Please select your home edition
Zhik 2018 Hyeres 728x90

Great New BCA Courses 2018-2019

by Joan & Ken Newman 22 May 11:11 UTC
Happy Cooks © Joan & Ken Newman

Ken and I are pleased to have participated in four new courses offered by the Vancouver Island Chapter this year. They all enhanced BCA's already extensive educational opportunities. If you're preparing to get off the dock, we encourage you to engage in some fun learning with these courses whenever they are offered again. Thank you very much to VI Education Watchkeeper, Lionel Dobson, for his organization.

Here's a summary of their content so you can ask for them during next year's learning season:

Keeping Healthy Bodies on the Boat (March 2, 2019)

Three instructorsBarbara Erickson, Camie Bentham and Jennifer Letham Sobkingave us the benefit of their expertise and experience.

Jen, a registered dietician, focused on the importance of a balanced food intake for staying healthy, and on the benefits of each of the food groups. She shared lots of tips and some great recipes for healthy snacks and meals to keep our energy stores and immunity levels up.

Barb put us all to work in the "galley" to prepare a fantastic meal of fresh bread, fish tacos (she/we even made the tortillas too!), and a vegetable curry. The bread was baked in two waysin the oven and in a cast-iron pot on the stove. The fish was freshly caught white Spring Salmon, donated by Camie's husbandthank you, John! A bonus was Barb's list of galley equipment must-haves.

Camie and Barb had us working out with exercises that combined aerobics, strength training, and yoga stretchesall important for keeping our bodies working well on the boatand gave us ideas for doing the exercises in the confined space of a boat.

We all came away from the workshop with great ideas and feeling inspired to keep ourselves healthy with good food and exercise.

Casting OffBreaking Free on the Home Front (January 19, 2019)

This full-day workshop was led by Rick Ellis, who facilitates lots of healthy reflection and discussion in his courses. By giving us a safe space to reflect, he encourages us to open our minds.

In this course, Rick was encouraging us to think of how we maintain a life on land while we plan for the cruising life. He pointed out that stopping what we're doing can be harder than starting the dreamand the longer we leave the cruising life, the harder it is to leave, with the myriad of things that anchor us to our lives. We need to include this personal planning as we prepare ourselves to get off the dock.

Rick talked about this transition as being a process of letting go and de-cluttering. He then led us through a series of introspective questions and had us rank ourselves and compare that to our crew's self-ranking. Understanding ourselves and each other's approaches can help us work through the stress of letting go and the sense of loss that may come with it. We reflected on our communication and conflict styles, as well as multitasking and procrastination.

Rick helped us think about the practical aspects we must deal with on land before we sail awaydeciding whether to sell up everything or leave a land base; how to maintain that land base while away; cleaning out the clutter and arranging storage for all that we are not ready to let go of; making arrangements for finance and banking and insurance, planning for maintaining contact with family and friends, etc.

Rick Ellis's courses are always well-receivedwe leave feeling enlightened. One course participant remarked "If Rick Ellis is teaching the course, I'm taking it!"

Abandon Ship: Stay Alive in Your Life Raft (February 16, 2019)

Our half-day course started in the classroom with Captain Jim Steele, who delivers intensive training to coast pilots. Jim covered the essentials of PFDs and life rafts, survival packs and ditch bags. He discussed how to handle ourselves both in the water and in the life raft, along with the most effective ways to signal for rescue and the type of equipment used in rescues.

The practical component of the course started with a bang as we jumped into the pool with all our gear on and the inflatable PFDs went off with loud bangsstartling but comforting to know that they worked so well. And it reinforced the need for leg straps to prevent the PFD from sliding up and over our faces and heads.

Once we acclimatized to being in the water laden with our gear (and discovered that our boots did stay on!), we found the ways that worked best for each of us to navigate to the life raft.

And then the fun started with climbing into the life raftwhat a challenge! We also learned the technique to right an overturned life raft.

The conditions in a pool with calm, warm water and helping hands were no comparison to what we would face in an open-ocean experience; nonetheless, it was very helpful to have a sense of what to expect and how to keep ourselves safe. This was a great opportunity to build confidence through knowledge and experience in a controlled situation.

Extra thanks go to Lionel Dobson for all his life raft handling, both before and after the course!

Introduction to Boat Systems for Women (October 20, 2018)

This course was another first-time offering in Fall 2018, coordinated by Kathy Swangard, VI Mid-Island Rep, that also received kudos from the participants. It was presented by Pamela Bendall (author of What Was I Thinking) and Steve Nash, both highly experienced skippers. Tricia Nash gave opening remarks, summarizing how she came to the cruising life with no previous sailing experience.

During the morning session, Pamela and Steve did a great job of leading us through the theory behind a boat's propulsion system, peppering their presentation with lots of examples and show-and-tell of parts and tools. Pamela also shared her tips for practical maintenance. The two instructors gave an introduction to electrical systems as well, and then took us on board a couple of boats to give us the opportunity to discover and identify the components that we had been discussing earlier.

The course was enthusiastically received by all present, and we were energized to apply our learning on our own boats.

Related Articles

Destination Singapore
Bali was beautiful but Singapore beckoned We intended to island hop as much as possible. According to a 2010 survey, Indonesia is made up of some 13,466 islands and only 922 are inhabited. The cruising is excellent, the culture exotic and it is rewarding to explore ashore. Posted on 30 May
Postcards from a Caribbean Winter part 7
End to the Azorean Summer It was September 14, 2018 and as the saying goes "every cloud has a silver lining". In our case, the looming late season weather patterns meant most cruising yachts had left the Azores. Posted on 11 May
A better 12V mousetrap
Many boat items have been around a long time, like lighter sockets Many boat items have been around a long time. I'm not talking about the forgotten bag of limes in the bottom of the icebox/fridge. Rather, things like cleats, blocks, teak'n'holly sole, tillers and wheels. Posted on 6 May
Vancouver Club Night - Sailing the dream and more
You've sailed the South Pacific. Now what?! Cresswell Walker and Irena Chmielowicz, aboard Conversations, took a less-travelled route home from the South Pacific and will share memories of the passage at the May Vancouver Club Night. Posted on 1 May
Fred Again III - Lost on Reef in the Caribbean
Navionics collects data from users and adds it to existing charts Essentially, Navionics collects data from users and adds it to existing charts with a proprietary algorithm to enable additional detail, or detail where there was none before, and calls this 'sonarcharts'. Posted on 29 Apr
Vancouver Island Cruising Experience (VICE) 2019
There is no preparation for going offshore quite like being offshore VICE is a multi-day (usually 2-3 days) shakedown cruise for BCA members in good standing that gives participants a chance to test their boat and themselves – cooking, eating, sleeping, using offshore systems, communicating and keeping watch at sea Posted on 27 Apr
Calgary Club Night: Attempt on Gemini's Dream
"I have a story. It is a story of a dream, of courage and of perseverance." I have a story. It is a story of a dream, of courage and of perseverance. It is not a fairy tale story. There is no crossing the finish line. There is no glory. Posted on 26 Apr
Arepas, Sancocho & Cerveza: A Lament for Venezuela
Venezuela was once a go-to hurricane hole for cruisers in the Caribbean Heraclitus was right...the stream has changed and so have you. Recent reports from Venezuela would deter the most intrepid from wanting to return here. Posted on 23 Apr
Costa Rica to Panama
An interesting, challenging, but somewhat disappointing adventure We made it to Panama at 1100h on New Year's Day after quite an eventful New Year's Eve. After leaving Bahia Hermosa, we made our way to Isla Tortuga and had a feast of fresh Ahi tuna with all the fixing for Christmas dinner. Posted on 23 Apr
Cruising with kids
Our children tell us that trip was the best thing we did as a family Crossing the South Pacific on a small sailboat was never my dream, but I have done it and enjoyed it. My idea was to sail the protected waters of British Columbia's Gulf Islands, like I did as a teenager with my parents Posted on 18 Apr
Grapefruit Graphics 2019 - FooterMarine Resources 2019 - FooterVaikobi 2019 - Footer 1