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Subject: CRUISE to BUTCHART GARDENS
(Posted on Feb 25, 2016 at 08:37PM by Colin Jackson)

Most  folks have heard of our world famous Butchart Gardens. Many don't know it is located only a leisurely afternoon sail from our base in Port Sidney!  Sail around the Saanich Peninsula, past some of the most beautiful scenery you might ever encounter, past the village of Brentwood Bay, and you will find it in Todd inlet. 


butchart gardens
 

Todd inlet is blessed with two beautiful landmarks the Butchart Gardens and the Gowland Todd provincial park. Last summer I joined friends who were anchored in Todd Inlet. They were stern tied to shore so it was easy to raft on to them for the evening. We made a picnic dinner, grabbed a couple of blankets and motored the dingy to the Garden entrance and  on to the outdoor stage. 

 

Depending on the time of year, it is definitely worth looking up online who will be playing. You might find your favourite type of music being performed by some talented musicians. It doesn't get any better than sitting on the grass watching live music and having a picnic.

 

But maybe it does! If you are lucky enough to show up on a Saturday night, you will get to enjoy a fabulous fireworks show when it gets dark. Bring an extra blanket to hold a good spot on the lawn in front of the fireworks. All that, and I have't even mentioned the gardens, which are gorgeous, and you will need to take the time to wander around them. 



butchart by boat

Before you leave the next day, take a walk in the Gardens but also in Gowland Todd park, just a little further down the inlet. Watch for our little lizards which are a real novelty to people from colder parts of Canada! If you explore enough you will find the remains of an old townsite. 

 

And if you have fallen in love with the area, which you surely will, the Brentwood Bay hotel has a terrific deck for refreshments, pub food & sushi, along with a full service spa for the truly self indulgent. 

 

I can hardly wait to go back!

 

See you there!!

 

DAWN

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Subject: EMERGENCY STEERING
(Posted on Jan 28, 2016 at 07:39AM by Colin Jackson)
1992 VICTORIA-MAUI : 4 BOATS LOSE THEIR RUDDERS

US Coast Guard Cutter tows the Swan yacht “Rocket J Squirrel” from the middle of the Pacific back through the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The cutter proudly carried the yacht’s ‘war banner’ on her bow – with the boat’s namesake ‘Rocky’ of ‘Rocky & Bullwinkle’.



The advice from the captain to this yachtsman skipper: “Next time you break down it had better be in a Winnebago in Wisconsin!”

Most recreational boats (even some of the latest power vessels), carry an emergency tiller, which allows the vessel to be steered if the steering mechanisms are lost. Sadly, that gear doesn’t help if the rudder itself is severely damaged or lost. In some cases, there are things you can do – like dragging buckets off the side that you want to turn. In other cases, the circumstances become more dire. Enter the emergency rudder.

steering

On our LEVEL THREE training vessel “ALEGRIA X”, we have an entire emergency rudder system. When participating in long range cruising & racing, we take the fold down transom door off and attach the custom base for our emergency rudder system. Should the rudder become seriously damaged or lost, we can quickly pin the cassette for this rudder, then drop a large custom blade in that cassette, followed by the coolest custom tiller in the Pacific NorthWest (perhaps the world!). You see, our tiller goes around the backstay to give enough leverage to drive this powerful boat along without too much challenge.

So where do we store this monstrosity? Well, offshore sailing isn’t the perfect setup for slippery floors and the boat is also a little tall for every crew member to reach the handrails built into the ceiling. Sooooo… we replace the mahogany flooring with a non skid covered floor, compete with two centerline handrails that serve for shorter crew and a mounting surface for that big rudder blade.

Offshore adventures are all about preparing for the worst & hoping for the best.  Heavy weather, long passages?  Best to try before you buy. 

So far, the equipment has only been used in practice. We’d love for that always to be the case! Preparing for big adventures? Consider our LEVEL THREE COURSES & the awesome SAFETY AT SEA class run through BC SAILING



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Subject: DOCK LIKE A BOSS
(Posted on Jun 28, 2015 at 12:07PM by Colin Jackson)


GREAT VIDEO ~ need to dock better? ~ give us a ring!
Subject: OWNERSHIP or ACCESS ... that IS the question
(Posted on Dec 31, 2014 at 05:52PM by Colin Jackson)
~ as SHAKESPEARE would have phrased it ~ to OWN or NOT TO OWN, that IS the question ~

let's face it, nobody woke up in this morning & said:

~ "gee honey, last night, I dreamt of renting a boat" ~

there is a dream that circles around OWNING the boat ~ for some, that is exactly what they should do

~ if unfettered access is the goal, & you have the time & money to support a boat, get shopping & find your ‘ship of dreams’ **  
 


1 generally speaking, the math around charter rates suggest that if you want to own instead of rent, you should be out on your boat for about 60 days per year for conventional ownership to stack up financially over chartering in our immediate region ~
 
2 ownership at a lower usage rate makes sense financially through a program (charter ownership or fractional ownership for example) ~
 
3 for some, ACCESS trumps OWNERSHIP ~ handing back the keys & moving on with other life adventures is key ~ memberships, co-ops & a variety of programs have come along recently, but chartering remains as strong today as when Columbus signed the charter contract for the Nina, Pinta & the good old Santa Maria ~

 
after all, SHAKESPEARE hadn’t heard of cars, let alone CAR-2-GO ~ OWNERSHIP may be a very simple concept, but ACCESS might be 'just what the doctor ordered' in some cases ~
 
~remember, nobody NEEDS a DRILL; one only NEEDS a HOLE ~

either way, we're here to help!


 
 
 
**considering ownership?? ~ our BOAT BUYING SEMINAR helps you become an educated buyer ~ packed with tips & tricks useful in your quest



Subject: EXPERIENCE the outdoors without ever having to go outdoors!
(Posted on Oct 30, 2014 at 07:49PM by Samantha Jackson)
~ some of us are self admitted wimps ~

put another way, we do not ALWAYS want to layer up & face the elements ~

cruising off season need not be uncomfortable ~ turn on the furnace, open a door & let the gazebo-like canvas structures allow you to cruise in NOVEMBER or MARCH in shirt sleeves~




we've got the best selection ~ at the moment they include:

SAIL

CORUS (bavaria 50)

CASSIOPEIA (bavaria 42)

SCOTTISH MIST (bavaria 42)

AMRITHA (lagoon 400)

HAPPY HOUR TOO (bavaria 39)

ETESIAN (hunter 36)

ALLWYNDS (catalina 320)



POWER


CALINDA (westcoast 62)

LAST TANGO (westcoast 57)

MARINER'S COMPASS (westcoast 46)

MEMORIES (westcoast 46)

PRINCESS PATRICIA (westcoast 46)

RAVEN MAGIC (grand banks 42)

IMPULSE (carver 40)

BOOGIE WOOGIE (cooper prowler 35)


Subject: superstitions: FRIDAY the 13th & SAILORS
(Posted on Jun 13, 2014 at 05:39PM by Colin Jackson)
the tale of HMS FRIDAY, commissioned to dispell the fear of setting sail on a FRIDAY ~ only to confirm the fear... is an urban myth -

you'll see from wikipedia, that the story is really one of those legendary hoaxes, but sailors are a superstitious group & there certainly has been a hesitation to set sail on FRIDAY

~ accordingly ~ we just delivered our boat to the BROUGHTONS DREAMSPEAKER FLOTILLA by leaving late on THURSDAY ~ 

it all worked very well with some nice things to look at thanks to that decision

Subject: cinnamon buns help you learn FUEL RETURNS
(Posted on Mar 27, 2014 at 11:13PM by Colin Jackson)
do you know about FUEL RETURNS? this story of the most expensive cinnamon buns on the planet will certainly help you remember - lessons can be expensive - these are on someone else's dime

ONCE upon a time, in a marina far, far away (powell river), there lived a boat with lots of valves in the engine room.

Our student ~ or 'VICTIM' ~ decided to change a few of the valves, not fully appreciating that diesel engines draw more fuel than they require & RETURN fuel back to the tanks. Being that 'a little knowledge is dangerous,' they inadvertently set up so that both engines drew fuel from the port tank & returned to the starboard tank.   Their journey took them to the top of TOBA inlet, at which point, their boat had a heavy list that wasn't noticed until both engines died & the boat came to a complete stop.  

Receiving the call (how they had phone coverage I may never know - at least something worked), it didn't take long to determine what had happened.  The adventure in the engine room had come to an end ~ they would not extend their 'tinkering' to bleeding out the entire fuel injection system, so we dispatched help.  

Friendly STU came to the rescue in his high speed vessel.  Knowing people would not be delighted about the whole experience, STU's craft made one emergency stop in LUND to take on 'mission critical' supplies.

When STU climbed aboard the listing, motionless craft at the head of TOBA, he said with his giant enthusiastic smile ~ "Hi, I'm here to get you running again - enjoy these fresh CINNAMON BUNS from NANCY'S BAKERY while I work".  Tinkering with something they didn't fully understand lead these people to enjoy the most expensive bakery items of their life - but they fully understood what happened & it never happened again.



In delivering our new addition "KITTIWAKE" to SIDNEY this week, being the recipient of that fateful call that lead to the infamous sticky bun delivery, I was quick to realize when one tank was gaining fuel and the other was losing fuel ~ something had to be amiss ~ enter that pesky "RETURN LINE" setup once again.  A couple trips to the engine room lead to a correction.  Be sure to familiarize yourself with all boat systems, monitor your gauges & only change settings you understand.



The cinnamon bun story allows this valuable lesson to be at someone else's expense.
Subject: what to do with friends who do NOT go boating
(Posted on Jan 30, 2014 at 08:42PM by Colin Jackson)
what a CHALLENGE ~ friends who won't head out on the water with you ~

it may be possible to convert them ~ a worthy cause for certain, but just in case, you might consider a different strategy ~



even WORSE ~ friends who say they will join you on a charter (& share the expenses) ~ only to back out & leave you holding the tab ~

while the OBVIOUS SOLUTION could be finding new friends, that can be easier said than done  ~

there is a better way ~ our CREW club has some great people & we assign the boats based on who's going - taking out a big pile of risk (especially the risk of needing new friends) ~ sail & power boat club in VANCOUVER, SIDNEY & POWELL RIVER



~ browse the events now
Subject: FLOTILLAS, RALLIES, RACES & REGATTAS
(Posted on Dec 31, 2013 at 02:28PM by Colin Jackson)
it’s all about having fun, but ~ alas ~ fun comes in different flavours



we organize some great chances to cruise together inshore & there’s room for ‘newbies’ & old salts alike

true, any time a couple boats head in the same direction, a bit of competition turns on, but there’s no official flavour of racing in these events ~ ~ we call these adventures FLOTILLAS




as the competition comes more front & centre, we have a combination race & flotilla known as a RALLY ~ two very substantial rallies that people may know about from our region (but not in our region) are the BAJA HA HA from SAN DIEGO to CABO SAN LUCAS, held each fall for the last 20 years, & the ARC or ATLANTIC RALLY FOR CRUISERS - heading across the ATLANTIC from LAS PALMAS to ST LUCIA

a little known fact is one of our fleet boats was in the ARC a few years back on its way to join our BC fleet

the HAHA also mentions that power boats are welcome participants

rallies provide flotilla camaradarie & safety with a little friendly competition to boot ~ look for some in BC including our ROUND VANCOUVER ISLAND RALLY in JUNE



then, at some point, a few people lose their minds completely & make their foray into the world of RACING & REGATTAS

sailboat RACING is really where the line "SLOWLY GOING NOWHERE AT GREAT EXPENSE" really comes into its own

premium sails can cost thousands, be competitive at high levels for times measured in hours & you need an "inventory" of them

organizing crew & the like becomes a lot like another job, but in the end, the satisfaction of getting a boat around a course as a team ~ working to squeeze another 1/10th of a knot out of the boat is all worth it
         
for one of the legendary regattas in our region (also known as "adult day camp") check out WHIDBEY ISLAND RACE WEEK




ALAS ~ it need not be so ~ our low key FRIDAY NIGHT RACING & some of our new TEAM events  are INCLUDED for members, who also enjoy unlimited sailing through the JIB SET sailing club for $149/month

that's right, when those moderately insane people on big boats talk about their $4,000 spinnaker, realize that that could be over TWO YEARS boat access with EVERYBODY'S SAILING CLUB - the JIB SET

TWO YEARS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE SAIL (that is competitive part of the inventory for less than that)?  you can see how certain people can call the insanity
Subject: weather watching by reading the water
(Posted on Sep 20, 2013 at 08:47AM by Colin Jackson)

MARLA'S MONTHLY TIP ~

we get asked this question a lot by cruising students & new charter skippers, who get asked this by their crew members: LET US HELP YOU ~


Q: wow can I tell how strong the wind is just by looking at the sea?

A: the BEAUFORT wind force scale was devised in 1805 by british admiral SIR FRANCIS BEAUFORT

initially, the scale did not reference wind speed numbers but related to effects on the sails ~ after many years of evolution the scale is now an excellent visual guide to the wind conditions


by the way, don't go out on the water when you see the flags above - those two code flags together indicate a HURRICANE WARNING!

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