decide to join our Squadron.

 The evening will begin with a no-host happy half-hour at 1900.  The program will begin at 1930.  Refreshments will be provided.

Future of The Beacon

  It is time to take a fresh look at our method of communicating with the Squadron membership.  Since our formation in 1969, The Beacon has, in various formats over the years, been the “official” newsletter of the Squadron.  Now, 32 years later, we have many different modes of communication.  Already our communications people find that the majority of our members want notification of events, etc. by email rather than by phone.  But there are still some who ask for telephone communication.  Publishing The Beacon is a big job, a time-consuming job, and it is difficult to find someone who has the expertise and the time to take it on.  It is also costly in terms of paper, ink, photocopying services and postage.  For these reasons we are wondering if it might be time to change over to a dual means of communication: web page for those with internet access, but still maintaining The Beacon for those  who do not have this “modern convenience.”  Please take time to consider the following.

 If we were able to publish The Beacon on our web page, complete with graphics and at the same time as it is mailed out to other members, would those of you who have internet access be satisfied with that as a method of communication - along with the usual email reminder of upcoming events and special requests?

 Please let us know what you think.  Contact me and give me your answer.  I will publish the results of this survey in the next Beacon (probably at the end of January).

Diana McBratney,

page 7

Training Page

 Following up on expressions of interest from the two local Boat Shows, our class initially appeared grossly over subscribed.

It is fortunate that we decided to collect course registration deposits a month before classes started as only about a third of these people finally translated into registrants. This was better than other squadrons achieved. District is now reconsidering whether to continue the promotional raffle of a free Boating Class seat from Boat Show expressions of interest (the last winner did not even ask to take his free Boating Course with our squadron).

Our Fall Boating class started with 30 students and two instructors, Doug Mitchell and Ted Meadley. Registration for the Fundamentals of Weather course instructed by Bob Richardson exceeded all expectations with 13 students. Exams for these two classes are December 4 and November 7, 2001 respectively with Graduation on Monday, January 14, 2002.

A Marine VHF course and exam will be held Tuesday, December 11, 2001.

Winter courses are:

Boating Course: Tuesday January 8 to April 9, 2002 at Parkland School with instructors Doug Mitchell and Ted Meadley. Cost is $165, currently there are 23 pre-registered out of 30 seats available.

Piloting Course: Wednesday January 9 to March 27, 2002 at SNSYC with instructor Cliff Cunningham. (Pre-requisite for course, Boating Course and member of CPS) Cost is $90, currently 9 are pre-registered with a maximum of 15 seats.

Marine Maintenance Course: Monday January 7 to March 11, 2002 at Parkland School with instructor Greg Nutt. Cost is $90, currently 14 pre-registered with a maximum of 15 seats.

Marine VHF Course and Exam: Tuesday April 16, 2002 at Parkland School. Cost $10 to Boating Course students and CPS members, $25 to others.

Those interested in taking any of these courses are asked to pre-register a place by contacting the STO. A $50 deposit will requested for the Boating Course and $40 deposit for the Piloting and Marine Maintenance Courses.

 John C. Hudson
Squadron Training Officer or 655-3653

page 8

Wishing You and Yours All Best Wishes

For a

Very Merry Christmas

And a

Happy New Year


The Commander and Officers

Of the Bridge  

Of the

Saanich Peninsula Squadron  


page 9


 It is a sad fact of life that in almost every marine “incident” reported in our coastal waters, there are one or more elements of that incident which were entirely preventable. The steel hulled fishing vessel lost north of Cape Scott at the end of October did not have sufficient immersion suits for the crew. And, the vessel foundered in heavy seas because of a steering gear failure – a mechanical problem which had plagued the vessel earlier in the year, and which obviously still existed. Both deficiencies were correctable and, had they been corrected, could have prevented the fatal incident or at least made the outcome significantly more favourable. The lesson: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

 Much of what follows is standard “Boating Course stuff”. But, for many of us, our Boating Course was a long time ago, and it is so easy to become complacent with time! I’ll cover things I think we should know before we set out in our boats. My points are by no means all-inclusive.

 Vessel Readiness

What is the state of our boat? Have all electrical connections been checked for frayed wires, loose connections, etc? Do we have an adequate supply of fuel on board? When was the last time we had our fuel tanks cleaned? (more easily done for diesel than gas). Are we using fuel conditioner at all times? Are our fuel filters clean? Do we thoroughly check and service our through-hull openings at each haul-out? Do we have appropriate sized tapered plugs at each through-hull for emergency use? Do we have an adequate supply of “consumable” spare parts: fuel & water filters, fuses, rubber cooling hoses (precut!) and clamps, water pump impellers, fan belts (matched sets where necessary), light bulbs (for navigation lights as well as interior), and do we know where and how these spares are to be installed? Do we carry sufficient tools on board to install these spare parts?  Is our anchor tackle in good condition (no significant wear on nylon rode, or stretched/corroded links on chain)? Have we personally checked to verify that the inboard end of our anchor rode is securely fastened to our boat? Are our anchor rode shackles properly moused with stainless mousing wire? Are our berthing lines in good shape? Is our boat properly equipped with at least the minimum amount of safety equipment (lifejackets/PFDs, fire extinguishers, pyrotechnics etc.) required by law (as specified in the Safe Boating Guide)? The wise boater will exceed these minimum requirements. Make sure your lifejackets/PFDs are not stored below decks under a pile of other “stuff” but are readily accessible for quick access!   

                                                                                                            (Continued on page 10)

page 10

“IN PRAISE  OF SAFER BOATING” (continued from page 9 )

 Personal Readiness

Do we know our own personal capabilities and limitations regarding skill at navigation and boat handling? Do we know the capabilities and limitations of our own boat? Do we know how quickly our boat can do an emergency stop or turn? While experience can only be gained by “getting out there and doing it”, we should always be conscious of these critical aspects of boating. Do we know at what sea state/weather condition we become uncomfortable on the water, and at what sea state/weather condition it becomes unsafe for our particular boat? For example, we can reach a “point of no return” at which is becomes more hazardous to try and turn around (broadside to the sea) than it is to continue at slow speed or “heave to” in order to ride out the weather. It is important to know that point of no return so that we can make the decision to “turn around” before we get ourselves into an “in extremis” situation. Do we always check the marine forecast before setting out? Do we monitor the weather on marine VHF while on the water and also keep a watchful eye on changing wind, cloud and sea conditions – all of which can give us warning of adverse changes in the weather? Do we have sufficient up-to-date charts on board for the area in which we are cruising? As many times as I have been in and out of Tsehum Harbour, I still have the largest scale chart at my conning position. I am very familiar with the route in and out, but I want an immediate reference to the waters (read depths!) adjacent to my track in case of a mechanical or steering failure. Its called being prepared.

 Are we fully conversant with the “steering and sailing rules” of the Collision Regulations? My experiences on the water regularly suggest that the average boater is not! Do we remember that even if we are the “privileged vessel” in accordance with the rules, we should take whatever steps are necessary to stay clear of the paths of oncoming ferries and other shipping. Ferry skippers will tell you that in “open water” they can go around you if you have the right of way. Be that as it may, I personally consider anywhere inside the Gulf Islands to be waters where I will stay clear of ferries, regardless! And remember, in the face of oncoming shipping, make your alterations of course/speed early and bold so as to make your intentions very clear to the large ship’s skipper or pilot.

 Do not despair! Boating is still meant to be fun, and we live in some of the finest boating waters in the world. Some sporting activities (mountain climbing, scuba diving, hunting, skiing, etc) involve some degree of inherent risk. So does boating, but the degree of risk is inversely proportional to the degree of readiness of the boater and his or her boat. As I attempted to illustrate in my opening remarks, most boating incidents are, to a greater or lesser degree, preventable. As conscientious boaters and members of an organization dedicated to boating knowledge and safety, it behooves us all to do our utmost to be safer boaters. That is not a difficult task. It merely requires common sense, good judgment, forethought and preparation. Our efforts in this regard will be amply rewarded with safer boating, greater peace of mind, and much more fun!

Doug Mitchell, Chief Instructor

page 11

Winterizing your boat

·         Change oil and filters in the engine(s).

·         Fill the fuel tanks.

·         Add fuel  stabilizer.

·         Change water/fuel separator filters.

·         Clean flame arresters on carburetors.

·         Check all hoses and fuel lines for condition.

·         Check anti freeze.

·         Shut of fuel and run carburetors dry of fuel. (Gasoline engines)

·         Shut off water intake valves.

·         Clean salt water intake filters.

·         Check fluid level in batteries.

·         Ensure batteries are fully charged.

·         Disconnect the negative terminal if not in use.

·         Fog engine with rust-inhibiting oil.

·         Use air driers inside the cabin. (if hooked up to shore power)

·         Clean out holding tanks.

·         Leave fridge door open.

·         If tarps are to be used, secure as best as possible.

·         Check mooring ropes.

·         Check fenders.

·         Fasten all things that go “CLANG” during the night.

·         Service lower unit. Oil and or grease.

·         Service outdrive, grease U-joints, gimbal, etc.

·         Check props for damage, grease spline ,check for wrapped line.


Submitted by Hank Louwerse

page 11

Books            Ho, Ho, Ho!

It is getting to be that time of year again.  Depending on when you receive this issue, you will have enjoyed Sidney’s wonderful contribution to the “start” of the Christmas season.  Here are a few suggestions for those boaters on your list: 

Category A List

These are the friends/family who require a Hardback book as a gift, or for those of you who feel guilty purchasing a paperback (these days a trade paperback costs almost as much as a hardback).  Helpful Hint:  give them one YOU want, then borrow it back!

Peter Nichols A Voyage for Madmen; Harper Collins $36.96

This is the account of nine competitors in the 1968 Golden Globe race.

Auturo Perez-Reverte The Nautical Chart; Harcourt, $40.00

A wonderfully complex nautical mystery by the writer of The Flanders Panel and The Fencing Master.

Nigel Calder Nigel Calder’s Cruising Handbook; International Marine; $78.95

From the author of the Bible on boat maintenance.

Gary Geddes, Sailing Home, signed copies available, $32.00

A well written account of sailing the west coast of BC.

David Hoar & Noreen Rudd Cooks Afloat; Harbour Publishing, $29.95

Whoever you give this to, Helpful Hint won’t work because they won’t let it out of their hands, therefore Hint 2:  give it to the person who cooks for you!

 Category B List

For those who like to read, who don’t care a hoot about the binding – these are trade paper, so a step up from Category C.  Can also use Helpful Hint above.  These are priced below $20.00 for the most part.

Joshua Slocum, Sailing Alone Around the World; Captain Voss, The Venturesome Voyages of Captain Voss; The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst; June

Cameron, Shelter from the Storm or Destination Cortez Island; Rob Mundle, Fatal

Storm; Kevin Patterson, The Water In Between; Dean King, Patrick O’Brian:  A Life

 Category C List

For those who like to read and would appreciate your thrifty ways, why not give some new or used paperbacks.  More is more (as in number, not price). 

Can also be used as stocking stuffers.

Ann Tighe, Compass Rose Nautical Books

page 12

Student Cruise Report

November 4, 2001

We all left our respective marinas at approx 9:00 AM.  The weather was rainy and overcast no wind to speak of.  We arrived at Otter Bay Marina by 11:00AM.  We all discussed our various trips over while we ate lunch before the days activities began.  First was a demo by the North Pender Island Volunteer Fire Department and Cliff Cunningham on the various types of fire extinguishers, as well as the handling and different techniques of putting out fires.  We then moved to the wharf where Ted Meadley gave a demo on the different types of flares as well the students were given the opportunity to participate and release flares.  The Coast Guard auxiliary arrived with the Sidney Titan and gave the students a talk on what the job of the Coast Guard entails and that they too are a volunteer organization.  Cliff Cunningham gave the anchoring demo followed by Bob and Mo Parkinson with their demo on the techniques of docking.

 I would like to thank everyone who participated and provided their boats, fuel, knowledge, time and their experience to make this day such a wonderful learning experience and social event.

A special thank you to the following volunteers who either 

skippered or proctored and made this event possible:



Ernie Lalonde on Dock Holiday proctored by Don Taylor

John Harvrink on Sunneke proctored by Nevio Corazzo

Maureen Meadley on Mr. Mustoffalees proctored by Ted Meadley

Richard Graham on Selam proctored by George Eade

Cliff Cunningham on Clearwater proctored by Peter Vivian

Bob and Mo Parkinson on Dorian I proctored by Ray Scott

Norah Franklin on Merlin proctored by Warren Franklin

George Winn on Island High proctored by John Hudson

Jim Forsyth on Mer Blue proctored by Ruth Jones

Agnes Simpson on Senga proctored by George McClure

Martin Pepper on A Fine Madness proctored by Barry Levi.



Martin Russell, "Our Sanctuary"

Student Cruise Captain

page 13

Saanich Peninsula Squadron

Natural Marine and Head-O-Matic


Boat Care


Cash Discount Programs


Green Boating  As part of the growing Clean Marine and Green Boating programs across Canada, a spring 2002 purchase of any combination of 3 Natural Marine EcoLogo or Head-O-matic products will get an immediate $3.50 total CASH BACK. 

The Environment Canada EcoLogo now recognized in over 30 countries clearly signifies boat care products that truly meet environmental standards and have less impact on our boating waters.


New Product  Total marine battery maintenance for less that $1.00 per year!  We can also get a $5.00 instant cash rebate on any of 500 ml bottle #4826 of water based Battery Equalizer. This product, available at leading marine stores (if not show them this article) can be up to triple the life of old or new marine starting or deep cycle batteries.  One bottle treats up to 5 batteries.  Environmentally, a lot fewer lead/acid batteries will now be going to landfill or recycling.

Simply send your local marine store or Canadian Tire Corporation receipts to Alex Milne Associates Ltd., 6803 Steeles Ave. West, Etobicoke, Ont., Canada M9V 4R9

416-742-4911, or

One cash discount program per CSPS customer, offer ends May 31, 2002 

Other Discounts

 Squadron members should be aware that discounts are available from many firms and businesses.  We suggest you ASK at any marine supplier if there is a discount for CPS members.  You may be surprised!  All Bay Marine and Compass Rose Nautical Books are two of our own advertisers who offer a 10% discount — but tell them you are a member of CPS.  There are also the “deals” arranged through CPS Headquarters, all of which you were advised when you became members.  The current listing can be found on the CPS website.

page 14

The Battle of the Bilge

 Did you know!!!

 A half a litre of oil will cover an acre of surface water.

 If every one of the 200,000 boats on the coast spilt just  2% of a litre* that would be a 200,000 acre oil slick!!!!

 Oil, fuel, antifreeze and other fluids collect in the bilge and are often pumped overboard by the automatic pumps.  Bilge cleaners, degreasers and soaps – even biodegradable ones  - have harmful effects. These cleaners spread the pollution over a greater volume of water, harming numbers of fish and marine life.

 Keeping it clean

 Don’t pump oily bilge water overboard– if it discolors surface water, it is pollution.  Large amounts of oil or fuel  in the bilge must be pumped into a container and properly disposed of.

Secure an oil absorbent pad in your bilge and check it often or fit a drip tray  under your engines.

Check for leaks.

Oil absorbing pads will soak up oil, but not the water.  When the pads are saturated, wring out the oil  into a container for proper disposal.

 Cleaning your boat for winter storage

 Winterizing your boat usually starts with a good wash down.

Cleaning any boat—even a small one—can dirty a lot of water.

Many cleaning products contain phosphates and other chemicals that are toxic to aquatic ecosystems.

When you use these products, you get your boat clean, but you leave the grunge and pollutants behind in the environment. All soaps persist throughout  the

water column and are extremely harmful to aquatic life forms.

The easiest way to keep phosphates and other toxic cleansers out of the water, is to leave them at home.

 *2% of a litre is 20 ml equivalent to 2 tablespoons

 The size of the spread depends on the ambient temperature of the water.

 Submitted by Hank Louwerse