They really saved my bacon

Johnston Meier Insurance Agency Group
Port Coquitlam BC
Marine Division
604-944-9577

The above insurance company gave me the liability insurance I needed to continue on staying at Discovery Harbour Marina in Campbell River. I have a 50 year old Albion that I’m restoring, slowly and steadily, but due to rotten bulwarks, the last survey showed poorly and Hub, Coastal and others (many many others) refused to insure her even though she’s sound. I really thought I was going to get kicked out of the marina. Paula Burgess was fantastic to deal with, no survey required and as affordable as insurance gets. Now I get to stay in DHM and I have the grace to repair my bulwarks at the marina and get her ready for another survey this winter where she’ll shine like a new diamond.

I suggest adding this to your list of Insurance companies friendly to live-aboard folk. They really saved my bacon.

Cheers,

Jeff

Editor: Thanks Jeff, we did!!

Warmland Sailing Association – Membership Offer

The Warmland Sailing Association is based in the Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island.

If you want to sail local waters, but don’t want the big expense of private boat ownership, this association may be for you. Sail in the company of other members, or sign the boat out for personal use if you are a qualified skipper. All levels of skill accepted with lots of opportunities to improve your competencies and confidence. Joining fee is $2,500 (transferable), plus reasonable monthly dues. The members currently own two boats (a Vancouver 42′ & a C&C 30′) moored in Genoa Bay Marina…a great place to sail from, or to just hang out.
Email for more information:  joe.sol@shaw.ca

Community Notice: Head Up The Creek Rowing Regatta

Head Up The Creek Rowing Regatta
Sunday March 15th, 2020
Rowing shells will be active on the Creek from 8:30 am until 12:15 pm.
The course is within the navigation channel and we have obtained our permits from Transport Canada and the City of Vancouver.

The start of the race is just off the Spruce Harbour Marina: rowers race to Science World, turn while racing and then continue rowing to the finish off the Vanier Park boat launch ramps.

Thank you for keeping the channel clear for rowing boats, and other vessels that day. 

There is a map here of the course:
https://www.regattacentral.com/cms/uploads/false_creek_rowing_club/media/Head%20Up%20The%20Creek%20-%20Course%20smaller.png

Anchoring Karma?

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Jude and Rick have owned and cruised Julie May for the past eight years. Prior to that, they lived in a float house on Quadra Island and Rick owned and sailed a Cal 25 for thirty years.

Have you ever had one of those series of related events that make you wonder if the gods are playing with you for their own amusement? You may know the type of experiences I’m referring to where something that usually never happens to you starts occurring over and over again.

Jude and I had been planning to spend an extended period of weeks going for a long cruise in Julie May, our 42′ converted trawler. Julie May is a 47 year old ex fish boat with lots of water under keel. When out cruising, we both prefer to be at anchor in some quiet beautiful bay for an evening rather than tied up to a marina dock. In all those years we have experienced very few, totally inconsequential, anchoring difficulties.

Well, this year we began our cruise around mid July, having spent the previous number of months babysitting our grandchild Cade two days a week while tied to his parents’ dock on Piers Island. Now we were underway. In the past ten days we have been severely challenged with four serious anchoring problems. After each one has been resolved, I keep saying to myself, “Glad that’s over. Now let’s get on with things.”  Famous last words. I think I will abandon that phrase. It’s seems to be mocking me.

Our first problematic anchoring experience actually occurred before our cruise even got underway. Having to anchor Julie May for the day due to an appointment in Victoria, I put the hook down off the Swartz Bay government dock in exactly the same location where I had anchored a few nights before. Planning then to spend the night with Cade and his family on Piers Island, I began to raise our good old Northhill from the 10 meters of water where she had held me the previous night. With 75 ft of chain out, the anchor came up beautifully, but, stopped the winch dead with 25 ft remaining. Try as I might, she was stuck fast. Hung up on something.

Saying a thank you to the creators of cell phones and the Internet, I was able to summon Cold Water Divers from Tsehum Harbour who arrived in 30 minutes. Two divers, a boat operator, 40 minutes and $336 later the Northill was freed from its figure 8 wrap around a cable. The divers could not see what that cable was attached to. An old mooring? Logging derbies? Piers Island power and water? Who knows. I was just glad to be free.  Said to myself, “Boy, glad that’s over. Now we can get on with things.”

A few days later after some great family time with both grandchildren, we left for Pender Island. After a pleasant couple of days anchored next to Lazy Bones II visiting Tim & Denise in Port Browning, we headed north anchoring at Kendrick Island in Gabrolia Pass. We tucked down well into the bay beyond the yacht club docks to get out of as much of the westerly wind as possible. It’s quite deep along the east side of the bay with a drying reef protecting the anchorage from the Strait of Georgia. It was pretty windy that night and Julie May moved around quite a bit, her anchor chain thumpIng and groaning most of the night. While we had anchored rather close to shore, the next morning revealed that we were uncomfortably close to that reef. So, what to do? Pull the anchor of course and head for someplace else. And up comes the chain only to stop with a clunk before all was rolled up on the winch. Looking down from the bow, I was greeted with the sight of a jumbled tangle of 3/8″ chain wrapped around the flukes of the Northill, which was hanging upside down. Damn. While Jude slowly navigated Julie May around the bay, I hung over the bow with my 8′ pike pole trying to untangle the (very heavy) mess. I was able to get all but the last wrap untangled when Jude made the wise observation that we could tie up to the (private property, no trespassing) unoccupied yacht club dock, pull the anchor up on it and finish the job. We did that and motored off to a very crowded Silva Bay where we again put the hook down in a mud and sand bottom to wait out the howling westerly wind, me thinking, “Boy, glad that’s done. Now we can get on with it.” Famous last words.

The next day the westerly winds were to die down to a reasonable 10-15 knots so we (really Rick) thought we could continue north towards our next goal, Jedediah Island. It seemed like a good idea, with area WG non operational that day, we would cut off five miles of the trip. What we encountered were 4′ swells and four hours of spray over the bow. The last hour was relatively comfortable as the swells gave way to a moderate chop. We discovered our favourite one boat anchorage, Codfish Bay, with three boats already in it. Exploring the east side of Jedediah, nothing seemed well enough protected from the continuing westerly winds. So, we moved across to Boho Bay on Lasqueti island, well protected from the westerly and a preferred anchorage for larger boats. We had anchored there before. By nightfall there were about nine boats in the bay with a 58′ classic sailboat next to us and a smaller trawler upwind. The wind was blowing enough that at 3:30am I got up to lower the hatch over our bed. Looking forward, there was that other trawler about 15′ from our bow. Obviously, her anchor was dragging. And the 58′ classic sailboat was close enough to us that I was forced to put out fenders along our starboard side. Shining a bright flashlight and tooting our horn, I was able to rouse the crew of the trawler who quickly dealt with their boat. After some deliberation and polite conversation with the captain of the sailboat, he pulled up and re anchored further away from us. Whew, I said, “Glad that’s over. Now we can get on with it.” Famous last words. I’ll never say them again!

Having gone back to sleep with the wind still westerly, we woke up at 8:00am. The wind had shifted, as predicted, to the southeast which was to blow about 10-20 knots. Time to move to a more protected location. No problem. Just pull the anchor and go. Right? We had been held well all night. Hadn’t budged. So, engage the winch. Haul in 200′ (it’s deep in Boho Bay) of 3/8 chain. Up she comes. 150′. 100′. 75′. Clunk! Winch abruptly  and prematurely stops with 50′ of 3/8 chain and a heavy Northill anchor hanging down. I look over the bow. Sorry, I really do wish I had been able to take a picture. Because there was an anchor. Not my anchor. Somebody else’s anchor (a big Danforth). And attached to it was (I measured later) 35′ of 5/16 chain and about 15′ of nylon rode. I told Jude later that it looked like week old spaghetti hanging down and wrapped around it all was, you guessed it, my wonderful 3/8″ galvanized chain. Below this mess was another 50′ of my chain and the Northill. Kinda heavy. Damn. Once again, Jude piloted Julie May at a snails pace into a 15 knot SE sea while I hung over the bow, trusty pike pole in hand and attempted to unravel this mess. Using two other lines to hold the Danforth in place and easing the tension on my anchor chain I was able to start unwrapping all that 5/16″ chain. Finally got it off and laying on deck, I now had to unwrap my chain from the Danforth.  And keep my fingers and arm out of any bite that the chain might create. Unwinding my chain, there was one final big slip and it was free of the Danforth. No fingers or arms involved. Only problem left was that my 50′ of chain and anchor was now pinching one of the lines I had holding up the Danforth. The solution was obvious, and much as I hate to sacrifice a line, I cut it. Now everything was free. Haul the Danforth on board. Use the winch to raise my chain and anchor and all is well. Again.

Boy, “Glad that’s …..”  No way. I’m not inviting any more karma by saying that again.

Ps.. I have a big Danforth anchor & 35′ of 5/16 galvanized chain for sale.

Rick Schnurr and First and best Mate, Jude Brooks
Aboard MV Julie May
July 20, 2015
Tucker Bay, Lasqueti Island

2014 Member Survey Results

Last year just before our 2014 AGM we asked our members to give some feedback on how the BCNRA is doing. Here are some of the answers we got back and thank you to those who contributed!

Q: What do you believe to be the biggest challenges for marine communities in your area or on the BC coast?:    

A: As far as in my area, the shortage of live aboard spaces and misunderstanding of our community.

A: Expensive land to support water based activities.

A: Pollution. Fitting into the neighborhood and community. (being a responsible citizen)

A: There are not enough of them to live in and getting fewer.

A: NIMBYism. Somehow, nautical residents and their land-based neighbours need to come to a better understanding of one another’s needs and issues.

A: For livaboards it is sanctioned moorage and sewage collection.

A: The intent of harbour authority to cleanse our harbours and national public port system of boatdwellers

A: Finding suitable marinas to live aboard.

A: Costs for moorage including live a board fees continually increasing. It appears that less and less young people are coming into this lifestyle of living aboard/cruising as those of us who are older are moving off our boats. I’m sad to see this way of life diminish and think it is partly due to how expensive moorage has become.

Also, poorly maintained or derelict boats left at anchor or on moorings through winter weather systems and left for those of us at the marina to deal with when they become a hazard. This of course is not new.

A: Biggest challenge is how resistant the various marina’s and government are to allow live aboard status. In our area (Gibsons BC) there are some live aboards, but no new ones, and as old ones leave they aren’t being replaced by new. We’re in a phase out period. I think development is an issue. I don’t know if i have all the facts, but my perception and limited knowledge is that we are getting pressure from our marina not to live aboard as they are feeling pressure from the government

A: Increased costs and regulations for live aboard boatersmaking it more restrictive and expensive to continue the lifestyle.

A: I would say for my area Gulf Islands/Victoria – lack of sewage pump out facilities, unregulated moorings, lack of community support for marine communities, specifically in the Gulf Islands and Northern communities. I also believe there is a challenge with the image of liveaboards and the mixing up of responsible boaters and marine residents with the small number of those who choose to be irresponsible.

A: Moorage, whether at Marina or on a mooring. It must be safe secure and affordable.

A: Acceptance, expansion, growth, new communities. Changing public/marina owner/municipality outlook towards live aboard communities.

A: Lack of live aboard berthage. Too many moorings with no boats on them…privatizing of anchorages

Q: In the last few years have you noticed any positive changes in marine communities?:

A: On Salt Spring changes have been negative.

A: New positives??? Old positives remain in that there is a diverse community on the water that are bound by the realities of nature and a shared experiences related to that reality. I am not sure many if any significant positives have arisen.

A: We just moved to Westbay last year and moved aboard. This is a real jem of live a board community. We feel very blessed.

A: Not very many. NIMBYism seems rampant, e.g., Maple Bay.

There have been some positive draft changes to the bylaws in Area D of the Cowichan Valley Regional District (Cowichan Bay), and some positive interactions in Oak Bay between the BCNRA and local authorities re dinghies and anchored liveaboards.

A: Yes New Westminster is civilized I’m not under immanent threat of deportation from my home town

A: Previously at Pier 32 in Vancouver….now at Spruce Harbour (Greater Vancouver Live Aboard Co-op), so a much more secure live aboard community.

A: Our marina has been improving over the last number of years which creates a pleasant environment but again is reflected in the increase costs.

A: Not in terms of live aboards, no.

A: yes

A: I believe there has been some recognition from non-marine residents that there are responsible marine residents and that this lifestyle is more common than most think. I also like the initiative and attitude of some liveaboards who want to make a difference on the coast. I also appreciate that the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority has made some moves in the right direction in updating zoning and ensuring that marine residents legally have a place to be within the Victoria Harbour.

A: Yes. The BCNR was organized. Victoria legalized the float homes at Fishermans wharf. Live aboard boats to follow soon?

A: I’m a mover, changing locations every few seasons for the last 20 years and think it has stayed pretty much status quo. With the exception of a relatively small percentage of dock spaces, live aboards are pretty much shunned.

A: More couples, More young people, Better hydro

Q: Are there any areas where you feel the BCNRA isn’t doing enough?:

A: I think the BCNRA is doing its best.

A: I think our Association could be more effective if we had local ‘reporters’ in each marine community or area, who could keep the Directors informed on issues and positive changes in their area. These ‘reporters’ could request assistance from the BCNRA as needed, and/or mobilize local nautical residents and their supporters to work on local issues.

The Board of Directors of the BCNRA is a small group of people; the BC coast is very large. The BCNRA needs to encourage our membership to be actively involved in the Association and in their local area.

A: Our national public port system has been devolved into feudalism. Once upon a time public access was a legal right. The intent to cleanse our national public port system of boatdwellers is genocide. See definition of genocide in the Canada criminal code.

A: I’d like to see more lists of possible places to live aboard, and perhaps some way we can work as a group (lobby?) to ensure the government doesn’t phase out live aboard status. (editor’s note: We are keeping a list here!)

A: I’d like to see the organization be a bit more vocal. Perhaps work towards shedding light on the good things about marine communities rather than letting the media focus on the bad. Maybe that’s in the form of more stories, publications or short videos. To work towards developing some tools for marine residents to use against those who are trying to eliminate this way of life. Work to involve our membership on some of the projects we wish to take on (because the Directors can’t do it by themselves).

A: presenting its case to local government for # 1

A: Tough sell it seems and where to direct energy? Awesome that you are here and making a presence/effort!

A: Maybe more education directed at Marina owners and regional districts and letting people know that it isn’t cool to reserve patches of water by dropping a buoy that you only intend on using periodically

Q: What else would you say to the directors of the BCNRA?:

A: Stay with the basics. Keep harbours available, work to save anchorages, stay in the game.

A: The BCNRA has made a real difference in resolving some issues. Let’s make a concerted effort to attract new members and identify ways to keep the members involved.

A: Anchor for your rights in false creek for Canada Day

A: Continue to promote live aboard communities through out the province.

A: You’re doing great, don’t give up. Share the work with keen members!

A: Focus on one or two issues each year, define goals and complete task.

A: Just a thought. A list of friendly docks toward liveaboards. Be very cool to see the difference between Puget Sound and the Georgia Basin!

A: Well done…..