Shortly after the 2019 Calgary Thanksgiving Rendezvous, my wife Elaine and I were asked to organize the 2020 Rendezvous. Having never been to a rendezvous, this was not something that I was looking forward to. Everyone said how easy it was and that there was basically not much to do. The year 2020 came along and we had a reprieve; COVID-19 saved us from organizing anything, but really just pushed it off to 2021. The challenges of COVID of course remained, but we were much more determined to make it happen; we had all been away from our friends and social group for too long.
Living in the middle of a pandemic called for a change of format in 2021. A rendezvous anywhere that could be cancelled by COVID restrictions needed to be avoided. It was decided to meet at Montague Harbor where there is room for lots of anchoring. Montague Harbour Marine Provincial Park also gives enough space for social distancing. Requiring attendees to be fully vaccinated was both for everyone’s comfort and to get ahead of any possible last minute changes in the BC Provincial Public Health Orders.
In order to help maintain some level of social distancing, Saturday was a casual meet and greet with a walk around the park. Despite the very real threat of rain, over 30 BCA members from all three chapters participated in the walk around Gray Peninsula.
The other format change was that we would not eat in a pub restaurant as was done in previous years at Thetis Island Marina. There was also a lot of hesitation about the idea of a potluck. Instead, for dinner on Sunday, we came up with the idea of a collective BBQ; everyone would cook for themselves but everything had to be prepared in tinfoil. To add a bit of spirit to the event, the BBQ became a competition: best appetizer, entree, and dessert.
The variety of meals that were cooked in tinfoil amazed everyone. As the official judge, I was “forced” to try most of the items. Everything was fantastic and judging was challenging. In the end, everyone won as we all had an amazing evening together.
A big thanks to John Kortbeek, Calgary’s Vice Commodore, for all the help and ideas.
Message of Thanks from David Mitchell, BCA Commodore:
“My sincerest gratitude goes out to the BCA Calgary Chapter for all of their efforts in organizing and successfully carrying out this year’s Thanksgiving Rendezvous. During these times of the COVID-19 pandemic and varied opinions of how to navigate through the risks, they stayed course, working hard to provide many with a much needed, socially responsible event. Without doubt, Calgary far exceeded all expectations! Thank you!”
A small collection of photos from the Rendezvous can be found here.