The Official Magazine of the Bluewater Cruising Association

Vancouver Island Fleet Rendezvous Report

Al Kitchen - VI Fleet Coordinator

Huntingford 53 Ketch
May 30th, 2023

The 2023 V.I. Fleet Rendezvous was a huge success and it all started on Friday, April 21 with the seven vessels able to attend heading for Port Browning on Pender Island. All were given explicit instructions that they were to heave-to en-route. Ever tried herding cats? Not all had the opportunity; Daragh and I did with enough wind to actually perform the manoeuvre effectively but I’m pretty certain many of them spent the time instead honing their story to be told on Saturday night at the Potluck meal. The quality of the tales certainly indicated they had been carefully crafted, but more on that later. Friday afternoon and evening saw a wonderful mixing of the crews from the Fleet over boat visits and meals at the Pub.

Daragh and Al hove-to! Look at the speed indicator!

Getting Going

Saturday morning started with a radio check-in that also included a surprise appearance by James Graham and Sue Morin on Hounds Hollow (fellow BCA members) who had been welcomed into the group at the pub. These morning check-ins are typical of offshore sailors and we have always included them as a staple of the dreamers’ preparation. Muffins were made available at the Port Browning Bistro and with caffeine in hand we began our day’s events. First on the agenda was life raft deployment and this year we had a 6-person and a 4-person model to test courtesy of Scott and Janette Brown on Whale Song and Chris Stask, our bosun, who joined Daragh and I on Chantey V for the weekend.

The morning activities continued with mast climbing on Whale Song as Charles demonstrated the use of several pieces of gear from the group and safety precautions were discussed.

After a break for lunch, we toured the decks of all boats present to discuss accidental jibe prevention, whisker pole and a Gale Sail deployment, and various other points as they arose.

All the activity ensured appetites were up for the fabulous assortment of meal items available at the Potluck in the bistro. The gang had to wait for dessert until we were all well entertained with those stories that were crafted to compensate for the avoidance of performing a heave-to. The judges (Campbell, Daragh, and I) struggled with the final decision and in the end had to post an honorable mention for Trina’s tale of her different sort of heaving-to producing a magical midnight display of phosphorescence courtesy of mal-de-mere. The award for best tale went to Scott Brown for another late-night experience off the Bunsby Islands north of Kyuquot where he discovered, accidentally, the value of being able to park a vessel on the water when a time out is needed for any purpose. He received a Davis Sextant that the fleet group has had in its possession for some time and hopefully he’ll have the opportunity to test his skills with it on the V.I.C.E. trip this summer. The “Passing the Tiller” dessert (see photo) ensured everyone had their sweet tooth cravings satisfied.

Day 2

Sunday started again with a radio check-in, caffeine, and muffins on the dock, then boat visits. This time focused on the below deck preparations our fine group of sailors had to display. By noon most were ready to head for home ports after a thoroughly enjoyable rendezvous.

Huge thanks go out to the crews from Camdeboo, Whale Song, Lunetta, Dreamer, Elu, and Salt for helping make this years V.I. Fleet Rendezvous a great success from the crew of Chantey V.

You can see all the photos from this great event in this photo album.


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