facebook logo-dark
  • Home
  • Club News & Events

Crocodiles, Snakes and Wives

 

By Jim Mendria

Life on a sailboat while cruising Belize can be a simple or complicated business. 

We share the waters and boat with many other creatures. While up the Rio Dulce river in Guatemala there is a good chance you may get pooped on by the 4-5 foot long Iguanas that seek food and heat in the trees. Then there are the ever present ants of varying size and biting ability. We had just made it down the river last year and were relaxing in the cockpit when my wife screams “ANTS”! I look around to see a troop of ants, there were hundreds of them, exiting the dinghy where they apparently had a nest and now were headed to the security of the mother ship. A quick shot of Raid killed what we thought was a majority but as it turned out a minority. The rest of the year we battled with their will to survive.

We rented a car to see some of the beautiful land portion of Belize. After returning to Emerald Seas, we unpacked our day bag and a little lizard jumped out and made himself at home. We fed him (her?) some flies but did not feel we were able to give him the love and comfort that he was looking for. So after a week or so we dropped a mosquito net over him and released him back to the jungle.

Crocodiles (No Alligators in Belize) are around but you seldom see them. They lay just under the water or asleep on the bottom. You can hear the young ones barking to their moms for attention at night. The noise is similar to a dog barking but rougher sounding. While anchored in Sapodilla Lagoon, awaiting the passage of a frontal system, we went exploring Cabbage Haul Creek with three of us in our dinghy. The creek narrowed to about six feet wide and was very shallow. We stopped, thinking this was far enough, when suddenly the dinghy reared up and tipped to starboard nearly tossing us out. It seemed we had stopped on top of a Crocodile, who did not like being squashed. Like I said, hard to see Crocodiles.

Snakes are an enduring topic. Everyone, especially ladies, love snakes. Most of the snakes here are boa constrictor type. They like to squeeze you to death, but we’re pretty big so the chance of that happening to us is pretty slim. The others are big and bad. There is a rule and rhyme to keep us safe… Yellow and Black won’t hurt Jack, but, Black and Yellow can kill a fellow. Sounds simple until you ask yourself is a zebra black with white stripes or white with black stripes? Snakes like to swim and are known to swim to a boat and slither up the anchor chain and into your boat. One of the cruisers came back to their boat at night and asked their guest to please tie the dinghy to the transom cleat. She was attempting to follow the figure of eight knot already on the cleat when she realized that it was not a rope but a snake! Another cruiser stepped into her shower only to discover there was a naked constrictor already using the shower. She quickly slammed the door from the outside, her husband duck taped it shut and contacted a local kid who likes snakes. He came aboard the next day, picked up the snake and took it home.

Now we get to the topic of Wives, those conniving creatures that live with us. We keep our snorkeling gear in a shallow hatch in the cockpit. As we were getting ready for our first snorkel of the season I opened the hatch, grabbed onto a pair of fins. Suddenly I saw a green snake coiled and ready to strike! Quickly I went over the rhyme in my head. No black or yellow, my name was not Jack and the snake was not moving. Sleeping? No. My attention was pulled away from the snake to my wife, who was splitting herself with laughter. She had found said plastic snake in Michaels store in Nanaimo months earlier and had been scheming this plot ever since.

At that point I realized that the most dangerous animal out here is my wife!

This is what cruising life is like.

19 Mendria119 Mendria2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19 Mendria3

THE 2018 BMW LASQUETI ISLAND REGATTA

SCYC has an incredible skill base to draw from to organize and pull off a successful and spirited regatta weekend. The BMW LASQUETI ISLAND REGATTA is a favourite amongst racers from as far away as the Mainland, Campbell River, Sidney and Victoria. 31 boats were registered this year with one having to withdraw due to damages incurred the week before the event. Club members felt so badly when they heard that ARIYAS would not be racing, after all. The comments and kudos from the returning and new racers throughout the weekend, was a tribute to the reputation SCYC has for hosting the BEST Regatta in the VIRS series.

The week leading up to the Regatta was spent with constant tracking of the weather forecast, as SCYC organizers prepared to host the event, regardless of the conditions (rain, snow, sleet, sunshine..).Oh please Sun Gods, make that happen! And perhaps just add a strong wind for Saturday's Race, as well! It kept the entire club talking and anticipating what this year's weather conditions would be. Friday afternoon didn't bode well, as the rain started to fall. But no one gave up hope that the clouds would part and the sun would shine down on the barbecue. (Well, it might have appeared for a brief five minutes in the late afternoon, but at least it didn't rain.) No one seemed concerned or fussed about the cloudy, windy evening. The organizers had anticipated this and provided canopy shelters for their guests to enjoy a burger barbecue on the greens overlooking Schooner Cove. A crowd of SCYC members joined the racers (225 diners in total) for a lovely launch to the Regatta weekend. Live music with the Vance Brothers put everyone in the mood to celebrate the regatta weekend. Breakfast was served both Sat. and Sun. mornings and chili with cornbread was waiting for the hungry racers when they returned Saturday evening.

   

The Sun Gods were listening and the weather turned out perfect for yet another awesome Regatta weekend. Rumour has it that there may have been one small glitch at the beginning of the race when a certain SCYC sailor tied one of the starting line buoys and it freed itself. (Brian Steane was dispatched to pick it up.) It is now called the SKIPSEY SLIPSEY KNOT!

Another great story belongs to Claudia Hand. She was looking forward to crewing on ARIYAS, but when they had to pull out of the Regatta, she put her name forward to crew with anyone who may be short a crew member. She was called on Saturday morning while walking her dog. Claudia made a dash down to the dock with all her sailing gear in tow, ready to hop on the boat. Just as she reached the dock, she spotted Amazing Grace disappearing behind the breakwater. Members tried alerting Amazing Grace on the radio that they had left Claudia on the dock, but to no avail... Luckily for her, James Robinson (in an inflatable chase boat) came to her rescue. They picked her up and literally deposited her onto Amazing Grace, just as they were positioning for the start. It's a good thing Claudia is of small stature; imagine being loaded from the dingy onto the deck of Amazing Grace. She had such a memorable Regatta day and felt fortunate to be part of it. (It didn't hurt winning the 50/50 draw    the night before, either!)  

   As everyone knows, an event such as this, does NOT happen without a village. Some of the key people involved, included:

 PETER MILNE- the overall coordinator/chair of the Regatta Committee and a most conscientious leader who spends months preparing for this event! His detailed leadership style keeps the entire Regatta so successful. (Anne is secretly excited that all of his TO DO LISTS will be put away after months of preparation!)

 John Collins, Tim Rann, and David Christopher- recruited many of the Regatta sponsors and supported the event in countless ways. (The sailors truly enjoyed the complimentary Rum Punch after their race, Tim.)

 BRUCE PETRY- (2017's SI WOOD Memorial Trophy recipient) organized sponsors and gathered the prizes. He continues to be our GO-TO-GUY in the club who helps out on too many fronts to mention.

 WALLY CLARK- organized the Race Committee, found slips for visiting boats and communicated the directions to their berths.

 CHARLINE SINCLAIR - coordinated a team of volunteers, to serve the well-attended barbecue on Friday Night, a breakfast on Saturday morning, a chili dinner on Saturday night, and a final pancake and sausage breakfast on Sunday morning before the Awards Ceremony. This was no small feat for this energetic woman to undertake. Hopefully the sleep deprived, overworked woman is home relaxing after the intense weekend she just finished. You are simply amazing, Charline.

KATHY SWANGARD (SCYC's Communications Director) and CLAUDIA HAND (web administrator) organized the regatta poster, contacted racers on the Island and the Mainland promoting the regatta. They promoted the event through the Scyline, ensuring that all members were involved as much as possible.

JOE SKIPSEY- served as the Principal Race Officer and his Race Committee did an excellent job from start to finish.

RYAN LAUDIEN- handled the bar service and managed his team of volunteers to serve libations with both dinners.

DAVID KRATT, Fairwinds Marina Manager and Staff -supported the SCYC with the hosting of the Regatta.

 

 Saturday's race enjoyed great winds and the Division 1 winner, actually made it back to Schooner Cove in record time. James Robinson skippering his multihull (PRPR2) crossed the finish line at 14:02, sailing at up to 19 knots! The boats completed the race in record times, and as the sun came out and warmed up in the mid-afternoon, a couple of boats lost the wind altogether and ended up having their chili a little later than their fellow yachtsmen. As the sailors returned to their berths, they all had glowing reports of their day on the water and how ideal the conditions were for the race. After chili, the crews were relaxed and sat out with one another sharing their stories of the latest BMW LASQUETI ISLAND REGATTA.

         

 

 

Sunday morning, COMMODORE Simon Huddy addressed the group of spent sailors and SCYC members, thanking our exceptional SCYC volunteers and business sponsors. He then passed the program on to Peter Milne to recognize the skipper/crew draw winners and then the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in all four divisions. Tickets were drawn for both skippers and crew. Check out the collage to see who the lucky winners were of: jackets and sweaters from Independent Marine, sail bags from Evolution Sails, an inflatable vest from Harbour Chandler, gift bags from BMW, an SOS Buoy from Pacific Net and Twine, stainless steel mugs from Tro Tac, a gift certificate from Black Goose Pub, and a jump starter from LORDCO. What an array of prizes!

 

Special presentations were made to: Chris Read for registering his boat, AMISKWI, first (March 15th) and to Brian Robinson (FLIGHT) for his tenaciousness as a skipper. Brian's response was, "It was so nice out there on the water, my crew and I couldn't understand why everyone was in such a hurry to make it back to the marina!"  

Neal Berger was called upon to present first, second and third pennants and prizes to the Division Finalists. 3rd place winners received a windbreaker, 2nd place winners won a rugby shirt. And 1st place winners went home with a treasured SCYC jacket.Div. 4 (cruising) Winners:      

3rd - Wally Clark- REGALO                           

2nd - Tim Rann- STARLIGHT EXPRESS                                 

1st - Dick Duffley- PYRA

                                                                                                                                                     

 

                                                  Div. 3 Winners:

                                      3rd - Wade Major- KATANA

                                      2nd - Graham Heath- PITORAQ 

                                      1st - Simon Palmer- PRINCESA 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Div. 2 Winners:

3rd - Ron Turner-Blue Shift

2nd - Clint Abbott- NOFLYK

1st - Tim Daniel - Optical Illusion

 

And finally, the Div. 1 Winners:

3rd - Greg Johnston - SURFRIDER

2nd - Wayne Gorrie - MAIL ORDER BRIDE

1st - James Robinson - PRPR2             

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

   Vice Commodore Ryan Laudien presented the FAIRWINDS CUP. (The SCYC CUP for BEST PERFORMANCE) to SKIPPER NEAL BERGER of                                    SHINGEBISS.          

 

Commodore Simon Huddy presented the WINDSOR PLYWOOD CUP to the OVERALL REGATTA WINNER. This went to SKIPPER JAMES ROBINSON of PRPR2.

                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 Congratulations to all the fine sailors that participated from near and far to make this event the traditional success that everyone expects. Sailors from other clubs took the time to express their appreciation for being hosted during the entire weekend in such a welcoming and exceptional way. And thank you again, Peter for organizing an outstanding Regatta with which SCYC feels proud to be associated. Kudos to you for making this special event happen!

 

- Article written by Mary Laudien ( Go to http://www.marylaudien.com for Praire Girl Learns to Sail Series )

- Many thanks to photographers Wally Chinn, Joanne McIlveen, Philippe Erdmer, Jim Mendria, Linda Rann, Jim Sinclair and Ron Davis.

- Official Regatta Photographer:  Wally Chinn

SAIL PAST 2018

It's official... the 2018 boating season had a brilliant opening on Sunday, May 6th. The sun shone down on Schooner Cove and a record number of members arrived on the Afterdeck to attend the Commodores' Procession. Once again, our traditional bagpiper, Josh Dielemon led Commodore, Simon Huddy and Nanoose Power Squadron Commander, Jim Dutton with an impressive entourage of Past Commodores down the boardwalk!

Past Commodore Peter Howells welcomed everyone to the event. Bruce Berry, our personable and entertaining member who always reviewed the Sail Past procedures in a comical way was sorely missed this year. Peter was thrilled to see the crowd of participants filling the Afterdeck and adjoining pier. Commodore Simon Huddy welcomed everyone. Our national anthem was sung (thank you Lou Boulanger for leading the participants) as the Canadian flag was hoisted. Commander Jim Dutton said a few words, mentioning that he refrained from wearing his PORT /STARBOARD socks this year as Commodore Simon wouldn't need these navigational aids to position the stationary vessel. The boat being used this year happened to be Commander Jim's own boat (CARIAD). (Hmmm, maybe it was only Past Commodore Peter that he thought needed the help...) Fleet Captain, Neal Berger, addressed the membership, reviewing the procedures to follow out on the water. He must have been crystal clear, as the picture taken from above the water, showed the boats looking organized.

 

Continue Reading