Shortly after we bought Gray Hawk we also joined the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club (SNSYC). Our choice of yacht clubs was based primarily on the list of reciprocals as well as the fact that it is - in the yacht club world anyway - cheap. Reciprocal moorage is the arrangement between yacht clubs that allows members of a club with reciprocal privileges to stay free for some, usually brief, period of time on the co-operating club's reciprocal dock .Our club has an extensive list of reciprocal docks throughout the San Juan Islands, Puget Sound and up as far as the north end of Vancouver Island. It costs us roughly $600 per year in membership fees. If we get 12 free nights of moorage that pays for the membership. We don't always get that many nights free but there's a social element to the club as well.
This weekend we're doing one of the club's compulsory fun things. They organize what they call cruises through the summer, starting off with this Easter weekend trip to Otter Bay. "Cruise" is a reach for what they do on most of these events. For most members the "cruise" consists of untying from wherever they spend most of the year, motoring for a few hours to wherever the weekend event is and tying up again. Judging by the number of helpers that were standing on the dock when we arrived, salivating at the chance to grab our lines, the average member doesn't even need to know how to dock in order to cruise. Judging from a few of the episodes we saw on the dock, some of our fellow members shouldn't be allowed to go anywhere that doesn't have 6 or 7 dockhands waiting for them.
Yesterday the activity was a walk to the local "farmer's" market. To appreciate the significance of that sentence you have to understand that we are at ground zero for the Canadian Green movement. Dizzy Lizzie represents these nitwits and its not hard to understand why they think she is doing a good job. As a good friend of mine told me years ago "the people get the government they deserve". The natives of this intellectual backwater clearly desire to be represented by an idiot. I don't think I was actually the only hetero male at the market but we may very well have been in a minority. I am 110% certain I was the only person there with any real understanding of food production. I sat on a bench drinking an organic gluten free fair trade free range coffee and wishing that I had a Monsanto jacket.
It is very pretty here. The walk to the market was pretty pleasant. Its not a great marina though - the ferry dock is about a half mile from our moorage so we get waked regularly and the bay is open to the ferry traffic between Tsawassen and Swartz Bay so its pretty roly-poly all the time.
Yesterday was the end of the line for the HMCS Annapolis. As I wrote about earlier, the Artificial Reef Society of BC had previously obtained permission from a host of governmental goobers to sink the old destroyer as an artificial reef. Then some doob lawyer with high priced real estate overlooking the proposed site started a lawsuit to prevent the sinking. Common sense finally prevailed, the injunction was lifted last month and yesterday they pulled the plug on the old girl. We watched her sink via live webcam. She went straight down and disappeared completely in just over a minute. By the 2 minute mark you couldn't tell there had ever been a boat there. The goal is to have her sink straight down so that she lands in precisely the chosen location. By that measure it certainly looked like a picture perfect event.
Now that the Annapolis is safely on the bottom we can admit that we actually toured her extensively. The society didn't want anything to possibly interfere with the sinking so we were sworn to secrecy but we had a good tour and took a lot of pictures. They did an incredible job of cleaning her out. I can't imagine how many man hours must have been spent pulling insulation, washing gearboxes and just generally sanitizing a huge ship. I'll never get to see her in her new resting place but I did get a good look at her before she went down.