North Sails LOFT NEWS

August 13, 2019


Camaraderie And Memories Along The Ottawa River

Thank you once again for supporting “Cruise Week”, a 30+ year-old, family-friendly tradition at Britannia Yacht Club in Ottawa.

This event is a mid-summer, multi-day flotilla on the Ottawa River, which offers us 25 NM of ever- changing wind and a half-dozen rural anchorages. Cruise Week serves these purposes: 

  • Mentor new or inexperienced sailors in navigating the Ottawa River
  • Meet new friends (new club members/boat owners, or first-time participants)
  • Catch up with long-time friends

Cruise Week 2019 (July 14-19) was once again a fun week in the sun and great heat – temperatures exceeded 30C every day. We had a record twenty boats join the fleet, and the highest number of “first- timers” in years. Crews were a diverse mix: new and seasoned sailors, aged 18-75; people who cruise and race here and around the world; and world circumnavigators. As is the tradition, Cruise Week started Sunday afternoon with an onshore BBQ at Pinhey’s Point, about 10NM upriver from BYC. 

At the BBQ, similar to last year, we distributed North Sails beverage cozies and sunglass keepers. Many people brought theirs from last year ashore! These items were put to good use all week in the incredibly hot weather.

We shared food and laughter, and issued the 3rd edition of the Nautical Skills Challenge: those who complete any 4 of 6 skills such as heaving to, 2 COB drills (under sail), reefing/shake the reef, using the emergency tiller, steering with sails only, and 720 turns are awarded prizes. 

Always a busy group, we socialized long into the evening on several boats. On Monday, the fleet had a slow downwind drift upriver to Baskin’s Beach in a 2-5kn east wind. After watering and feeding, we headed ashore for the World Quyon Bocce tournament. The competition was fierce, including one injured player placing winning shots with her non-dominant hand.

Eliminated players picked up additional North Sails drink cozies and frisbees, which were put to immediate use in the sweltering heat. After Happy Hour and dinner, (responsible) socializing resumed throughout the fleet. 

On Tuesday, the fleet made the 5 NM jump to Mohr Island. The 12-18kn west wind made for a fun beat. Many boats used this opportunity complete skills for the Nautical Challenge, including reefing (with North Sails ties handed out last year!) and shaking reefs. Beer cozies weren’t put into use until we landed at the island. 

We spent the afternoon swimming and relaxing, collecting our energy for a raft-up Happy Hour: a “blind” wine tasting. We sampled a great variety of whites and reds. No need for cooking dinner later; appetizers were abundant.

That’s Karen again. She loves her North Sails swag honestly and is the life of the party.
And that is Jay, last year’s North Sails Grand Prize winner!

On Wednesday, wind direction, great weather, and whim (ie a need for a rest) dictated that it was worth staying at Mohr Island. A few boats made the 4 NM jump to Quyon for a few provisions, and exploration of Pontiac Bay and the Chats Falls dam. Happy Hour was another raft-up. By this point in the week, we’re quite a good-looking group with our North Sails hats! Those who went exploring upriver shared tall tales at Happy Hour. That evening was a full moon. We had our own full moon island beach party, complete with a fire on the water. If you can’t go to the British Virgin Islands, you bring the BVI to Mohr Island!

On Thursday, the group headed back downriver to Baskin’s Beach for more swimming and relaxing, and the grand finale – a rum tasting.

Thanks to your support, we had great prizes to hand out for special moments such as these:

  • Builder award – a North Sails book – to Harmonium, who built their own punt
  • Cruise Week first-timers and gracious host awards: North Sails hats, T’s, and a book to Days Off and Carina II, who also hosted their first Happy Hour (and did their first raft-up)
  • Creative sunshade – a North Sails hat awarded to Maelstrom, whose owner, an industrial designer, created a collapsible cockpit sunshade that’s placed over the boom while at anchor
  • Good Samaritan award – a North Sails hat – to Skedaddle, who ran a line to another boat and helped winch them off a sand bar when wind shifted and increased unexpectedly overnight
  • Mobile mechanic award – a North Sails hat – to Harmonium, for helping troubleshoot Inception’s engine problems
  • First Responder award – a North Sails hat – to Inception, who did first aid on a rather deep foot cut
  • Solo sailors award – North Sails T-shirts – awarded to Zephyr, Wind Rose, Bermuda, and Persistence for solo sailing, in the Spirit of the Golden Globe race which finished in the spring 2019
  • Nautical Challenge winner – boats who completed the skills were rewarded for their efforts. North Sails swag and T-shirts were distributed to those who completed the challenge

We had a wonderful group this year and did a thorough exploration of the river. New friendships began, long-term friendships strengthened, and we made many memories. The people who attend make this such a great event, and support from North Sails makes it even better. Many thanks again for supporting our club’s tradition.



Catherine Trinkwon
BYC Cruise Week Coordinator

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