Ever since Campbell and I joined BCA back in 2002, I have heard it said more times than I can remember, that BCA is the only organization that “actively tries to get rid of its members”. I admit to saying that too when, in my capacity as BCA Commodore, I have presented “Bon Voyage” packages and wished fair winds and following seas to those who were ready to cast off in pursuit of their offshore cruising dream.
And while there may be some truth in that old saying, it can also be said that BCA is perhaps the only organization that does all it can to ensure the safe return of its members many months or, more frequently, many years later. That safe return is, of course, never guaranteed, but what makes BCA unique is an intense focus on preparing members to safely and confidently cruise offshore. This is achieved by providing affordable, relevant and offshore-specific education programs; the Fleet group; opportunities for mentor-ship with the exchange of personal experience, and on-the-water activities. Taking full advantage of this suite of learning opportunities facilitates the development of skills that lead to comfortable passage-making and ultimate safe return to home port.
Thus it is a long-standing tradition that, every December, ceremonial presentations are made in each Chapter to the skippers and crews upon their return. BCA hosts the annual awards ceremonies to recognize first-hand the achievements of its members. These happy occasions, which are celebrated by the membership at large, also inspire the “dreamers” among us and encourage the “do-ers” to continue their membership while cruising.
In December 2014, 39 skippers and crew received their awards and are now recognized with a “Bluewater” membership status. Congratulations!!
Coastal 999 (15)
Vancouver Island – Bill Eisenhauer, Gabriela Hirt and their two children; Guy Gauvin, Larry Peck and Nicky Arnoldus
Vancouver – David Boyer; Ken and Carole Downes; Marian Leighton, Mike and Kathleen Nolan; Rob Murray and Debra Zhou
Offshore Crew (5)
Vancouver Island– Don Craigmyle, James Howard
Vancouver – David Greer; Angela Minshall, Hans Verbeek
Offshore Owners (17)
Vancouver Island– Mark Heine, Paul Roberts; Barrie and Sandra Letts, Kirk Patterson
Vancouver – Nancy and Stephen Carlman; Will and Sarah Curry; Wayne Fofonoff; Jonathan Guard; John and Linda Hurlburt, Dick Leighton
Calgary – Magnus Murphy, Pam and Ted Simper
Vancouver Island – Brian Vezina and Dorothy McDowell
In addition to the offshore awards, Service awards were presented to Alastair Handley (Calgary Chapter Vice Commodore), Denis Heinrichs (Vancouver Membership) and Rosario Passos (Vancouver Speakers and Communications) for their years of service on their respective Watches.
The annual awards ceremonies also provide an opportunity for BCA’s Board of Directors to award any of the seven perpetual awards to deserving members. Four were awarded in 2014:
- The Antares Pacific High Finders’ Award (for the longest time Hawaii-Victoria passage) was awarded to single-hander, Jonathan Guard for the 31-day passage aboard his Contessa 26.
- The Doug Mitchell Memorial Single-Hander’s Award went to Wayne Fofonoff, who completed 5,000 of his 8,000 nautical mile passage to / from French Polynesia, single-handed.
- The Ted Long Award for outstanding personal contributions to BCA was awarded to former Commodore and Webmaster “extraordinaire”, Guylain Roy-MacHabee.
- And after a spirited recounting of admitted “boo-boo’s”, the Hill-Padwick “Bent Mast” Award was voted unanimously by the VI Chapter to be given to Jim and Carol Shohet for being overtaken and overwhelmed by the boat they were towing.
More information about BCA’s offshore or perpetual awards can be found in the Members’ Directory and on our website. If you qualify for an award or know another BCA members who does, please contact Past Commodore, Boudewijn Neijens.