We encourage members to provide any recommendations on cruising destinations. Perhaps there is a certain spot that you would like to explore or maybe you are just interested in getting away for a weekend with other Club members. Let us know and we would be more than happy to assist and contribute to a fun and enjoyable Cruising Season. Thinking ahead to next year, 2019, if you are considering leading a cruise, here are some things to think about: Leading a Cruise.

Please reach out to our Fleet Captain Cruising, Steve Sawyer, cruising@saltspringsailing.ca with any questions or suggestions.

Thanks to anyone who participated in the Council of BC Yacht Clubs’ survey of private mooring buoys in anchorages this summer while they were cruising.

The next cruise will be the “self-governed” New Year’s Eve Cruise to Montague Harbour on Dec. 31st.  (All that means is:  show up with a heater and things to eat and drink and you’ll have a great time bringing in the New Year!)

Haida Gwaii Cruise Summer 2019:   We are in the initial stages of planning a trip to Haida Gwaii next summer (2019) and will be scheduling a number of informative sessions including presentations by folks who have made this challenging excursion. These discussions should prove interesting even if next summer’s cruising plans can’t include Haida Gwaii.  It would be beneficial to get some idea of how many Club members would consider embarking on what undoubtedly will prove to be an amazing experience.  Please let Cruise Captain Steve know at cruising@saltspringsailing.ca.


Wallace Island Picnic Great Way to End the Season

Steve and Claudette Sawyer led a contingent of six boats up to Wallace Island on the weekend of October 27 for the final official cruise of the 2018 season.  Steve and Claudette on Raven, Lorne and Colleen Shantz on Shaunsea, Kim and Karen Laidlaw on Nest Egg, Denis Fortin and Victoria Skinner on Indira Marie, Michael and Lynn Clark (along with friend from Berlin) on Selyna Rose, and Brian Gillingham and Jill Collingwood on Hot Rum met at the dock at Conover Cove.  Some crews enjoyed a Nest Egg Happy Hour and pot luck dinner on Indira Marie on the Friday night, and everyone shared a picnic lunch on the dock the next day.  There was hiking and cooperative weather.  Most people arrived back at the Club just as the first raindrops started to fall.  What could be a better way to end the season?

Click on photos to enlarge. (Thanks to Victoria Skinner and Colleen Shantz for photos.)

Victoria Cruise, September 20-23, 2018

The annual September “cruise to the city”, organized again this year by Michael and Lynn Clark, was a successful and enjoyable affair.  Nine boats joined in this time:  Michael and Lynn along with Victoria Skinner and Dennis Fortin on Selyna Rose, Wendy and Kevin Vine on Deryn Mor, Brian and Anne Keir on Sterling, Julie and Eric van Soeren on Second Wind, Bob Jones and Dorothy Finnigan on Oasis, Karen and Kim Laidlaw on Nest Egg, Arne and Barb Hetherington on Dixey-Rose, Arlene and Don Dashwood on Snapdragon, and Chris Cheeseman and Gillian Taylor on Winterlude.  Most of the group congregated for the first night at Royal Victoria Yacht Club, taking over a section of the pub for a lively evening.

Note: Click on photos to enlarge.

The next morning dawned with a much better weather forecast than had been anticipated and it was an easy motor down to Victoria Harbour and the Causeway Marina in front of the Empress Hotel. Our boats took up both sides of one dock and one side of another, which made for quite a private area for our group. People regrouped to walk, shop, sightsee and nap for the afternoon, until it was time for Happy Hour on the dock. The appetizers were such that no one really needed dinner, but Arlene’s grilled cheese sandwiches arriving in the midst of the evening were a much appreciated bonus.  The socializing lasted through several evening rainstorms, which were hardly noticed, as people took cover when necessary on Nest Egg and Sterling.

Saturday dawned fair and saw most of the group pile into two vans and head for the western communities.  Gord and Laura Dafoe joined the group (by land) and also provided transportation. The group explored the extensive gardens at Royal Roads University, had a coffee and snack stop in Colwood, and then headed for Fort Rodd Hill and the Fisgard Lighthouse, both very interesting National Historic Sites.

Saturday dinner at the Union Club, courtesy of Michael Clark’s membership, was lovely. Rob Denny and Nighean Anderson joined the group for dinner, also by land.  The atmosphere was quiet and elegant and the food excellent.  It was a completely enjoyable evening and a great way to wrap up the cruise.  Sunday had a rising tide all the way home, with most boats heading north in the morning.

The camaraderie that develops on these cruises is one of the key reasons that events such as this are so important to our Club culture.  Friendships develop and people have a chance to visit areas that they might not necessarily venture to on their own.  Many thanks go to Michael and Lynn for all of their coordination and organization.

For more photos of the fun and games, click here: https://www.saltspringsailing.ca/photos-of-victoria-cruise-sept-20-23-2018/  Thanks to Victoria Skinner, Gillian Taylor, Gord Dafoe, Michael Clark and Wendy Vine for photos.

Impromptu Gathering at Winter Cove

Several Club boats ended up at Winter Cove on Saturna Island on the Labour Day weekend, fortunate enough to catch the local dog show, featuring our own Gord and Laura Dafoe’s dog Leo, their granddaughter and her dog Coco Chanel, and Theo Woolcock and his dog Liza.  This Salt Spring contingent brought home lots of prizes and just missed out on Leo being judged Best in Show.  Boats seen at Saturna on that weekend were Hot Rum, Switchen to Glide, Nest Egg, Equanimous, Firefly, Deryn Mor, and Indira Marie.  (Thanks to Victoria Skinner for photos.)

Princess Louisa Cruise Report

Fleet Captain Cruising Steve and Claudette Sawyer went on their own and had a superb cruise to Princess Louisa Inlet.  Click here to read Steve’s report: Princess Louisa Cruise 2018

Victoria Day Long Weekend Cruise Report

Day One of the Victoria Day long weekend Cruise included Rod Macdonald aboard Rainbow, Casey and Kathleen De Jong on Kindheart (and their friends aboard Compass Rose), Dennis Fortin and Victoria Skinner aboard Indira Marie, Jennifer and Derek Barrio aboard Blue Peter and Claudette and Steve Sawyer aboard Raven. The destination was Tod Inlet and everyone arrived safely to a somewhat busy anchorage, with in excess of 20 boats anchored in this beautiful and protected inlet. The Purple Martin birdhouses were full and very active after their arrival from Brazil about two weeks ago. The Tod Inlet nesting site has been extremely successful contributing to the resurgence of these remarkable birds from a mere five pairs on Vancouver Island in 1985 to approximately 1200 pairs in 2017.

Click on photos to enlarge.


Everyone came ashore at five o’clock for Happy Hour under perfect weather conditions and fun was had by all. Folks returned to their boats ‪at around 7:30-8:00 and it rained ever so lightly throughout the evening. The following morning Indira Marie, Blue Peter and Raven headed over to Portland Island, which was the next destination of the Long Weekend Cruise, although Rainbow elected to return home to Saltspring and Kindheart decided to spend yet another day at Tod Inlet.

The second and third nights of the cruise involved a change of plans. When Nest Egg (Kim and Karen Laidlaw) went by Princess Cove, the original destination on Portland Island, her crew decided it was too crowded, so headed for Royal Cove instead, and set up an anchor and stern line in preparation for rafting. Shortly after that, Deryn Mor (Kevin and Wendy Vine) arrived and began the raft-up. Soon the three boats from Tod Inlet joined the raft and we ended up with three anchors and three stern lines off the five boats. After much creative adjusting of fenders and stern lines, we had a fairly stable and friendly raft, which more or less survived the frequent wash from passing boats and ferries. We had (H)appy Hour aboard Nest Egg and then gathered for a delicious potluck dinner aboard Indira Marie.


Having survived the night rafted together, people went ashore for walks on Sunday, some venturing along the northeast side of the island and back up the centre.  Equanimous (Gord and Laura Dafoe with Leo) arrived, with fresh bottom paint, providing a bit of anchoring entertainment in the bay. A happy hour picnic was taken to Arbutus Point campsite, where the Bocce tournament on the sand was won by the team of Kim and Karen Laidlaw, Steve Sawyer, and Gord Dafoe.  A sumptuous potluck dinner aboard Raven followed.


The crowd dispersed on Monday at their leisure, pleased with the cruise and taking home some most enjoyable memories and understandings of how important these gatherings are to our Club culture. Thanks to Steve and Claudette for planning and leading the cruise.  It was great fun!  For more photos of the cruise, click here

Write up thanks to Steve Sawyer and Wendy Vine;  photos thanks to Steve Sawyer, Victoria Skinner, and Wendy Vine.

2018 Easter Cruise to Poet’s Cove a Really Great Time

The 2018 Easter Cruise to Poet’s Cove at Bedwell Harbour drew a mix of boats and people.  Cruise leader Douglas Woolcock, being also the Racing Fleet Captain, just had to throw in a race, so that drew a few folks in. Another draw was the Easter events at Poet’s Cove, which looked good for children, so that drew a few more.  And then there were some people who simply wanted to get out in their boat for what looked like a pretty fine long weekend. There were Firefly with her crew of Douglas and Kim Woolcock and Theo, Rampart with the de Roos family, Sonrisa with Sarah Hanna and Doug Hornsey and kids, Bluebonnet with Laurie Clark and Paul Bryant, Deryn Mor with Kevin and Wendy Vine, Skeena Cloud with Greg Taylor, Second Wind with Julie and Eric van Soeren, Oasis with Dorothy Finnegan and Bob Jones, and Nest Egg with Karen and Kim Laidlaw.

Click on photos to enlarge.

Douglas sounded the horn to start the informal race at 11 am and Skeena Cloud, Deryn Mor, Oasis, and Second Wind took on the challenge.  Tony Brogan in Radiant Heat joined for the start, but changed his mind partway through, intending to go around Prevost instead.  Reasonable wind prevailed until the Channel Islands, and then the dropouts began as the wind swirled and weakened.  Deryn Mor was the first to bail (but also made it to Bedwell sooner than those who persevered, as her crew was quick to point out.)  It was Bluebonnet’s first ever Club cruise, so they were initiated into the Club cruising traditions of (H)Appy Hour and potluck dinners on the Friday night.

It was definitely an “organize it yourself” cruise, with the families with children doing things more or less together and those at the other end of the dock doing the same.  There were hikes to Mount Norman (if you had a dinghy and children and/or dogs who needed to run), hikes to Greenburn Lake, swimming in the pool and soaking in the hot tub (if there was space), relaxing on your boat or going for a run, sailing around the marina in your sailing dinghy, and food at the restaurants if you were so inclined.  One group had an excellent pub dinner on Saturday night and the folks who stayed for the Easter brunch on Monday reported that it was a great time.

Scroll down for a few more informal photographs of the weekend, courtesy of Douglas Woolcock, Laurie Clark, and Wendy Vine.  Thanks so much to Douglas and his family for leading the first cruise of the 2018 season!


Sunshine Wilde has inspired a number of women to brush up on their boating skills. 23 students attended the first night of her Women Only Boating Course on March 13 at the Clubhouse. Everyone seemed to appreciate a chance to share boating concerns and trepidations. Sunshine captured everyone’s attention with stories from her intrepid sailing adventures.  She also told stories of women who were transformed from being very nervous boaters to competent skippers by practicing their skills. Sunshine’s contagious enthusiasm and her “You can do it” motto has motivated the women into action.  The next classes will be held on Wednesdays April 11th and May 2nd, 7:00-9:00.  New participants are welcome.  Please contact Laura Dafoe (phone number in yearbook) or e-mail Wendy Vine events@saltspringsailing.ca if you wish to attend these upcoming sessions.

Start typing and press Enter to search