The Official Magazine of the Bluewater Cruising Association

Canada Day BURP

Rosario Passos

Counting Stars
Whitby 42 Ketch
July 11th, 2023

Denis and I went to Winter Cove, Saturna Island to attend the infamous Saturna Island lamb barbecue to celebrate Canada Day.  This is my second time attending this community event which is always great fun! In addition to the yummy lamb, of course, there were many activities, such as games (BINGO and three legged races are just a few examples), a stage with a variety of live music to entertain us while we had our lunch, a market with crafts tents showcasing local hand made pieces and information tents where we could learn about the local orca population or about environmental issues impacting our marine parks and our oceans.

The lamb barbecue has a long history, having started in 1950 as a school picnic. You can learn more about the event here.

While at the event, we met up with three other Bluewater Cruising Association (BCA) boats. We rafted up to Rizpah, with Nicholas and Catalina, and were very happy to hear that John and Alison from Bare Necessities were also there, as were Tanya and Ed from Seadra! A happy hour event was quickly arranged aboard Counting Stars and the discussion ensued about whether or not that constituted a BURP!

What is a BURP?

What is a BURP you may ask… well, the guidelines were not entirely clear to us, but a BURP is a Bluewater Unofficial Rendezvous Place, however, how many boats must gather before we can call it a BURP? Two boats? Three boats? I think that with four BCA boats represented we were safe to call it: we had a BURP!

From left to right: Rosario Passos from Counting Stars, Dina Aloy, former BCA member from Good as Gold, Nicholas Isaac and Catalina Acevedo from Rizpah, Denis Heinrichs from Counting Stars, John Oliver and Alison Manley from Bare Necessities, Tanya VanGinkel and Ed Choromanski from Seadra.

We gathered together, had a few laughs, talked about sailing plans for the Summer and the future, got some good cruising stories from the Doners in the group (Dina, Tanya and Ed) all accompanied with fabulous food and drinks! And that is what a BURP is all about!

The wind blew overnight and with that came all the excitement of boats dragging. If you have been to Winter Cove before, you are all too familiar with the phenomenon of current running through the anchorage. Well, add wind gusting to 17-20 knots to the mix and you get waltzing boats and a symphony of headlights on deck! Rizpah‘s anchor held steady and we woke up the following day to a gloriously sunny Canada Day!

Seadra and Bare Necessities were all dressed up for the Canada Day celebrations showing off the beautiful and colourful flags.

Left to right: Bare Necessities and Seadra showing off their flags

Denis and Nicholas, aka “mighty fishermen”, caught two fish so the dinner menu was set for fish tacos aboard Counting Stars and another BURP was had!

Another BURP!

We also celebrated Nicholas and Catalina’s 19th anniversary with a delicious concoction created by Nicholas and designed to use up some of the Mezcal aboard Counting Stars.


And this is what BURPS are all about to us! We are still not sure how many BCA boats must gather before we can call a BURP (if you know the number, please add a comment below), but the spirit of the BCA BURP was definitely there: friendship, camaraderie, laughs, support, togetherness, fun…

So, if you are out there sailing, regardless of where you are, if you see another BCA boat at an anchorage, get together for a BURP and send your BURP story to Currents.




  1. Blake Williams says:

    Thanks Rosario for another wonderful article about Winter Cove and the concept of the BURP.

    When BCA moved from the Billy Bishop Legion to Granville Island as it was beginning to transform from industry to marketplace, our monthly watch meetings were held upstairs. Meetings were more about think tanks than making motions which allowed Ted Long a fair bit of latitude in raising concerns and testing ideas for new initiatives BCA try out.

    He started with BCA rendezvous events as fair weather gatherings that were fun and sociable. He then suggested that offshore preparation could include off season sailings to tighten up our sailing skills in more challenging conditions. We learn most from challenging sea and weather conditions.

    His proposal was simple: fly your burgee, sail wherever you want and if you anchor and see another burgee, hail the other boat and exchange information about winter sailing tactics.

    2 boats and voila, a BURP was born!

    1. Thanks for the history behind the BURP Blake! Although we didn’t share information about Winter sailing tactics at the Winter Cove BURP, we did share lots of stories about cruising routes, crossing oceans, sail configuration and cruising lifestyles. Most importantly we had some fun!

      Whenever we are at an anchorage and Denis sees a BCA burgee, he goes round in the dinghy and says hi. Although we may not always have gathered in the form of a BURP after the introductions, we have met a few BCA members this way.

      To all BCA members: fly your burgee!

  2. Donna+Sassaman says:

    Where two or more BCA boats are gathered, there is a BURP!

    1. Thanks for hat Donna! Yay! Pretty clear! We definitely had a BURP! 🙂

  3. Corinne Whelan says:

    Thank-you for sharing- looks like an awesome time with lots of comrade and laughter!

    1. It was a wonderful time Corinne. I am glad you enjoyed reading the article.

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