It's official... the 2018 boating season had a brilliant opening on Sunday, May 6th. The sun shone down on Schooner Cove and a record number of members arrived on the Afterdeck to attend the Commodores' Procession. Once again, our traditional bagpiper, Josh Dielemon led Commodore, Simon Huddy and Nanoose Power Squadron Commander, Jim Dutton with an impressive entourage of Past Commodores down the boardwalk!
Past Commodore Peter Howells welcomed everyone to the event. Bruce Berry, our personable and entertaining member who always reviewed the Sail Past procedures in a comical way was sorely missed this year. Peter was thrilled to see the crowd of participants filling the Afterdeck and adjoining pier. Commodore Simon Huddy welcomed everyone. Our national anthem was sung (thank you Lou Boulanger for leading the participants) as the Canadian flag was hoisted. Commander Jim Dutton said a few words, mentioning that he refrained from wearing his PORT /STARBOARD socks this year as Commodore Simon wouldn't need these navigational aids to position the stationary vessel. The boat being used this year happened to be Commander Jim's own boat (CARIAD). (Hmmm, maybe it was only Past Commodore Peter that he thought needed the help...) Fleet Captain, Neal Berger, addressed the membership, reviewing the procedures to follow out on the water. He must have been crystal clear, as the picture taken from above the water, showed the boats looking organized.
The crowd promptly dispersed to their boats to get into formation out on the water, for the Sail Past ritual. What a perfect afternoon with intermittent sun and wind for watching our SCYC captains manoeuvre their vessels into position to salute the Flag Vessel and the Commodore. Several members boarded other's boats and enjoyed the social aspect of the event, making the day all the more memorable!
By 4:00, it was off to Fairwinds for a pre-dinner social mingle on the sunny patio. The decorating theme was Fishing and Social Director, Jo Graham and her TEAM (Andy Vallis, Ann Thompson, Bonnie Curl, Joanne Petry, Jo McIlveen, Mary Laudien) transformed the Fairwinds dining room completely. The lighthouse served as a beacon to draw guests into the dining-room with its burgee-filled ceiling. The navy tablecloths were decorated with tackle and seaweed-laden vases. Authentic fish nets, fishing gear and fishing artefacts created displays throughout the dining room. The members were encouraged to dress in fishing gear to be eligible for competing in the Dress-Up Contest. Let's just say, it was a FISHY NIGHT!
Charline Sinclair and Peter Howells were the talented MCs for the dinner. The duo managed to conduct the entire program narrative punctuated with fish lingo, ensuring that the diners interacted with groans as fish words continued to crop up. Charline drew us in with her childhood fish tales and costuming and Peter was especially proud when he mentioned the past 2 Commodores as one being a lawyer, one (himself) being a banker and the current Commodore being a STURGEON as a picture of this fish came up on the screen. Surgeon and Commodore Simon Huddy loved the clever play on words.
Commodore Simon greeted everyone and praised the membership for their outstanding participation in the Opening Day event. It was lovely to have 9 Past Commodores taking part this year, 18 sailboats and 2 power boats out on the water, and 80 dinner guests registered.
And SCYC'S special Bonnie Curl led us, once again, in saying grace, prior to dining.Vice-Commodore Ryan Laudien toasted our wonderful Commodores and club. And Judy Schlotter put out one last call for Raffle Ticket Sales in her usual flamboyant way. She swears that no member got away from her persuasive hounding!Fairwinds never disappoints and of course SALMON (fish) was on the menu for the buffet dinner. It's a given that the sticky pudding disappears instantaneously and thankfully, the supply is replenished just as quickly. Obviously the pudding is the highlight of the meal for our SCYC members! Thank you to Head Chef Sean Sannes and Head Server Joanne Fortin for preparing and serving our FISH DINNER. And one can't forget to mention the exceptional background dining music provided by Dick Duffley's personal playlist.
Raffle ticket sales by our personable Judy Schlotter helped replenish the SCYC kitty. And the prizes were wonderful donations made by generous individuals and companies. Fairwinds donated 2 - $80. gift certificates and Independent Marine donated 2- $50. gift certificates. The lucky draw winners included: Doug Herchmer, Anne Thompson, Commodore Simon, and Ron Davis. Of course, the most coveted prize of all was the original Bonnie Curl watercolour! Kathy Swangard was thrilled to take her painting home at the end of the night.
And then came the judging of the Dress-Up Contest with Karen Herage making the judgement. 7 finalists were chosen during the dinner by having a pack of FISHERMAN FRIENDS passed out. The finalists included: David and Marie Sanson (the fishing couple), Jannette Brown (fishnet stocking girl), Doug Herchmer and Jo McIlveen (authentic fishing couple - Jo even had fish hook earrings), Alan Sinclair (East Coast Fisherman) and Ryan Laudien (CATCH of the DAY.... Should I perhaps say, MY Catch of the Day?). With many laughs, 3 winners were announced through all the boisterous cheering: Janette Brown, David and Marie Sanson, and Ryan Laudien. And what was the prize, you ask? A colourful decorative FISH, of course!
As the evening came to a close, the reluctant SCYC members lingered to visit a little longer, discussing cruising plans and boat preparations with one another. The official SCYC Sail Past 2018 became another memorable day filled with high spirits, fun and laughter, great friendships and an eager expectation that the BEST BOATING SEASON YET had just been launched.
This FISH TALE was written by Mary Laudien
Fishy Pictures were taken by Cathy Carey, Donna Howells, and Joanne McIlveen