The Official Magazine of the Bluewater Cruising Association

Vancouver Island Fleet Report - April 2023

Al Kitchen - VI Fleet Coordinator

Huntingford 53 Ketch
May 17th, 2023

The last VI Fleet meeting this year involved some mystery and subterfuge and was well appreciated by the 12 in-person and the 14 Zoom sailors in attendance.  High on the list of announcements was the upcoming V.I.C.E. event and the VI Fleet Rendezvous on April 21-23. This included the announcement of a mystery prize to be awarded for the best Heaving-to story told on Saturday evening at the Pot-Luck dinner. For the answer to that mystery, you’ll need to read the Fleet Rendezvous Report!

Now, the subterfuge. For Show & Tell our Commodore, David Mitchell, had volunteered to bring in what turned out to be a Walder Boom Brake they found secured in the bilge of Salt. David was confused by a piece of random hardware attached to the device and was looking forward to an explanation of how this was all supposed to work. Turns out the extraneous hardware was from a different vessel and was completely irrelevant to the Brake.

The subterfuge involved certain organizers and David’s family members ensuring he believe he would be presenting this device for discussion at the Fleet meeting, when in-fact he would be shuffled off by Trina to pick up family at the airport and then taken to a surprise dinner to celebrate his recent retirement from the military. Daragh and I substituted for David (Trina had smuggled me the brake without his knowledge) to demonstrate the basics of this Boom Brake set-up.

Sean Thompson from Dolphin Insurance then dispelled some of the mysteries around the current state of the offshore boating insurance market for the group and effectively addressed the many questions from folks in the audience.

After the break Daragh presented a discussion of the procedures and paperwork around clearing in and out while traveling offshore.

Over the past several years Daragh and I have tried several approaches to surveying the Fleet regarding their evaluation of the year and recommendations for the next season. As we are on our way out the door, we finally found a better approach! We set aside time for a group discussion, polling each individual about their input on topics presented or not and what would be of added value to the program. We now have a healthy list to pass on to Campbell and Bill as they guide next season’s group of Dreamers.

I hope I speak for Daragh when I say it has been a privilege for us to serve the Fleet over the last several years as we aided so many enthusiastic sailors in their quests to voyage offshore.


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