There is no preparation for going offshore quite like being offshore. You can do this by joining VICE 2015 (Vancouver Island Cruising Experience).
Each year BCA vessels from all three chapters get together online to plan a multi-day offshore trip, usually in late June/early July. They wait for a weather window on the West Coast of Vancouver Island before sailing out to sea. The idea is to leave in reasonable weather that is similar to what you will be experiencing on your offshore voyage. The boats head out into the Pacific for two or three days, sailing towards a selected GPS destination before turning back. This shakedown cruise will give you a chance to test your boats and yourselves – cooking, eating, sleeping, using offshore systems, communicating and keeping watch at sea – the skills you will need when you leave on your real voyage. VICE also gives you the opportunity to practice manoeuvres like heaving to and deploying a drogue or storm anchor – best practiced before Mother Nature puts you to the test!
Boats that participate in VICE are often looking for crew. This is a golden opportunity for boatless dreamers to experience life on board prior to buying and equipping a boat.
If you are interested in participating in VICE 2015 (no commitment necessary), please e-mail Don Hutchison.  We will help you get in touch with the VICE 2015 fleet so that you can join in the planning.
If you are a member of BCA, you can read about previous VICE trips in these past copies of Currents (you will be asked to login to the BCA website when you click on the links below):