The Official Magazine of the Bluewater Cruising Association

A Participant’s Experience of the 2015 Peterson Cup Cruising Rally

Heather Marshall

Catalina 27
September 5th, 2015

The day I bought Mischief from Ken Christie, he told me, “And now that you have a sailboat, you have to be in the Peterson Cup!”

My reply, “I don’t race.” Then he told me about how it isn’t a race, but just a bunch of cruisers sailing together and having fun. I was skeptical, but sometime over the next few months I gave in to the pressure and agreed to join the Peterson Cup Cruising Rally. I’m ever so glad I did!

Others have recorded the chronology of where we went and when. So I’ll skip that and just talk about the highlights for me.

The social aspect was wonderful. Appy hour happened every night. The food was great and the camaraderie was better. I loved getting to know the other sailors in our group. There were humorous stories and touching stories of how we each got into sailing. I found myself admiring the accomplishments of others (Dulcinea II, in particular). Acquaintances developed into friendships.

Ken’s apple pie fixation turned out to be more fun than I’d expected. I made apple cobbler, instead of pie, but it was close enough. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried to cut in butter to an over-full bowl of flour and oats, without a pastry knife, heeled over, doing five knots under sail, solo. But it turned out well, everyone appreciated and complimented, and it felt like a good accomplishment (to not have the flour and oats all over the floor, if nothing else!), so that’s a good memory. And of course, I enjoyed the pies made by or brought by others, Ken’s apple pie, Glen’s cherry pie, and Donna’s shepherd pie.

Adopting Bob, a solo Australian sailor on Sylph VI, also felt good. He had good stories and lots of experience, which he was happy to share. It was nice to have demonstrated that BCA is really a very inclusive group.

It was fantastic to sail in the group. I’d never sailed in Howe Sound, so the collective experience was really valuable to me. There were times that I chose to sail, when I might have otherwise motored. I also discovered a mild competitive streak, as I was moved to tweak my sails every time I found myself close to Moonshadow VI or Blue Rose (the only boats I ever seemed to be close to under sail). Remember “I don’t race”? I think my sailing skills actually improved during the week. I rafted up to a couple of boats, at different times, which was still a new skill to me. I also anchored with a stern line ashore for the first time as a solo sailor. And while I was learning new skills, and improving old ones, there was always someone at the end of day, at Appy Hour, to say, “Good on ya!”

Will I do it again? I really hope to, next year.



  1. ken christie says:

    Yes, “Good On Ya Heather” , I still like the Pie at sea challenge. Well all of our Appies are prepared on the boat while on the way to Appy Hour. ( yes some are stored ahead, some bought). As Blue Water Cruisers we all have the supplies and equipment. If we waited to get to a dock to cook and eat then we would never get out past the Salish Sea or starve trying.
    I would have to give you concession on the times you were sailing and Rosie appeared to catch you – my Camera person demanded we motor over to get good pics. So, yes you won.

  2. ken Christie says:

    Finally, I have located the short video that our guest, Bob Williams, did on his way from Australia to place the Time Capsule in Greenland:

    Talk about casual Blue Water Cruising …icebergs, whales, alone on the top of the world climbing a glacier. … this sailor is a participant in our lives, and our children’s lives.

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