The 2002 NAI from a boat donor’s prospective:
I would like to share Carol’s and my experience as boat owners.
All of the donor boats participated at the IPBA sponsored International Cruiser Contest
the previous Saturday and all except the three Canadian boats were on their summer
cruise. Larry and Colleen Price (Grand Finale) and Carol and I are from Olympia WA
some 180 miles to the south. Peachy Keen, OutBound, and Lucky Gal broke off their
cruise in Barkley Sound on the west side of Vancouver Island.
Sunday morning following the ICR we headed out across the Straights of Georgia (not
always a friendly 20+ nm body of water) and as crossings go, not a bad trip. Upon arrival
in Vancouver we fueled the boat at one of the floating fuel docks. The docks are
anchored offshore and ride on the fuel tanks. After fueling we settled in at Burrard Yacht
Club for a few days of laundry, restocking supplies (the local liquor store did well), boat
maintenance, sightseeing and boat cleaning. Doug Lightheart from IPBAGulf of Georgia
was very generous and made his car available for all of us to use.
We found we were anticipating the Wednesday evening boat draw with the same nervous
feeling as we do as contestants. Our Standard Poodle Leice travels with us so we had
concerns that the contestant that drew our boat may not want a 45 pound dog roaming the
boat at will or taking up most of the settee while holding her pillows down. Also our boat
was loaded with crab pots, a large inflatable, a large cooler and full deck freezer. Our
boat the Wayward Sun was the last boat chosen and the contestant was old friend Bev
Pillsworth from the IPBA Gulf of Georgia. Thursday morning Bev, his navigator George
Strachan, observer Tracy Wichmann, wife Carol the designated scrutinizer, mascot Leice
and I headed to the mile. Bev had a bad knee and asked me to steer the boat as he was
unable to do the job. We made a few passes verifying our speed curve, did some turns,
and headed for the barn.
Contest Saturday dawned bright and calm; the wind was all that was calm, I was more
nervous than if I was a contestant. I rechecked the systems in the engine room and I think
we darn near wore the glass out cleaning the windows. I helped IPBA Commodore
Gordon Dickson with the log turn and inputting the predictions so I had a chance to use
up some nervous energy. One last dog walk and we were off, joined by Bev’s daughter
Jane who volunteered to be on log watch and turned out to have a second duty of
microwave oven catcher. The start was uneventful except for a brief disagreement
between Bev and George about the exact light we were to use for the start (so much for
local knowledge). We crossed under the 1st Narrows Bridge to Cp#1 and headed to Pt.
Actkitson, where as you have heard or read, all hell broke loose. We took a series of
waves over the bridge and I was concerned that we would not get through the next series;
so I called IPBA’s safety rule and pulled the throttles back and let the water go by for the
next series. We secure our boat well, but we were not prepared for the things that flew,
this is when Jane caught the microwave (I have wondered how to get it out from under
the counter). I got the boat back to speed, turned the helm over to George and went above
to check things out. After I got back we were able to throttle up and try to regain the time
we lost. As I remember we were the only boat fast on that leg and not too many seconds
of error. The trip up around Bowen Island was beautiful and uneventful Bev and George
had a good handle on what we could see for current. We did make a few throttle changes
for wind and minor current adjustments. George assured us the water would be better on
the trip in. The only thing better was we were surfing on the waves instead of breaking
thru them (see attached photo). We were concerned about the boat speed as Bev had
some hurt in for the ebb; I thought we were probably fast, but I have no previous
experience on the effect on boat speed while surfing tall waves. We also were tacking
between waves to maintain our heading, so we were probably long on mileage; we made
no adjustments and it was a 74 second fast leg and cost Bev and George the win. We
finished in calm water 21 seconds off the predicted finish time.
When we returned to Burrard Yacht Club our slip mate the Cla ir Marie owned by Jeff
and Claire Swann was already back. They had to abort, the foot well at the helm door
filled with water and flooded the interior, the anchor blew out of the roller onto the deck,
and one of the cables for the tender broke and the tender was nearly lost.
We were fortunate nothing was broken or lost, Bev and George were rewarded with a
second overall, and Leice slept through it holding her pillows down the entire way.
Jeff and Carol Sayer