The Official Magazine of the Bluewater Cruising Association

Poetry at Poets Cove - Another Great Rendezvous

Nancy Hancock

Golden Girl
Ontario 32 sloop
June 1st, 2023

After a four year absence, BCA Vancouver Island returned to Poets Cove on Pender Island for the May 2023 Rendezvous. The turnout of almost 80 people, 49 boats, numerous sea-going dogs and cats suggests that this is definitely a most popular rendezvous venue for BCA, with attendees from all three chapters and a few guests.  As in the past, we occupied the breakwater dock which is still undergoing repairs after four years of degradation but as the resourceful sailors that we are, we made it work and ‘walking the plank’ became an ongoing joke.

Rendezvous in full swing for all attendees

Weekend events included an ocean microscopy session facilitated by Prof. Elaine Humphries, a well attended hike in Beaumont Park with an intrepid few reaching the Mt Norman lookout, a great deal of visiting on each others’ boats, three Leaver Package presentations, a couple of tasty potlucks, a group photo under the BCA spinnaker, and a silent auction coordinated by Barrie Letts with a variety of items generously donated by Trotac Marine that raised $203 for the Marine Parks Forever Society.

BCA: Dreamers, Leavers, Doers, Doners, Hikers and Watchkeepers

That said, the overall theme of the weekend was a poetry writing contest;  prizes included books provided by the VI Chapter and a set of online guides donated by Salish Sea Pilot, one of BCA’s advertisers. The poems were recited by their authors, including a sonnet generated by ChatGPT, throughout the musical evenings on both Saturday and Sunday.  BCA now has an appointed Poet Laureate, Pamela Holley, with her very own “Poet Laureate kit” – perhaps a new tradition kicked off this year.  Prizes were awarded on Sunday evening just before the group retired in haste to their boats before the clouds burst and rained on us for the rest of the night (no critical leaks were reported).

Poetry winners with Rendezvous Coordinator Nancy Hancock from top left: Pamela Holley, Alan Crabtree, Bethanny Brooks, Leeanne Towers

Winning Poems

1st Place – “Tillikum’s Adventure With the 2017 VICE Fleet” by Pamela Holley, Tillikum

Halfway out Ucluelet Harbour, our instruments went down,
The Captain cursed, “This is the worst! We’ll have to turn around!”
But the Admiral spat, “To hell with that! We’ll steer the course by hand!
We’ve crew enough to carry on as planned.”

We motored to the red can, and met up with the Fleet.
At fourteen bells we hit the swells and trimmed the old mainsheet.
As we passed the light at Amphritite, and turned towards the west,
The Tillikum grew ready for her quest!

Sail Away! Through the day, with Shamata, Mazu and Carpe Ventus, too.
Throughout the night, ‘til morning’s light, and onward through the day,
Keep your watch o’er Bluewater, Sail Away!

Without our autopilot, we depended on the crew
To steer the course through every wave, the best that they could do.
As day grew dim, Pacific Rim sank silently behind.
The crews of VICE were of an equal mind.

“Just follow Carpe Ventus!” The Captain made it clear.
Shamata and Mazu will surely follow at the rear!”
We dodged a pod of orcas, (or maybe they were greys)
A wayward cruise ship crossed our path, chugging through the haze.
What happened in the darkness, we’ll ponder all our days.
Keep your watch o’er Bluewater, Sail Away!

2nd Place – “The Ocean Blue” by Alan Crabtree, guest aboard Noon Ocean

From the maps that I knew
The ocean always was blue
But the sea is not set
By any one palette

What you see as you cruise
Are the wild, varied hues
Indigo, red, diamond, green
Dance while the sun and the clouds preen

So, yes, set the globe in a spin
And gaze over it’s watery skin
For the ocean wears the blush
Painted by nature’s magnificent brush


3rd place – “Maybe the Sea” by Bethanny Cooper, Lil’ Ollie

Aw, the sea,
Such a mystery.
It beckons me,
And I don’t know why.

A part of me,
Wants to sail away,
Far beyond
What I know.

Out where water,
Meets more water.
Out where my thoughts,
Are free!

I love the sea,
I love the water.
We can do this,
Let us see!


4th place – by Leeanne Towers, Syntropy

There once was a man with a dream
To sail on the wide open seas
He met a young lass(ie)
40 years or so past
Who had only the land in her ass.

The wedding was quite the affair
But the honeymoon didn’t compare
He taught her to sail
The gulf islands they hailed
And the ocean was firmly impaled.

3 kids 7 dogs and careers
Took over the next 40 years
But the dream was still there
And retirement came
And the ocean was calling their name.

So now they sit drinking their tea (/wine)
On their retirement plan Syntropy
Still dreaming of feats
To sail into the heat
Of the southern most parts of the seas.


A collection of Rendezvous photos can be found here for those who wish to see what they missed and/or to relive the weekend.  If you have photos you would like to add to the gallery, please contact Jennifer.

Thanks from the VI Chapter to all who were able to get to the Rendezvous;  look forward to seeing you next year!  Best wishes to all BCA members for a great summer!




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