Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Sail Past

For a number of years I have been fortunate enough to tag along on one of my best friend's sailboats, for the age old naval tradition of Sail Past. I'm usually dressed inappropriately. The first year, my friend 'H' didn't bother to tell me the dress code (navy blazer, white trousers).
The second year, 'H' didn't tell me it was Sail Past weekend. The third year, I believe I sported navy and white, only to show up and 'H' was in jeans. From that point on, I believe I said, "SCREW IT!!", and changed my focus to at least having the proper footwear. Boat shoes, obviously.

What is Sail Past? It's the tradition of presenting a fleet to the Commander in charge for an inspection. This might be an entire Navy fleet, or in our case, all of the members of the West Vancouver Yacht club. Sail Past is performed by yacht clubs all over the world, usually on the opening weekend of the sailing season. If I had this date planted in my brain, I could probably avoid it creeping up on me every year, but I guess that's half the fun.

We usually head (with a handful of other boats from the Yacht club) up to the club's outstation in Centre Bay. It's a great location, and a beautiful sail. Once we're there, it's a day of relaxing. 'Relaxing' might include swimming (if you're brave, as the water is still VERY chilly), sun tanning, hiking up to the bluffs, and definitely, a tasty BBQ dinner. We usually depart for home at sunset, with tangled hair, and wind burnt cheeks.

It's a wonderful day, and even more special, for a girl who didn't grow up in a boating family, and can't hoist a sail if her life depended on it (though I'm very good at passing drinks and wearing stripes).  I feel very fortunate to be called aboard each year as an honorary member of Captain Sandy's Crew (albeit the most useless member).

....and to think, all it takes is a double batch of Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.

We headed through this lovely orchard, on our hike up to the view point.

...and then into the forest.

I lost my friend, can you find her?

It's five o'clock somewhere... (yes, that's a gas powered blender)

"Yes please!"

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