With the start of a new season of Club Nights and Fleet meetings, I’m taking a minute to reflect on my past year in BCA. One of the highlights for me was the Vancouver Chapter Rendezvous at Port Browning, Pender Island, from the 3rd to the 5th of August.
As a first-time attendee, my choice to attend was easy. I had joined the Peterson Cup Rally, which had scheduled its finish at the start of the Rendezvous weekend. My friend/crew, Marilyn Sanford, was able to join me. So, on a warm Saturday morning, August 3rd, we were already anchored in Port Browning. I was thrilled to see the Peterson Cup presented to Jennifer Handley and Campbell Good of Camdeboo. Having just finished the Rally before the Rendezvous weekend, I was enthusiastic about the choice knowing how Campbell’s proposal for a Friday sail ’round the Penders motivated us in a way that clearly embodies a spirit of adventure in sailing. I’ve heard the well-spread rumour that Cup winners often come back as event organizers the following year.
The weekend provided many reasons to join this year’s Rendezvous when it rolls around. Highlights, always, are the people, then the stories, events and boats. The central BCA canopy pitched in front of the Port Browning Marina was easy to find. Organizational points of the Rendezvous included food events, awards and costume and scavenger hunt contests, topped off with an impromptu three-piece band and a sing-along. I was able to enjoy the first-ever performance of Blake Williams of Sea Fever on Irish drums, Pete McMartin of Cookie Cutter on guitar and Jordan Mills of Sea Turtle on violin. I’m a bit shy by nature, but I found it easy to strike up conversations with anyone and everyone around the canopy.
Breakfasts, floating raft-up appies, and dinners were entertaining and delicious. I am always in awe of who produces what in small galleys, especially after having been away from home for weeks at a time. Myron O’Byrne with his Gypsy Lady galley productions comes to mind, as does Heather Marshall and her galley on board Mischief.
I was happy to meet Jordan and Judy Mills of Sea Turtle, just back from their nine years and nine months of circumnavigation. I also met Jamie and Stephanie of Arena with their four kids (Ada, Riley, Bronwyn and Lochlan), ready to head off on their marine adventure. I loved seeing enthusiasm and collaboration all-around. The energy is perhaps best illustrated in the Costume Contest, which featured two pirates, one mermaid, and (check this for creativity) a barnacle and bio-luminescence! Brilliant!
The schedule allowed plenty of time for group gatherings as well as individual endeavours. My Sunday included a typical run for Marilyn and me. My take-aways from that were not only how amazingly hilly North Pender is, but also how friendly to lost runners. At our post-run coffee in the mall, one of the women who had earlier offered us a ride, then directions when we came out of park trails turned-around, sat with us and chatted about her twenty years on the Island. The Rendezvous for us was that kind of experience. It seems Island Time means time for appreciation of people and place. With blackberries in season, what could have been a short walk back to the water was delayed by our eating handfuls of juicy, sweet, sun-warmed blackberries in their prime.
The following day, the BC Holiday Monday, brought time to head home to False Creek. I believe there is no finer end to a sailing Rendezvous than the chance we had to raise the sails and cross the Strait full of enthusiasm and fresh memories.
A photo album of the August Rendezvous can be found here.