As BCA Commodore, it is always a privilege for me to present leavers’ packages to those members who have decided this is the year to cast off the dock lines and head offshore. The June BBQs in Victoria and Vancouver are a great opportunity to applaud their preparations and pursuit of the offshore dream, and this year was no exception.
What was particularly moving for me on both occasions was the fact that there were members in attendance who joined BCA in 1978 (the year BCA was established) and every decade since, right through to those who joined in the past year. Scattered among the doners and dreamers-about-to-become doers, was also significant representation from the Currently Cruising group – members who are temporarily “home” but whose boats are awaiting them in far off, exotic places. What more could a leaver want than to be surrounded by such a supportive group!
At this time of year, I always hope that BCA has helped prepare members so well that they and their boats will not just sail off into the sunset, never to be heard from again, but that they will return home safely with stories to tell and a desire to give back by encouraging and helping the next bunch of dreamers. This month, the expressions of thanks for support and the kudos given to individuals, Watchkeepers, and the Association as a whole were heartwarming to hear. As Nigel Calder repeatedly told us during his visit in April, BCA is indeed a unique organization in the cruising world.
Thanks to Chris Stask (VI) and Debra Zhou (Vancouver) for taking the pics below of presentations this month in Victoria at the Vancouver Island Chapter’s end-of-year BBQ and in Vancouver at the Fleet BBQ.
After receiving his package and telling us a bit about his plans, Dale reminded all of us that “I am Canadian” (a reference to the Canadian content in the package, including flags, lapel pins and an iconic Molson coaster); a second video, “Canadian, Please“, while not as familiar, was also appreciated by the younger crowd too… (Viewing tip: turn on CC in order to see the lyrics.) If you were not able to attend the BBQ, you can enjoy the videos now – just in time to celebrate Canada’s 148th birthday!
To the best of our knowledge, there are about 20 boats leaving this year; the majority are heading out from BC, with a few ready to launch further afield. By the end of June, 10 leavers’ packages had been presented; the remainder will be distributed over the course of the coming months. Information about leavers’ packages and the work that goes into their assembly can be found here. If you are interested in becoming part of the Leaver Package Committee for 2016, please contact me.
Most importantly, we wish all leavers “fair winds and following seas”. Please stay in touch.