The Beacon

Saanich Peninsula Squadron

May / June 2003

 

 

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

A Unit of Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons — Vancouver Island South District

 


 

IN THIS ISSUE YOU WILL FIND:

 

Bridge Members Page

page 1

Past Commander’s Reflections page 2
From the Editor's Desk page 3
Calendar of Events page 4
Commander's Sailpast  page 5
Membership Report page 6
Easter Cruise 2003 page 7
Training Status Report page 8
Spring 2003 Student Cruise page 9
MAREP - Marine weather Broadcasts page 10
IOS/PGC Open House page 11
Training Article - Exam Hazards page 12
Reflections "The Course" page 13

Classifieds

page 14

 

Why is it that when you transport something by car it is called a

shipment, but when you transport something by ship they call it  cargo?

 

**********************************************************************


page 1

The Beacon

Volume 33 Number 3       May / June 2003

The Official Newsletter of the Saanich Peninsula Squadron

A Unit of Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons

 

Commander

Cdr Lesley Head 704-0325

commander*

Past Commander

P/Cdr Ken Reeves

655-3602

pastcommander

Executive Officer Lt/C Gay Miller 656-5190 executive

Training Officer

Lt/C Ian King

704-0325

training

Asst. Training Officer

Ron Harris 656-8881

ato

ATO - Chief Instructor

1st Lt Doug Mitchell

656-2959

chiefinstructor

ATO - Chief Proctor

1st Lt Randy Little

889-1926

.chiefproctor

ATO - Student Cruise

1st Lt Martin Russell

 652-5543

student cruise

Treasurer

1st Lt George Winn

472-2219

treasurer

Secretary

1st Lt Kathy McDougall

654-0207

secretary

Membership Officer

1st Lt Lorri Pelto

656-4462

membership

Public Relations Officer

1st Robert Anthony

884-4950

pro

Supply Officer

1st Lt Dick Cotton

385-5223

supply

Administrative Assistant 1st Lt Jim Milbrath 655-0747 administrativeassistant
Beacon Editor 1st Lt Ralph Hodd 652-1715 editor
Archivist 1st Lt Ralph Hodd 652-1715 archivist

Communications Officer

1st Lt Tony Kluge

656-7032

communications

Environment Officer

1st Lt George Winn

472-2219

environment

MAREP Officer

1st Lt Len Burton

656-6450

marep

Webmaster

1st Lt Peter Payerl

652-1682

webmaster

Social Cruisemaster

1st Lt Ray Scott

656-4828

socialcruise

Port Captain

1st Lt Len Burton

656-6450

portcaptain

Special Events

1st Lt Bill Walters

652-6566

specialevents

 

*All email addresses are @saanichpeninsulasquadron.org

 

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.

 

The Beacon is our official newsletter. Members with articles or information should send material to the Editor before the 15th of each month.

 

We also maintain a website www.saanichpeninsulasquadron.org . We suggest you check the site regularly for notices of upcoming events, classified ads, etc. 

 


page 2

Past Commander's Reflections

 

This is my final "Comments" piece for the Beacon - my term as Commander having ended on 3 May 03, when I turned over the Squadron to Commander Lesley Head. This was my third year as Commander, and this time, I think I got it right! Lesley approaches her new role with a great deal of enthusiasm, and I am sure you will give her the same strong support that was accorded to me.

In my "Commander's Comments" in the May,2002 Beacon, I set a goal of encouraging new members to volunteer for service on the Bridge. I thought that some new faces on the Bridge would prove beneficial to the Squadron. The Membership officer Cathy Campbell, John Hudson and his Training Department staff and instructors, and indeed all the Bridge members joined in the challenge. Well, they say, "the proof of the pudding is in the eating" - and our particular "pudding" was the graduating members of the 2002 courses. While we only got one member from the Spring course - Rundi Koppang our Secretary, we hit the jackpot with the Fall course. Fifteen members joined the Squadron and ten volunteered for the Bridge positions! (Two others will be available in the Fall). It will be an interesting challenge for Commander Head and the senior Bridge members to get the new and old working as a team!

 

While our organized social activities were limited, we did have a successful Sail-Past dinner (without the Sail-Past!) At Christmas, Joyce Hodd with the assistance of Gay Miller and Jacki Levi arranged for a superb Christmas Drinks and Buffet Dinner party at Dunsmuir Lodge. We look for a repeat performance next Christmas - the date is already booked for 5 December 03, so put your names down early! With a Social Events member on 2003-04 Bridge, we can look for more activities this year.

 

The Training Department had another very busy and successful year, with two Boating and VHF courses and one Piloting course. One new member, Ron Harris, met the requirements of our Instructor Protocol and is firmly entrenched in the department.

 

The Squadron also moved into the new millennium by virtue of the purchase of a Power Point System. The training staff is gradually fitting the system into our instructional procedures. The system promises to simplify and enhance the presentation of course material to the benefit of students and instructors - but I don't suppose it will entirely replace chalk on a blackboard!

 

John Hudson has stepped down as Training Officer after three years of hard work. His efforts have paid off handsomely by helping raise the Training Department to its current high level. John's immediate priority is to become intimately acquainted with the new lady in his life - "STEALTH"- his recently acquired C&C 33 sailboat on which I have already had the pleasure of sailing. Ian King has moved up from the ATO position to replace John.

 

Our Squadron continues to enjoy a strong membership with new members joining the Bridge. It will be the Squadron's task to ensure that they are well supported so that they can meet their responsibilities and by expanding their knowledge and experience, progress to more responsible Bridge positions.

 

Finally, commanding the Squadron continued to be an enjoyable and stimulating experience. The Squadron was blessed with an excellent Bridge, whose members worked hard and performed their functions in an exemplary manner. To them all I give my sincerest thanks and I wish them and all Squadron members continued success and good sailing.

 

Ken Reeves, Past Commander

 

THE SENILITY PRAYER

 

God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones that I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.


page 3

From the Editor's Desk

 

With a new Bridge now in charge, I would like to thank the members of the former Bridge who have so consistently delivered their reports and articles in the most timely fashion. In the case of our retiring Training Officer, John Hudson, he was responsible for delivering not only the Training Report but also the Training Article each issue. Ken Reeves, Commander’s Comments, Cathy Campbell, Membership Report, Ron Townsend, Supply Report, Kit Raetson, MAREP Report, Gay Miller, Social Activities Report – without these contributors, we would not have much to say. Thank you all for helping me do my job effectively.

 

In an effort to make the Beacon as informative and entertaining as possible, I am requesting you, the readers, send in your anecdotes, harrowing tales, fish stories or nautical jokes. To kick us off, my wife, Joyce Hodd has written her “Reflections” on pages 17-19. Please send any articles you may want to contribute, with pictures if you have them, to editor@saanichpeninsulasquadron.org

 

Ralph Hodd, Editor

 

 

When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep, not screaming like all the passengers in his boat.

 

Cartoon courtesy of the Globe and Mail


page 4

Calendar of Events

May 15

First meeting of the Bridge of the New Watch. 1930 SNSYC - everyone welcome

May 23-25

Maple Bay Marina - 250-746-8482. Potluck in the gazebo on Saturday night

June   5 - 8

IOS/PGC Open House (see details page 14)

June  7

Saanich Peninsula Squadron Commander’s Sailpast - 1400 Dinner to follow at the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club - 1700

June 19 Bridge meeting - 1930 SNSYC - everyone welcome

June 20-22

Otter Bay - Call Cruisemaster, for reservations before June 8. Potluck on the flag deck Saturday night Dingy races

July 18-20

Ganges Marina - 250-537-5242 or Cruisemaster for e-mail registration

Aug  8- 10

Otter Bay - Vancouver Island South District Gathering

Aug  21

Bridge meeting, 1930 at SNSYC - everyone welcome

Aug  22-24

Telegraph Harbour Marina - 250-246-9511 Potluck in the gazebo Friday night

Sept  5-  7

Montague Harbour Marine Park - anchor out - rafting

Most of the marinas require prior registration by boat owners and may request a credit card number. The exception is Otter Bay, where the Squadron must register all boats - call the Cruisemaster before June 8th. When making marina reservations for the above cruises, please also call the Cruisemaster to advise him of your plans.

 

We are looking for suggestions. Anybody interested in weekday excursions?

 

Ray Scott - Social Cruisemaster

250-656-4828

socialcruise@saanichpeninsulasquadron.org

 


page 5

Commander's Sailpast

      June 7 / 03 - 1400 HRS

 

Sailpast“Hi” to all of you who are on the water again this year! As your new Commander, I am hoping that as many people and boats as possible will participate in the annual Sailpast. This reason for this Sailpast is for me to welcome all members of the Squadron new and old alike. It is also held to encourage everyone, members and children, to enjoy the occasion. Come out for the Sailpast and then dinner at the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club. As reservations are required you may call me at 704-0325. Depending upon the number of participants attending, the meal itself is usually about $10.00 per person, payable at the bar after dinner. Last year the dinner was well attended, although the Sailpast was discontinued due to a lack of boats. By changing the date to a warmer month, before school is out and before people have gone away, I hope to have a better turn out.

 

The Sailpast itself is a simple procedure. I will be standing on the deck of my boat which will be between Graham Rock and Point Robert, just outside the break wall at Tsehum Harbour, at 1400 hours. The boats will group together and file past my boat while I salute them. The members, will stand at attention at the stern staff facing my boat, gather the flag in hand, hold it against the staff for 5 seconds, then release it - pretty simple really. Then back to SNSYC at about 1700 hours (or before for afternoon cocktails) for the party.

 

I hope that everyone will attend.  I will send out a reminder by email.  If you don't have a boat, never fear! there are many of us who would love to have you come along.  Please contact me.  I can line up people for the ride closer to the date.

Lesley Head, Executive Officer

 


page 6

Membership Report

 

A big welcome for rejoining members: Richard A. AKERS, Glen AKERS, Richard AKERS Jr. and John MERRYFIELD.

 

The following graduates from the spring 2003 "Boating" course have joined our squadron:

Frank BARBER, Darlene DAVIS, Ron FYFE, Todd HARMON, Bryan KEMPER, Jan NIELSEN, Ruth NIELSEN, Shelley NIELSEN and Gary WEISS. We are happy to have all of you aboard!

 

Currently, we have 330 members. Please remember to send any updated Email addresses, phone numbers, etc to membership@saanichpeninsulasquadron.org

 

Cathy Campbell , Membership Officer

Working Hard at the

Sidney Boat Show

April, 24 - 27 2003

 

 

 

Left to right,  Colin Nicholson, Lorraine Nicholson, Len Howland, Gurli Wolfe, Cindy Hultsche, Dave Hultsche, Peter Wolfe.

 


page 7

Easter Cruise 2003

 

 

Our annual Easter Cruise was well attended, this year with 12 boats, 25 people and 2 dogs arriving at Genoa Bay Marina on Good Friday for a wonderful dinner at the Grapevine Café. The weather started out a bit damp, but cleared up by Saturday noon. It was good to see Ray Scott back on the water in his newly purchased “Patriot”.

 

10 boats continued up to Thetis Island, in calm seas, for the next stop of the weekend. It was mild enough to have “happy hour” and dinner out on the lawn at Telegraph Harbour Marina, and what a feast it was! We walked, visited, strolled the docks, read and rested. We shared the marina with the Richmond Yacht Club, Royal City Yacht Club and the Trawler Association giving us lots of beautiful boats to check out. This was the first time that the Marina was fully booked for the Easter Weekend!

 

Telegraph Harbour Marina generously offered a 2% discount on diesel or gasoline purchased there that weekend. They also contributed for a draw, for 1 night free moorage plus another certificate for a 10% discount on items purchased at their store. “Thanks” to them for the support they have shown our Power Squadron!

 

 

Our new EXO Gay Miller lights the way for the Easter Cruise.

 

On Easter Sunday we found that the Easter Bunny had visited our boats before some of us went to the Community Interdenominational Church service on the Island. That day, 5 of the boats headed on to our next destination, with the remainder returning to Sidney for work on Monday.

 

Five boats stayed. We even got up a foursome of Bridge, Sunday afternoon. Happy hour on Sunday was held on “Charlotte Time”. It was so nice and mild, that we were out on the aft deck. Then back to our boats for dinner, and another early night. Monday, we headed back to Sidney, having had a relaxing and very enjoyable Easter Cruise.

 

This was a really good start to what we hope will be a great boating season. Plan to join us for the next cruise, which will be organized by Ray Scott.

 

Boats that attended were:

 

Onaway 1, Lady M, Legasea, Et Tu, Panache, Lorelei, Vivace, Special K, Tanqueray, Linger, Patriot and Charlotte Time.

 

Gay Miller - EXO

 

 

Party time! It looks like a good time was had by all.

 


page 8

Training Department Status Report

 

WINTER 2003  Boating The final Boating and PCOC exams took place on April 15th. Twenty-three students sat the PCOC (others had already sat the exam) and all passed with four students getting all question correct. Twenty-six students sat the Boating exam with twenty-four passing. Special note has to be made that Darlene Davis got perfect scores on both exams. Needless to say, she will be valedictorian. “Thanks” first of all go to the course instructors Doug Mitchell, Ted Meadley and Ron Harris and proctors Les Orr, Jim Dawson, Ron Harris, Randy Little and David Work. For the exam, thanks are due to invigilator, Ian King, markers Gay Miller and Janice Hayward, exam secretariat, Diana McBratney, debriefers Jim Dawson and Ron Harris and runner Les Orr.

 

Marine Fifteen Boating and ten external students paid for the course which took place on April 22nd. Three students had to postpone for personal reasons. The remainder but one passed.

 

Pilot Seven students took the exam on Wednesday, April 9th, with all passing. Thanks go to course instructor, Cliff Cunningham and to Ken Reeves for invigilating the exam. Graduation for these winter courses is on Monday, May 12th.

 

FALL 2003 Fifteen students have pre-registered for the fall Boating class. Several Boating students have expressed an interest in going on to take Piloting next year. Also, several Piloting graduates are wishing to take Advanced Piloting next time it is offered in VISD.

 

Following the rejection of our grant application to the CPS Boat Pro Fund towards our computer presentation equipment, Ted Meadley has kindly agreed to follow up with the BC Gaming Commission. The application is almost complete and will be submitted before the end of April.

 

As this will be my last report before I step down as STO, I would like to thank all who have helped me in maintaining and running an effective Training Department over the last 3 years.

 

John C. Hudson - STO

655-3653

training@saanichpeninsulasquadron.org

 


page 9

Spring 2003 - Student Cruise

 

I think we all thought the cruise would be cancelled, looking outside on that Saturday evening before the Spring Cruise. I myself, thought of canceling the cruise before I spoke with Doug Mitchell, who had a little more faith in the weather than I. Sunday morning the weather was much improved - a little rain, and even that stopped shortly after we were underway, with only a few light showers throughout the day. 12th.

 

Our fire extinguisher lesson that is normally done in conjunction with the Pender Island Volunteer Fire Department and Cliff Cunningham was cancelled by the Fire Department, as they were lacking volunteers. We are hoping this will be a one time only occurrence.

 

I would like to thank Ken and Joan Clarke for their docking instructions, and Bill and Gay Miller for there anchoring demonstration.

 

A special “Thanks” to all the Skippers and Proctors for donating their time and their vessels!

 

“Thank You” all those people who donated time and support to make the Spring 2003 Student Cruise such a success.

 

Martin Russell - Student Cruise Captain


page 10

MAREP - Marine Weather Broadcasts

 

We all know the importance of Marine Weather Broadcasts. Most are now automated and not always current for the times and places in which we find ourselves. Charts are very precise. A GPS receiver can be as much as 10 meters out and should be used for reference only and not precise navigation.

 

While attending an evening course at Ocean Sciences with the spring class of 2003, someone brought up the subject of “uncharted waters”. The name “Griffin Passage” came up and was quickly passed over as a recently charted passage.

 

With extended cruising and boaters going ever farther up our rugged coast, the importance of every aspect of Marine Weather Forecasts and Charting should always be first and foremost on our minds. I returned to Ocean Sciences after some thought and enquired about Griffin Passage. The Coast Guard Cutter on which I had previously served had been there in 1969 and unsuccessfully tried to chart the Passage. Two departments in Ocean Sciences were extremely helpful and forth coming with information on Ocean Sciences charts. Griffin Passage was not surveyed until 1998 by Ocean Sciences. Today although charted, Griffin Passage is still very dangerous to the unknowing and more adventuresome boater. Charts # 3962 & 3738.

 

In the fall of 1969, the Canadian Coast Guard Cutter “Ready” was tasked to check the uncharted waters of Griffin Passage . She entered the passage at 11:00; the water was calm, emerald green with clear visibility. A bow watch was posted along with the two duty deckhands. This is a quote from one of the duty deckhands.

 

“The skipper entered from the lower end of Griffin Passage, the tide was low and just turning. We slowly steamed up the channel - it’s about a half a football field wide. Although running at slow speed, the ship’s speed increased due to the strong current. The bow watch didn’t have time to signal the overfall that lay dead ahead. Everything happened fast! By the time the skipper noticed the waterfall, it was too late.”

 

“The skipper entered from the lower end of Griffin Passage, the tide was low and just turning. We slowly steamed up the channel - it’s about a half a football field wide. Although running at slow speed, the ship’s speed increased due to the strong current. The bow watch didn’t have time to signal the overfall that lay dead ahead. Everything happened fast! By the time the skipper noticed the waterfall, it was too late.” The skipper entered from the lower end of Griffin Passage, the tide was low and just turning. We slowly steamed up the channel - it’s about a half a football field wide. Although running at slow speed, the ship’s speed increased due to the strong current. The bow watch didn’t have time to signal the overfall that lay dead ahead. Everything happened fast! By the time the skipper noticed the waterfall, it was too late.”

 

The throttles were thrown “Full Astern”, the stern was sucked down, the propellers hit bottom and the “Ready” turned broadside. The “Ready” was now in trouble. The port propeller was severely damaged. The starboard propeller shaft was torn right out of the gearbox with a loud crash, lying about one foot behind the gearbox in the bilge. The gearbox was totally destroyed. The bow hit the reef quickly turning the “Ready”- now broadside to the reef and heeled over - onto her port side. If not for the quick actions of deckhands Pete Moody and Vic Rowe, the “Ready” would have been lost.”

 

“Upon reaching the boat deck, they started the hyab crane, unhooked, and lowered the ship’s lifeboat to the starboard side of the ship. This brought the ship upright, and then with the force of the strong current she went over about a four-foot waterfall and righted herself. Everything happened fast! The “Ready” was now drifting upright but was able to maintain headway with the Port main engines, maneuvering into the channel close to shore, anchoring and stern tying so as to permit inspection of the hull and machinery. Although the hull sustained minimal damage, the main propulsion was severely damaged. Had the “Ready” been on the port side of the channel, she would probably have sustained minimal damage”.

 

“The “Ready” sent a radio message out, but there were no vessels in the vicinity to hear her call. A few days later a small fisheries vessel entered the channel and discovered the “Ready” at anchor. No one knew where she was or that she had, in fact, sustained damage. The shallow draft fisheries work boat came in on a regular patrol to check the fish stock. He departed and the Coast Guard was notified. About a week later a Coast Guard buoy tender sent in her work boat and towed the “Ready” out to Burrard shipyard in Vancouver for a lengthy overhall.”

 

“The damage was substantial. She was dry docked until a new gear box could be installed, the shafts aligned and the starboard stern tube repaired. Both propellers were replaced. The “Ready” had four exhaust gas turbocharged main engines. They were coupled back to back into “Capitol Reverse” and “Reduction” gearboxes. Her twin screws were five blade high speed propellers. She was 95.6 ft. in length, 19 ft. wide and drew 6 feet of water.”

 

Ocean Sciences spends endless months at a time charting our waters. They are out in, to say the least, inclement weather at times. It is long, tedious hours spent ensuring that we have precise, up-to-date charts. We have had an opportunity to look into their world. What we learn through our instructors is invaluable information on how to apply what is on the charts. The following is the information that Ocean Sciences gave me on Griffin Passage.

 

Inner Passage - Queen Charlotte Sound to Chatham Sound. Griffin Passage is entered west of Charles Head (52* 35’N, 128* 17’ W ) at it’s south end and leads 12 miles north between Pooley Island and Roderick Island to Sheep Passage. A “rock awash” and a “below water rock” are 0.45 mile NNW of Charles Head. Three drying narrows with hazardous tidal rapids are 1.8miles, 7 and 7.9 miles north of Charles Head. The north part of the passage has a logging and booming grounds (1998) on the west shore 2.5 miles south of Lime Point ( Chart # 3738).

Tides - Tidal differences for Griffin Passage ( Index No. 9020),

Referenced on Bella Bella, are given in Tide Tables, Volume 7.

 

Len Burton - MAREP

 


page 11

IOS/PGC OPEN HOUSE

JUNE 5-8, 2003

The Institute of Ocean Sciences/Pacific Geoscience Centre are having an Open House on June 5th to 8th, 2003, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Institute. It coincides with World Oceans Day June 8th. A committee has been formed and planning is underway. The co-coordinator would be pleased to hear your ideas, suggestions, etc. They need your help and support to make this event a success. Brian Schofield is responsible for a photo contest and will be seeking photos/pictures that relate to the work done at IOS. These will be used for Open House website, posters etc. I feel this is an excellent way to get to see first hand how everything is done. From what I understand the Hydrographic ships will also be open to the public. If you have never been aboard one, it is well worth seeing.

 


page 12

Training Article - Exam Hazards

 

Two Beacons ago I wrote on the subject of “Safety”, starting off with the difficulties students were having with some parts of the Boating Course exam. I would like to continue the theme for my last article before stepping down as STO. These comments, while made on the most recent exam of April 15, 2003, also apply to previous exams.

 

The question on the “Mandatory Equipment Table” in chapter 3 continued to give the most problem despite repeated prior warnings to the students in class. Again, almost half the class got it wrong! My advice in the previous article stands.

 

The next most problematic question for students related to flares, also in chapter 3. There are only 4 flare types to choose from and less than one page of text plus a diagram to remember. It is hard to understand the reason for this error!

 

“Docking Vessels” in chapter 8 proved to be for many....a huge problem. In the class-room, and until a student builds up experience, if one cannot remember the four wind direction possibilities, here is a suggestion. Draw a small diagram of a dock. Add wind direction, the vessel at the dock but untied, and then examine the four permutations given in the exam paper of bow, stern, fore or aft spring-lines in combination to engine and rudder configurations and see which holds the vessel at the dock given, stationary.

 

The fourth on the list of least liked questions was addressed in chapter 13 between two sailboats. Which is the stand on vessel? It is acknowledged that there are more power-boaters than sail boaters in the squadron, but the four situations which are likely examinable are:

 

1)   when a sailboat is the overtaking boat, it has all the obligations of an overtaking power boat, and must keep clear of a vessel being overtaken,

2)   a power boat must, during periods of clear visibility, always give way to a sail boat,

3)   when 2 sailboats have wind on opposite sides, the one with the wind on the port side shall   keep out of the way of the other, and

4)   when 2 sailboats are on the same tack, the boat that is to windward must give way to the one that is to leeward

 

The fifth question came from chapter 14 on “Buoys”. There are only five colours to choose from in the Aids to Navigation, namely black, white, red, green and yellow, yet some are forgotten. There is no easy way to learn the system without looking for patterns into how the colours and shapes are used. One suggestion is to carry one of the miniature laminated cards with the Aids to Navigation and refer to it frequently till one is confident that it is committed to memory.

 

Reciprocal bearings, there being 180º between the bearing of the vessel from an object and that from the object to the vessel, and the confusion between the two, was the sixth most baffling issue. The only suggestion is to look at the numerical value of the bearing and does it “feel” right.

 

I hope this will be helpful to those who struggle with the exam. I would like to thank the people who have given me feed back and support in the 3 years of article writing. I look forward to committing many happy hours to my new sail boat.

 

John Hudson - STO

training@saanichpeninsulasquadron.org

 

 

For my purpose holds

To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths

Of all the western stars, until I die.

It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:

It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles

And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.

 

Alfred, Lord Tennyson”Ulysses”

 


page 13

Reflections - “The Course”

 

I just finished “The Course” and what an experience that was! I must admit that it was with some urging and a great deal of trepidation that I embarked upon a foray into the realm of academia. It had, after all, been too many years since I had ventured inside a classroom. I remember my first night very vividly. There was a full class in attendance – some 30 souls - and a great number of proctors and, of course The Instructors. The course material was distributed and the race to learn was on. Perched as I was on a stool, (I have only the vaguest recollection of barstools in my misspent youth) I quickly determined that the course material was as exhilarating as the stools were butt-numbing. In order to survive the three-hour weekly sessions a new seating arrangement would have to be devised - and fast. It would seem that everyone in the class experienced the same physical discomfort, as the next week all were armed with pillows, save me, who brought an entire chair. I have never believed in half measures. Although I now found myself presenting a somewhat odd-looking picture to the instructor (like a disembodied head on the desk), I was much more able to concentrate on the very comprehensive lectures that were being delivered every week.

 

With books, charts, dividers, pencils, erasers and chair, with homework completed and well prepared for the next lesson, I set off every Tuesday for class. It was such fun and I was learning so much stuff, there was no way I wanted to miss a single lecture. The course was extensive and challenging. The troubles started when I first saw a hand-held compass. This had numbers on it and… OHMIGOD! Thankfully, there was plenty of help, what with all the proctors, instructors, training officers, and others at the ready to render assistance. Moreover, I had a husband who had not only aced this course a couple of years previously, but who was also deeply ensconced in the “Piloting” course. I felt I had enough assurances of rescue and safety lines at hand should I founder along the way.

 

With all this “plotting” going on in our house, we quickly set aside an entire room with a proper chart table and proceeded to navigate our way around the training chart. It was such fun drawing the lines and circles. My hubby was always there to set me on the right course should I wander, and with his coaching, I happily plotted my way to and fro and all around the shoals, rocks and hazards of chart No IC/CA 9996. Sometimes I could plot for 10 minutes before finding myself “at sea” in yet another question. However, confidence was mine, after all, I had a “navigator” at the ready. What could go wrong?

 

All too soon it was coming to a close and the well-remembered exam jitters took firm hold of my solar plexus. All that math and plotting and “making good” on courses and speeds was making me really nervous. The only thing to do was study and study HARD!

 

I failed the exam!

 

Funny, how that sounds. In fact, I got a great deal out of the course and I enjoyed it very much, once I ironed out the seating arrangements. The instructors were skillful, knowledgeable, handsome seamen; the material was far-reaching and well presented, and the engineer perched on the stool beside me was an excellent chart partner. What more could a girl ask for?

 

It was important for me to get my canoe back on an even keel. After all, it was the SAFETY aspect of this whole boating exercise that I was going for - in case something happens out there. It was perfectly understandable I might be a little depressed at not being able to get home once I saved my hubby's life on the high seas, but then, wasn’t that what locator beacons were for? Besides, Ralph and I had agreed long ago I could steer and he would plot the course.

 

It can be a little upsetting, not “succeeding” after SO much studying, and SO many butt-numbing classes, but 7% short of passing the exam is still 173% more than I knew going into the course. I passed the PCOC with 8% to spare. That’s how my math works.

 

I know I’m not the only one who completed the course and then either failed to write the exam, pass the exam or re-write the exam. Sometimes it's not passing something, or getting a certificate that really matters - it's what a person takes away from any given situation that counts: the knowledge and experience they didn't have before. At the end of the day, taking the course has made me a much safer and more knowledgeable sailor and isn’t that the eventual aim of the Canadian Power and Sailing Squadron?

 

Joyce Hodd (Assistant to the Editor)

 

Members of the fall Boating Course receiving certificates and being sworn in.

 


page 14

Classified

 

FOR SALE: Command Bridge 28 ft. Spirit Powerboat (1985 ) - $40,000

Twin I/O Volvos, V6, power winch, built in Vacuum, Nova Kool Fridge/freezer, Constavolt (battery charger), new 200 ft chain rode 1/4" Hi Tensile, New 10 kg Bruce anchor, complete canvas on Bridge and in Stern, 8 ft Horizon dinghy, propane stove with oven, built in 110v heater, bus heater, 4 new batteries, New Furuno GPS, VHF radio, depth sounder, stereo, new marine head with holding tank, and new macerator, hot water, Propane sniffer with shut-off solenoid. Click here for picture Charlotte Time

Please contact Gay Miller 250-656-5190 or email ctime@telus.net

 

FOR SALE: Lynnwood 28’ solid fiberglass cruiser—$18,500 or best offer. Low hours 352 Windsor Ford engine. Holding tank with macerator. Power windlass, 1800W Honda AC generator 100V, inflatable dingy (about 7.5’) plus an 8’ tender with a 3.5hp Evinrude. Clean. Sleeps 6. 5% discount to CPS members.

Please contact Nevio 250-652-1725

 

FOR SALE: Zodiac Mark 1

Four person, max HP capacity 25. Total weight-in-bag 103 lbs.

Length: 10'6" or 3.20m; Width: 4'11" or 1.50m

Dimension in bag: 3'10"x1'10"x1'15"

Maximum capacity: 880 lbs.

Material: Hypalon, known for its durability. Hard to find; zodiacs are no longer made of hypalon.

Condition: very good. Used 3 summers, then stored for 10 years.

Price: $1600.

Call: Sunny Johnson 250-655-1877 (Sidney)

 

FOR SALE: 24' Sailboat - requires some TLC 656-5717 or madadder@telus.net

 

PERSONALS:

 

I'm a nice, old guy with a 26ft power boat who is looking for a companion, preferably female, who would enjoy joining me for some boating excursions.  Please call Ray Scott 250-656-4828 or e-mail rescott@islandnet.com

 

 

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