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The Official Magazine of the Bluewater Cruising Association

VICE: A Glimpse from the Past

Connie Morahan, VI Fleet Coordinator

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Peterson 36 Cutter
April 28th, 2015

Recently, I came across a bit of VICE history, and since VICE 2015 is fast approaching, I thought it was fitting to share. As most of you may know, VICE is BCA’s Vancouver Island Cruising Experience. During VICE, intrepid bluewater sailors head to the west coast of Vancouver Island and fearlessly set out West for a few days as a shakedown cruise. They test their boats, equipment, watch rotations and … I am sure… their grog supplies!  VICE is available to BCA members only, and you can learn more about it at the BCA Education site (you have to login to access the information).

So, I was talking with Margaret Ibbotson, who was one of the coordinators of the first VICE in 1990, and she told me about a poem that she and her husband wrote for that first VICE .  They also created a flag for VICE which you see at the top of this article.

Weather Conditions for VICE’ 90

All fellow VICE fans will surely remember that Donna promised outflow winds for the first three days and inflow winds for the second three days.   Now I think that someone must have got their outs mixed up with their ins because Blue Denim didn’t have any of these conditions. However, to commemorate the circumstances, skipper Peter wrote the following ditty with which the crew serenaded Donna and fellow VICE survivors at the very welcome homecoming at Sidney Spit.

On the nose again

We’re heading out to where it blows again

To waters maybe we can know again

But you can bet we’re on the nose again.

Out in the Straight again

To sailing that is really great again

The boat should move at such a rate again

But that darned wind is on the nose again

We are so far offshore

To lats and longs we’ve never been before

But there’s that old familiar story that we know

That old darned wind is on the nose again.

Then  comes the turn around

And now we are all homeward bound

Soon we’ll be standing on some firmer ground

But that darned wind is on the nose again


It was a grand trip – worth all the lists we made, wondering what we’d let ourselves in for – much easier to just go cruising to Desolation Sound.  A special thanks to Larry the Communicator “Ocean Angel”.    After first the first 24 hours, we didn’t see another boat, and without VHF comnmunication, we would have thought we were the only VICE boat out there.

Blue Denim crew:    Peter Ibbotson, Skipper, Margaret Ibbotson, Hank Papenhuyzen  and Kathy Calvert.





  1. Jennifer Handley says:

    What a great story! And poem. Thanks Connie for sharing this bit of BCA history with us.

  2. Anne Brevig says:

    Remembers it well! And miraculously, we found the fabled Cobb Seamount after 3 days, using only dead reckoning, no less. Those were the days…..

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