Lets be safe out there!

MYCBC – Why Join Us Forums General Discussion Lets be safe out there!

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      Lets be safe out there!
      Sea Shell, Wed Jun 05 2013, 10:03AM

      Reflections of Safety on the water!

      Well, May has come and gone and we are now more than half way through our ‘MYCBC on water’ events. It has been a great month! With amazing weather showing up at 2 out of the 3 events.

      Blaine’s Regatta was spectacular start of the season with sun and fun! Saturday’s ‘runs around the buoys’ was perfect, with light winds filling into stronger consistent air which helped to push the MacGregor’s around White Rock bay. It was good to see a couple of our members make that choice to retire as the winds gained in strength. You can tell when someone knows their comfort level on the water. We all need to be able to know what our limits are out there, and choose to head to the dock when those levels are no longer comfortable. I’m always impressed with sailors who put safety above the pressure to be out on the water! We all need to know that line.

      Gibsons was an excellent outing as well! The weather, though not rainy, was a good mixture of typical West Coast stuff! Sailing out Friday was lumpy with a light wind from the South. We made good time to Gibsons but we were all trying to stay warm and dry! Sunday we tried the ‘round Keats’ trip and were hit with big swells on the outside, along with big winds. We were caught out in nasty stuff and had to make the most of the situation. When it comes to any rough sailing conditions I think it is all that more important to stop and think SAFETY! Make sure you and your crew know what to do if anything was to happen! Talk about it! Have a plan! Never go out on the fore deck in those conditions! Use the V-birth hatch and a lifeline if you need to do anything up front. Take time to think thing through! Our boats are fairly small and light, so we get tossed about a lot! It is critical to keep things down below, and on deck secured and that includes the crew! If you feel uncomfortable in the conditions, make a plan for escape as early as possible. Small coves, lee shores, nearby docks! What ever it takes to get you out of over powering conditions. Don’t let the clock push you into traveling when you don’t feel safe!

      Coming home from Bowen last Sunday saw us again thrust into somewhat uncomfortable conditions! We left quiet low wind Snug Cove after the Commodore’s breakfast at the end of another amazing Rendezvous weekend! As we transited Bowen and Horseshoe Bay and moved into English Bay, we went from light winds and calm seas to 6-10 swells and winds blowing 15 gusting 24. It made for a quick ride home, but not a very comfortable ride. Steering was challenging at times, under reefed main only. We were dragging a dingy and had the motor in the water and were still doing 7-8 knots. We both tied into the boat for safety and talked about what to do if anything happened, as we screamed along. It was an amazing ride under blue sky and sun! But still a little scary!

      Sailing is Amazing! We live in that line between the beautiful sunny day (Low wind) and the beginning of the storm (High wind). It’s always a bit of a tradeoff. One thing we can never do is compromise on SAFETY! Take time to plan your outings. Look at those weather reports and be strong enough to make that decision to say NO when things don’t look like they will be comfortable. I heard someone say that ‘Angles sail with Sailors’! This may be true, but we still have to do our part in being the SKIPPER. We need to say GO when we know it’s safe, and NO when it’s not!

      Don’t let this little reflection scare you off sailing! I live to be out there, and on all these outings I have enjoyed the blessing of being out on the water in one of the most beautiful coastal areas in the world. Fun and Safety do go hand in hand! Sail whenever you can because there is nothing like it in the world. Specially here on the West Coast! There is no life like it! Enjoy the MacGregor Lifestyle! Come Sail With Us! And lets Sail safe out there!

      Glen Hodgkinson
      Commodore MYCBC

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