The Official Magazine of the Bluewater Cruising Association

Vancouver Island Fleet Reports - September and October 2022

Al Kitchen - VI Fleet Coordinator

Huntingford 53 Ketch
October 31st, 2022

On September 21, 15 sailors from 8 boats met at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club with 9 sailors from 6 boats via Zoom for the first session of the 2022-23 BCA VI Fleet.  Fleet coordinators Daragh Nagle and Al Kitchen and weather facilitator Max Shaw introduced themselves to the group, described the typical operating process of our meetings, and highlighted important opportunities for the coming year. These included the Vancouver Boat Show, the VI Fleet Rendezvous, and VICE. They also informed the Fleet of other assets available to them including the BCA Fleet Map and the Fleet and Weather Google Drives where this year’s digital information will be shared.

Devin Jones volunteered a Show & Tell item the group will likely be interested in, soft shackles. Marina and Rob volunteered to present next month’s Show & Tell.

Members of the group then introduced themselves and briefly shared their sailing experiences and dreams.

Al presented a short Power Point highlighting the Weather Routing plugin on Open CPN as an aid for those planning to participate in the Weather Group who hadn’t used a Weather Routing program yet.  After a short break Scott Crawshaw presented the first unit of the Weather curriculum to those interested in attending.

Zoom attendees

In October, group numbers swelled to 27 sailors at RVYC and 7 attending via Zoom, for the perpetual favourite presentation – a panel discussion be returned cruisers. Each “boat” of returnees is given the basic topic outline that goes something like:

The main topic for the panel is “If you had known then what you know now, what would you have done differently in preparing yourselves and your boat to go offshore”.  For example, what would you have changed on the boat, what equipment would you have bought or left behind, what information would have been helpful, what other preparations should you have made?  The format will be a 20–25-minute presentation by each boat (total of 3 presentations) followed by questions.

This year’s presenters were Bill & Cathy Norrie, Yan Jullien (a non-BCA solo offshore sailor Dave & Dianne Cherry met in Mexico), and Max Shaw. After the usual, though abbreviated, announcements, Marina Steele brilliantly filled the Show & Tell portion of our meeting with her tales (also abbreviated) of her 12 day all women’s cruise and learn voyaging experience across the North Sea. Stay tuned as this story deserves a Club night presentation!

Brent Alley updated us on the Education offerings available and planned before the panel went to work. Cathy’s detailed and very organized opening set the stage for Bill to inject his always boisterous enthusiasm on his outlook to offshore cruising and preparation. Yan then took the helm and though he had a tough act to follow showed how adaptable and responsive he could be as he nurtured the excitement infused by Bill. In the last few years we have had a growing number of families heading offshore and so it was fitting that Max add his input from his Pacific circumnavigation that included an addition to his family.

Next month Catherine Ascah will present to the group on Medical preparations for offshore.


  1. Kitchen Albert says:

    Correction: the September meeting was 15 sailors on the 21st

    1. Thanks, Al. Article updated accordingly.

  2. Carl SV Gran Escápe says:

    Al, could you please give me a call @250-268-3881…..cheers, Carl

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