So we are going on a club cruise…

One of the things we looked forward to when we first joined the SNSYC was the cruises that were organized and hosted by YC members. When we did join up with a cruise, we discovered there were several things that we were not aware of. These things left us a little unprepared and we felt we let our fellow cruisers down by not being prepared. (you didn’t really – Jon). With this thought in mind, I tried to capture the things we learned and also some additional things that we thought might help new cruisers.  First some definitions:

Flotilla Cruise:  A flotilla (from Spanish, meaning a small flota) of ships, for our purposes, let’s just say a small fleet of vessels, or yachts that set sail together on the same route travelling from location to location. SNSYC runs cruises as short as a week or sometimes as long as a month.

Rendezvous:  A meeting at a single appointed place and time. In our case, we set a meeting place and cruisers agree to meet there. Often this is a marina. Boats do not move during the weekend, which includes lots of activities, contests, and social gatherings.

Happy Hour: is a pretty universal term. In our case, cruisers bring a beverage of their choice to a common area, often located on the dock where cruisers mix and mingle. This is a great opportunity to meet other cruisers. Lasting friendships are often the result of happy hour meetings.

Appies: Short for appetizers, cruisers each bring a simple dish to happy hour and share them with other cruisers. These can be purchased items like potato chips, pretzels, or home made items like crackers & cheese, or as fancy as you wish. Since many people will be bringing something, a small dish is often the better choice.

Potluck: is also a common term, where cruisers bring a dinner/supper dish to a common supper and share with other cruisers. Since everyone will be bringing something, a single dish is usually enough.  When attending a potluck, be sure to bring your own plate and utensils, they are not supplied. Also, try not to be late. Eileen Quinn has a song called Potluck Piranha, and sometimes the pace is that fast.

It is common to have a happy hour each day on a cruise and the host(s) will identify whether appies are expected or not.

Web Sites:  There are several web sites with useful information about local cruising.  Of course you need to consider the trustworthiness of the information before you use it.  Beta version of a crowd-sourced site for local marime information and advice.  Primary source of information about clubs at which SNSYC members can dock free or at much reduced rates using their reciprocal privileges.  Includes aerial photographs of most marinas.  Pacific marine weather.  Pacific tides

Publications:  There are many useful guide books. Everyone has their own favourites.  Here is a list of some.

Best Anchorages of the Inside Passage, Anne Vipond & William Kelly.

Waggoner Cruising Guide,  published annually.

Pacific Yachting Boaters Blue Pages, free and published annually.  $5 PDF downloads of five guides: Gulf Islands, Desolation Sound, San Juan Islands, Puget Sound, North Georgia Strait.  kept current

Dreamspeaker Guides are very popular.  All are by Anne & Laurence Yeadon-Jones.  There are 2016 editions of The Broughtons and The San Juan Islands, and older editions of The Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island,  Desolation Sound and the Discovery Islands, The West Coast of Vancouver Island, and Vancouver, Howe Sound, and the Sunshine Coast.

Cruising Guides to British Columbia by Bill Wolferstan, are from the 90’s and are out of print but can be found on Amazon:

            Vol 1.  Gulf Islands.  Vol 2.  Desolation Sound.   Vol 3.  Sunshine Coast

Douglass guides are valuable because they have complete details on every bay and inlet:

Exploring the San Juan Islands and Gulf Islands, 2003, Don Douglass & Réanne Hemingway-Douglass

Exploring Southeast Alaska: Dixon Entrance to Skagway, 2007, Don Douglass & Réanne Hemingway-Douglass


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