FLOTILLAS - While the word flotilla originates from a formation of warships, the only mission of the flotillas organized around BC waters is to have fun and experience this great coast in a fantastic group environment. Those who are new can draw from those who have done it before. Those who have done it before come back because it's - well - just piles of fun.
The first FLOTILLA of the 2011 season falls on Easter and the dates are April 22/23/24/25th. We have a coordinator, Marla Hedman whom you can contact for further details.
ITINERARY for EASTER CRUISE
Day One, April 22 at 0900 we depart Vancouver and our destination is Porlier Pass for 1415 hrs. Once traversing this scenic and exciting pass, navigate through the charming waterway between Reid, Norway, Mowgli and Hall Islands and set your course for Thetis Island Marina for Friday nights stay. This marina and its owners are always hospitable and the rustic shore amenities never fail to entertain! The roadways on Thetis Island are low traffic and easy hilly so for those of you that like to hike or jog, you can get more of the island experience. Have your evening meal aboard or ashore at the Thetis Island Pub. (NOTE: Subject to interest we will have groups originating from areas other than Vancouver Harbour) Day Two, April 23 starts out rather leisurely as slack water at Dodd Narrows is 1453 hrs. Sleep in or get an early start if there is a yachting challenge to participate in that day. We're on our way to Newcastle Island in the Nanaimo Harbour. This island marine park is a BIG favourite for many cruising enthusiasts and that evening we will be having a roaring bonfire near the tidal pools. Bring your favourite roasting treats and roasting sticks, too! We do not cut down anything on this island! We encourage all our musical friends to bring guitars and bongos and harmonicas and song sheets. Day Three, April 24 is EASTER BUNNY CHOCOLATE TIME! This annual event includes boat crews scouring the rock quarry for Easter Bunny "droppings", many mugs of steaming coffee and hot chocolate, peaceful gazing at the beautiful surroundings and laughter at the antics of adults becoming children again as they race to gather more chocolate than the young yuns. It is recommended to get off the docks around noon as we have approximately 21NM to travel to reach our Sunday night home: Gibsons Landing on the Sunshine Coast. Everybody loves Molly's Reach and well known foodies say that the best carrot cake on the coast can be found here. Good fish and chips, too. For those who like their seafood raw, check out the new Smitty's Oyster House on the boardwalk below the pier.
Day Four, April 25th is Monday and our destination is home. There are some hearty breakfast spots in Gibsons and there is also a fuel dock here for boats needing to top up their tanks. If you want to leave early, you can always stop at Snug Cove for lunch, anchor in Mannion Bay for a picnic or just sail for the city after a sleepy morning.
Why a FLOTILLA is a good thing!
1) FLOTILLA LEADER - The flotilla leader is there as a resource - available on the VHF and by phone. Your fearless leader will keep an eye on the group like a shepherd tending their herd. They are also there to help make sure your anchor is well set, grab a line and give a pointer when you are docking. Flotilla leaders are generally available when you need some assistance. They will also organize some of the shore side activities normally associated with these events.
2) BASIC TRIP PLAN - While we have adjusted basic plans from time to time because of weather, there will be some great destinations along with that old adage - more than half the fun is just getting there.
3) BRIEFING - Before departing, the flotilla leader will brief skippers and everyone interested on the route, destinations, navigational considerations, timing and a review of the most recent weather information. For those who are new - think of this as cruising with the training wheels still on!
4) GREAT PEOPLE - From beginner to expert, flotillas attract a wide range of experience and mixing this allows for great learning and mentorship. If you enjoy new experiences and meeting new folks - you're one of those great people welcome to join the next flotilla!
5) FLAVOUR - There's usually some theme to the flotilla that - a treasure hunt at Easter, a jazz festival in the fall... a cool potluck dinner between great friends to wrap up the season each year in November - each flotilla has a flavour to allow you to pick your favourite!
6) TRAINING BOAT- there is always a CYA instructor or two or three ready to mentor sailors on their first big cruising experience.
7) CREW FIND MEETING - join the flotilla leader to meet new and old friends to discuss sailing and boating plans. FEBRUARY 27th, Sunday afternoon at 5PM on Granville Island at the classroom of the Cooper Boating. 1815 Mast Tower Road
The latest addition to the sailing fleet is "Amritha", a brand new 2010 Lagoon 400 to sail from our Sidney location at the beautiful Port Sidney marina. Final commissioning and sea trials are underway, but she will soon be at her new home. This is quite likely the largest 40 foot boat we have ever seen. She has three large staterooms each with their own head, plus accommodation in the salon and forward through the foredeck hatches for your able crew. This boat is loaded with options.
We are particularly impressed with the lines which lead to a central station to port so that tacking can be done without moving from side to side (or with less crew) Electric winches lighten the load and help pull up the square top mainsail, a real plus in those light wind summer days.
Contact our office today to get started booking this fine vessel.