If you have never been to a BCA rendezvous, make 2015 the year you get to at least one of these on the water get-togethers. Some BCA members go to them all.
What is a BCA Rendezvous?
A BCA rendezvous is an informal opportunity to meet with all sorts of boaters who have a common interest in offshore adventuring. Attendees range from people who have sailed around the world in small boats to those just wondering if offshore sailing is for them — and people who never plan to go very far from land.
At club nights and courses, we meet the people, but at a rendezvous, we see them on their boats, and are often invited to come aboard to look around. A rendezvous is a chance to rub shoulders for fun, laughs, mutual help, and to trade stories and gear on your boat or theirs.
What Happens at a Rendezvous?
Every rendezvous is different and a schedule of events is published in advance. Some, like the Thanksgiving Rendezvous, have indoor PowerPoint presentations and a sit-down dinner plus a flea market for sailing gear. The May and August Rendezvous often have information or training sessions on the dock and boats as well as entertaining, and sometimes highly competitive, on-the-water activities.
Should we Reserve Ahead?
Yes! Please. Organisers need to know approximately how many to expect, as do marinas and restaurants. Not only that, you will get updates and hints by email as the date approaches.
Please reserve at the marinas well ahead if you plan to tie up, and also notify the organisers that you plan to attend. Plans do change, and that is understood. It is far easier to cancel than to reserve at the last moment on long weekends. Nonetheless, if at the last minute you are nearby and decide to come, you will be welcomed and never turned away. Worst case, there is always a good anchorage nearby.
When Should We Arrive at a Rendezvous?
Boats come and go at various times during the weekends and there is no need to attend the entire event or even to necessarily notify in advance if you are willing to take what is available. Generally, most boats arrive on Friday or Saturday and leave early on Monday. Having said that, arrive when you want, leave when you want, and participate if you want, or just enjoy being there.
Who Can Attend a BCA Rendezvous?
Anyone. While the rendezvous are primarily for members and their friends and family, non-members are equally welcome and never turned away. Often non-members decide to join BCA after having experienced one – which is great!
Come as You Are!
There is no dress code, and we have all seen dirty, messy boats before. Kids are welcome, too, and well-behaved pets.
What Sort of Boat?
A wide variety of boats show up, from power yachts to small sailboats and even kayaks; they range in age and condition from new to ancient.
My Boat is Somewhere Else, or I don’t have a Boat Right Now
Some boatless people come on foot and stay at nearby B&Bs or resorts. Some manage to find a boat looking for crew using word-of-mouth, the mailing list, Facebook, or the BCA forum.
What is the Cost?
The price varies, but is typically between five to ten dollars a person, just to defray the costs. Docking, power charges, and meals are your choice and at your own expense.
When and Where?
The season begins May 16-18 with an event hosted by the Vancouver Island chapter on the floating breakwater at Poet’s Cove Resort on South Pender Island. Some boats tie up to the breakwater, while others anchor or take a mooring ball at the nearby Bedwell Harbour anchorage. On the August long weekend (August 1-3), the Vancouver chapter hosts the mid-summer rendezvous at Newcastle Island, and the season wraps up with the Thanksgiving Rendezvous hosted by Calgary at the ever-popular Thetis Island Marina & Pub October 10-12.
Come for a whole weekend, or just drop by. Come by boat or come by land. No matter how you get to a BCA rendezvous, you will be welcome, and you will have an experience you won’t forget.
Check the Calendar on the BCA website and the BCA forums for more detailed information on each rendezvous and contact information.
What About . . . ?
If you have any ideas to share, want to be involved in organising or are willing to volunteer for a specific part of the weekend’s events, or if you have other questions, please contact the Rendezvous Watchkeeper(s) in your Chapter: