The Official Magazine of the Bluewater Cruising Association

VI Fleet Rendezvous at Otter Bay

Al Kitchen - VI Fleet Coordinator

Huntingford 53 Ketch
May 15th, 2022

On the weekend of April 22-24, 2022 ten vessels from the BCA VI Fleet gathered at Otter Bay, Pender Island to meet (in person!) for a couple of days of opportunities to share plans, information, boat layouts, beverages, and good food.

Though cruising safely on the coast of British Columbia in the sailing season requires the acquisition of many navigation and boating skills, “heaving-to” is not one of them. It is, however, a vital offshore skill and that is why the participants attending the 2022 VI Fleet Rendezvous were requested to perform this maneuver on their way to the outing and be prepared to describe what they learned from the attempt.

As most winds experienced by the group were in the low single digits there was some allowance made for creative writing as the adventures were shared with the group. In the end the prize for best story had to go to Rob, Marina, and crew aboard Andromeda as their operation included a double reefed main. The effort bagged them the coveted prize of a copy of Randal Reeve’s book highlighting his adventures in pursuit of the “Figure 8 voyage” solo double circumnavigation.

A tradition at our rendezvous: each morning began with an offshore tradition for many sailors, a radio NET. Then breakfast options were available courtesy of Chuck and Jillian at the café including croissants to die for and several choices of muffins.

Life raft deployment exercise

The group activities included:

  • Marine First Aid course set up by Philip & Michele Cook
  • 4-man life raft deployment
  • Mast climbing adventures
  • Examination of options for downwind preventers / boom brakes
  • Demo of HF radio & Pactor modem/Iridium Go/InReach

The overall highlight of the weekend may have been the boat tours as we saw the great preparations each set of sailors had executed to ready their vessel for offshore passages. A close second in the highlight department would have to be the potluck meal on Saturday evening. Need I say more?

Saturday evening potluck dinner

The VI Fleet extends a huge shout out to Dan from Otter Bay Marina for making the group so welcome to this wonderful facility on Pender Island.

Al Kitchen and Daragh Nagle, VI Fleet Coordinators

Any VI members who are interested in joining Fleet of 2022/23 are invited to contact Fleet Coordinators, Al Kitchen and Daragh Nagle and/or sign up online.  The “new year” usually begins in late September or early October.


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *