The Official Magazine of the Bluewater Cruising Association

In Memoriam − Ian Monsarrat

January 12th, 2015

Ian was born in Montreal on September 9, 1934 and passed at 8 bells (End of Watch) at 0800h on 18 December, 2014. He and I were married in 1982 in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Ian had four children from a previous marriage.

Ian was a photographer: commercial, industrial, CN, National Research Council, CIL. Since 1977, he was an Ophthalmic Photographer at UBC, Eye Care Centre, and Burnaby. He also took photos for fun!

Ian taught Power Squadron courses and sailing courses at Jib Set.

In 1979, Ian and I sailed our 26′ Thunderbird, Tolowa, up the inlets: Toba, Bute, Jervis, and Rivers, exploring the BC coast. We received an award from the Thunderbird Fleet 9 for going farthest afield in a T’bird that year! We also gave a talk at the Ocean Cruising Series at the Planetarium about our trip.

We bought Allegra, a Spencer 42, in 1980, moved aboard and into Spruce Harbour, and are still there. That year, we sailed to the Queen Charlottes, as a shakedown cruise to learn about our boat. We spent the next eight years sailing the BC Coast extensively, inside and outside Vancouver Island, and Puget Sound.

We were not part of the BCA Fleet as Fleet did not exist in those days. We just talked to cruisers as they came back to find out a bit more.

From 1988 − 1991, we sailed down to Mexico, across the Sea of Cortez to Acapulco, before heading to French Polynesia, Tonga, and New Zealand. When we returned, we received a BCA Offshore Award.

From 1999-2004 we travelled in our Volkswagen Westfalia in Mexico, the western American states, Alaska, BC, and Alberta.

Ian received a BCA Service Award in appreciation for his years spent on the Vancouver Chapter’s concession as bartender from 2007-2009.

With a quick wit, Ian would tease, banter, and chat with folks, and was well-known for his sense of humour. He will be missed by the many who knew him.

Barb Angel

Vancouver, BC



  1. Richard says:

    Barb I’m truly sorry to hear you’ve lost Ian. Whenever I’d get the opportunity to spend a few minutes with him his sense of humour provided the backup for his kind spirit.

  2. Alix Day says:

    I am so sorry to hear about Ian. I well remember rafting up in Howe Sound and coming aboard for dinner. You and Ian introduced me to soft tacos!!! I think Ian’s favourite phrase was “voulez vous couchez avec moi?”!!

  3. Jennifer Handley says:

    And so, Alix, Ian still can generate a laugh after he has passed! Thanks for sharing his memory with those of us who did not know him as well.

  4. Blake Williams says:

    Barb you have done a masterful job in summarizing the significant elements of Ian ‘s life well lived. His humour is unparalleled and I expect that he is teaching bikini clad angels how to build a funnel and surgical rubber tubing water balloon launcher with orders to fire as he sails into each new anchorage. He’s a rare man and we all enjoyed so much laughter and fun together.

  5. Richard MacAlpine says:

    I will always remember Ian as an extremely kind and gentle person. May he enjoy eternal peace.

  6. Rudi and Iris says:

    Our sincere condolences to Barb, family and friends .
    We have fond memories of Ian as such a kind, caring and funny sole who was always there giving a helping hand.
    Rudi and Iris Seifert

  7. David R. McCann says:

    Although I am saddened by Ian’s passing and will miss his cheery smile and gentle laughter, I am glad he came my way. He always had the time for a chat and a story, and his wife Barb is absolutely right – Ian teased everyone he knew and loved being teased in return. He was one of those characters you fondly remember – and the memories will linger long and be brought to the fore in quiet times of reflection. Thank you for coming my way young lad, and don’t go chasing any blonds wherever you are – there is a beautiful one who is still here who misses you and who will one day chase you down a deserted beach once again. Take care, you are missed.

  8. Glenora Doherty says:

    My husband Peter and I met Ian and Barb at a BCA Rendezvous at Degnen Bay over 25 years ago, and over the years our friendship grew. From 1994-1997, Ian and Barb’s Allegra and our boat, Wanderlust V were neighbors at Spruce Harbor Marina and we had so much fun together – those were wonderful years. We’d often sail to the same destination on the weekend and on the way home, they would have a roast in the oven, and when we got back to Spruce Harbor, we’d bring over a side dish or two, wine, and Ian would drink his martinis and Peter would drink his scotch, and we’d enjoy chatting about our adventures. And of course, we always had Ian’s favorite toast: “Here’s to it and from it and to it again…” We often made wine and beer together too, and shared the cost and the drinking. He was such a helpful neighbor – for example, I will never forget that he lent us their life raft when we sailed in VICE ’95. He didn’t just lend it, it arranged to have it serviced. And when we needed repairs on our radar, he was the one who drove down across the border to pick it up for us. Barb & Ian are the only people I know who have lived aboard a boat for 35 years and they always kept their boat in beautiful top-notch condition, especially the varnish in the main cabin! And when Peter passed away and Wanderlust V was in Mazatlan, it was Ian and Barb who flew down to Mexico with me to clean her up and prepare her for her for a return to Canada. In the years that followed, Ian was always so happy to see me when I visited them aboard Allegra , and he loved it when I brought my dog Tilley with me. I’ll always remember his wonderful smile – it would light up a room – and his great hugs. He was a great friend, neighbor, sailor, pet lover, tease, photographer and poet. I miss you, Jackson!

  9. Michael says:

    I am sorry to hear of Ian’s passing. I will never forget talking with Ian and having great laughs at his humour. I even remember going to your marina with my Dad when I was really young and being at a party there and Ian made me feel comfortable by telling me stories of his pet skunk and making me laugh. I also had the honour of filming both Ian and Barb for the 2010 Blue water video I made while I was in film school.

    Ian will be missed, I am sure he is making others laugh now.

  10. Kathy & Bill Clark says:

    Barb, our thoughts are with you. Ian’s love of telling jokes remain with us and still remember the punch line of a joke that Ian told us over 30 years ago although cannot remember the story line any longer, and for years afterwards when we crept into an anchorage after dark and found Allegra all ready there. We would call out ‘Chickens’!
    Rest in peace Ian.

  11. Robert Bartlett says:

    Very sorry to hear of Ian’s passing ..

  12. We were honoured to be a part of Ian’s celebration of life earlier last month. Former Commodore, Blake Williams prepared a beautiful toast to Ian, amid sea shanties, in a very full house at Spruce Harbour. Here is the video:

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