by Hugh Willson

Sixteen boats and 37 sailors from the GYC ventured across the Strait of Georgia on Monday the 25th and Tuesday the 26th of May. The Tuesday sailboats had more fun crossing the Strait in brisk conditions. Everyone arrived safely to Newcastle Island, and the camaraderie began immediately on arrival. There were some smaller sing songs on Monday evening and some crews went on to the Carlos O’Brien Pub in Nanaimo for dinner.

The walk around Newcastle on Tuesday morning was well attended, and the weather co-operated.

The annual stop at the Dinghy Dock Pub on Tuesday evening was cancelled as the Pub was closed. This provided time for an extended sing-song on the dock appreciated by all. Song leaders included David Jones, Glen Marshall, David Roughley and Jack Adams on the harmonica.

On Wednesday morning, we had an uneventful passage through Dodds Narrows, and we all settled in at the comfortable dock at Ladysmith. Fortunately, the tent and tables on the dock provided shelter from the rain and all enjoyed the spectacular chili, coleslaw, garlic bread and desserts. The songs continued in chilly conditions, augmented with libation, under the leadership of David Jones and Dave Roughley.

On Thursday, beautiful, calm conditions accompanied us for the sail to Ganges, where most attended dinner at the Salt Spring Inn and prepared for the Montague Cup race the next morning.

It was a staggered start, and those who left early had some of the faster sailing times. It was a hard-fought race, monitored scrupulously by a large race committee under the able direction of Jim Forward—who is honourable, upright, highly principled, but rumoured to be susceptible to the influence of Jack Daniels! Lucinda, captained by Glen Marshall and crewed by Dave Roughly, claimed the prize, with Rigi, captained by Tim Anderson and crewed by Mac Dodge and Gerry Pinkerton, in second place. They received their awards at a presentation that evening at the barbecue in the lovely Marine Park, followed by more singing and libation.

Most boats returned home on Saturday and Hobo Spirit was called on once again to help a boat in need. With El Barco in tow, they made it home Saturday afternoon.

Thanks to Gord Cudlipp who organized the event, to the singers and to Jim Forward who never leaves a boat behind.