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RRC report on happenings in Northwestern North America

by Ian Grant 14 Nov 15:52 UTC
OCC British Columbia Rally 2018 © Ian Grant

Rain, rain and more rain seemed to be the order of so many days on this rally coupled with low clouds, mist and light winds. There were a few days of the usual September sunshine, notably in the days we were moored in Victoria's picturesque Inner Harbour, but, for the most part, the beautiful Gulf Islands were not shown at their best. However, we all had fun and the onshore events kept everyone busy.

Thanks to Daragh Nagle and Cathryn O Neill of Chantey V for setting up the barbecue on day 2 at Newcastle Island in Nanaimo under cover along with the excellent musical entertainment provided by Daragh and Peter McMartin from Cookie Cutter. The group passed through Dodds Narrows the next day, a pass where the tides can run up to 8+ knots and is one of the gateways into the Gulf Islands. Amazingly the sun shone briefly here and all 55 of us enjoyed the opportunity to walk the docks and enjoy the facilities of Thetis Island as we took advantage of the undercover meeting area and dining room. John Duggan, PO for Cascais, Portugal, crewing on Chantey V, celebrated his birthday here and was duly serenaded.

Andy and Liza Copeland of Bagheera had kindly arranged the use of the Royal Vancouver YC facilities on Salt Spring Island for us. We all appreciated the work done to enable us to enjoy the wonderful lamb barbecue. Several RVYC members decided we were having so much fun that they joined the party! Rain came again as we moved round to Ganges, the main town on Salt Spring, and was a dampener as the community celebrated their Fall Fair but some of the rally were able to go on an island tour.

As we moved South to Victoria we had some good sailing with Cookie Cutter and Cosmic Dancer trading tacks in a very competitive way. The sun came out as we entered the Inner Harbour to the spectacular setting and took moorage for two nights. The following day was sunny all day much to everyone's amazement and enabled several people to visit the world famous Butchart Gardens. Shaun Peck, OCC member, led an historical walking tour of Victoria. Others went to the Royal BC Museum or shopped and played the tourist. In the evening, Bagheera's side decks were used as a buffet table as we held an impromptu dock party with the highlight of a busker playing his bagpipes joining us. It turned out that the Regional Rear Commodore, Ian Grant s/v Rebel X, had done business with him and he had been employed as an oncologist by one of the other participants in the medical profession, a small world!

After a Victoria harbour history tour, we sailed round the corner to the Royal Victoria YC where we had a most enjoyable dinner with 68 members, present and past, and a OCC burgee was presented to the Commodore. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of The Vertue Award to Tony Gooch by OCC Rear Commodore Jenny Crickmore-Thompson. The next day we had a long slow sail in the fog to Montague Harbour on Galiano Island. Many of us rode the complimentary bus to the Hummingbird pub which was an adventure. The driver cranked the music up and played the percussion parts on the cymbals, etc mounted above the steering wheel, occasionally turning the wheel to navigate a corner! A different ride!

A strong wind warning was issued for the area so it was decided to sail to Vancouver the next day and spend an extra day there before the end of the rally. The Copelands swung into action once again and managed to get moorage for all the rally boats at the Royal Vancouver YC on very short notice and on top of that they arranged a potluck supper for everyone at their house. The rains were steady again for the last days in Vancouver but they did not dampen the enthusiasm at the rally windup dinner at the Yacht Club. A good time, many phone numbers and plans were exchanged, and good-byes were said. Susan and I were touched by the generous gift of wine and flowers presented to us by the rally participants.

As organiser of this BC Rally I would like to express my sincere gratitude and deep appreciation of their help and hard work to Tony and Coryn Gooch, Daragh Nagle and Cathryn O'Neill, Peter McMartin and Connie Morahan, Andy and Liza Copeland and my wife Susan. Without them this rally would not have happened.

Find the Rally Photo Gallery here

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