PenderBlog From The Pender Islands Of Canada

February 6, 2011

You’ve got to come and see this!

Filed under: Nautical bits — Jocko @ 1:06 pm

 From Bob Vergette:

Press Release:  Coast Guard Auxiliary Unit 20 Joint Exercise




Unit 20 SAR Vessel

On February 21 starting at 10:00 the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Unit 20 based on Pender Island will be holding a joint training exercise at Hope Bay.  Featured at the exercise will be the Canadian Coast Guard Hovercraft Penac.  The Penac and her sister ship the Siyay are stationed at a base in Richmond near the Vancouver Airport and conduct search and rescue operations throughout the southern Georgia Straits.  These 25 meter long hovercraft are unique in that they float over the water on a cushion of air.  The 3600 horsepower engines powering variable pitch propellers enable a maximum speed of 45 kts.  Also attending the exercise will be Auxiliary Unit 25 based on Saltspring Island.

Pender residents are invited to come out to Hope Bay and see Unit 20 putting their 400 hp Titan 249 XL response vessel through all manner of maneuvers with the Penac.  “Bring your camera – this is some thing you will not see too often!” say’s Dave Hargreaves, one of the four coxswain’s of the Pender Unit 20 and organizer of this joint training event.

After the exercise visitors are welcome to tour all the vessels at the dock and learn more about their rescue missions and capability.

The Pender Island based Auxiliary Unit 20 is an all-volunteer organization whose mission is to provide marine search and rescue service and to promote public boating safety.  The Unit also supports land based search and rescue activities with shoreline search and transport.  In the last two years the Unit has been called out for over 40 search and rescue missions.

The Hope Bay Cafe will be open that Monday so everybody can watch this special occasion from a warm window seat. Come and have a breakfast or lunch while watching the highly trained Coast Guard and Auxiliaries put their vessels’ through their paces.

For more information contact Unit 20 Leader Elizabeth Wilkes at 629 3021.

April 26, 2010

Proposed US Ferry Wake Tests in Plumper Sound?

Filed under: Nautical bits — Jocko @ 8:24 pm


Plumper Sound (photo:Richard Fox)

From the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre in Sidney, B.C.

What’s  going  on?

•  A  new  24  meter  (78′)  high-speed  catamaran,  foil  assisted,  passenger  ferry  has   been  built  for  service  on  the  Seattle  –   Bremerton  run  in  Puget  Sound  by  the  Kitsap  Transit  authority.

•  Earlier  efforts  to  introduce  such  a  service  with  a  different  ferry  were  thwarted  by   a  law  suit  that  awarded  damages  to  property  owners  on  the  ferry  route  (in  Rich  Passage)  where  the  ferry  wake  caused  shoreline  damage.

•  Before  the  new  ferry  can  be  placed  in  service  in  the  US,  vessel  performance  tests   must  be  conducted  to  verify  simulation  test  results  and  fine  tune  the  vessel   control  systems  with  a  particular  focus  in  the  wake  output  of  the  vessel.

•  Golder  and  Associates  (Victoria  office)  is  a  consultant  to  the  project  and   they  have  recommended  Plumper  Sound  between  Saturna  and  the  Pender   Islands  as  the  ideal  location  for  the  1.5  nautical  mile  test  site.

What  do  the  tests  involve?

•  The  tests  are  planned  to  begin  on  May  25,  2010  and  run  over  a  period  of  30   days.

•  The  vessel  will  be  tested  at  speeds  up  to  40  knots  (74  km/hr)  with  a  variety  of   loads  and  control  settings.

•  Because  of  the  variability  needed  in  the  test  specifications  at  least  390  test  runs   are  planned  over  the  30  day  period.

•  Additional  runs  will  be  required  if  a  test  run  is  aborted  due  to  vessel  traffic,  wake   interference  from  other  boats,  wildlife  interactions  or  test  equipment  failure.

•  Four  monitoring  equipment  stations  will  be  anchored  to  the  seafloor  in  various   positions  along  the  1.5  nautical  mile  length  of  the  test  track.

•  Each  of  the  units  emits  four  high  frequency  underwater  acoustic  signals  to   measure  wave  action  as  the  test  vessel  passes  by  at  various  speeds.  No   information  on  the  possible  impact  of  these  sounds  on  marine  life  is  provided.

•  It  is  predicted  that  the  vessel  will  emit  sound  in  the  range  of  70  dBA  at  1,000  feet   on  the  surface.

•  No  information  has  been  provided  regarding  the  underwater  acoustic  output  of   the  vessel  at  test  speeds.

The full media release from the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre can be downloaded here:  waketests.pdf

Full  details  of  the  Golder  proposal  as  presented  to  the  Islands  Trust  can  be  viewed  at:

May 31, 2010 letter to Golder Associates can be viewed here:  31-may-10letter.pdf

For more information about our local waters and marine wildlife visit the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre: located in Sidney, B.C.

November 16, 2009

De-staffing of lighthouses put on hold

Filed under: Nautical bits — Jocko @ 1:36 pm

From the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC)

October 30, 2009

On September 30, 2009, Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans issued a statement saying that the controversial plan to de-staff lighthouses was put on hold and that she was asking the Coast Guard to undertake a further review of the additional services provided by lighthouse staff on the two coasts.

We welcome the Minister’s decision as evidence of the pressure that was mounting from the communities residing near the lighthouses and the workers. Two regions of the PSAC, British-Columbia and the Atlantic region, along with PSAC‘s Union of Canadian Transportation Employees, conducted a very effective campaign and it became obvious that Minister Shea’s office was overwhelmed with messages criticizing the plan.

However, we hope this review is more than a mere delaying tactic with an already forgone conclusion i.e. the lighthouse keepers will be reassigned as was planned all along.

We will be vigilant. We want to be informed as to who will be doing the review of additional services, how long it will take, and when it will be made public. We invite the Minister to hold some public consultations in the fishing communities where the services provided by lighthouse keepers are well known and understood.

Putting this controversial plan on hold is a step in the right direction. We will be following this file with great attention hoping that the Minister will see the light and will abandon it definitely.

For more information on how to be involved in this campaign, please visit:

• PSAC BC Region website
• Union of Canadian Transportation Employee’s website

John Gordon,
PSAC National president

August 19, 2009

Boating safety on parade…

Filed under: Nautical bits — Jocko @ 7:12 pm

Submitted by Richard Fox:

The Pender Island Power & Sail Squadron Rides Again This Saturday


Although we took last year off, we are back in the saddle again with a live-action parade float to bring attention to boating safety and the looming 15 September deadline when boat operators are required to have their Pleasure Craft Operator’s Card (PCOC).

Our parade float legacy began in 2003 when we portrayed the Gilligans Island crew.  2004 brought an ambitious pirate ship and dance number, while in 2005 we enacted a wedding at sea complete with giant cake and the entire party.  Next came a raucous “Boatcracker Suite” in 2006 with a sleeping beauty and her nautical nightmare, then a replica of the Titanic with a singing lovelorn lass in 2007.

Line up around 10:15 am Saturday August 22, 2009 to see the parade that starts around 10:30 at the fire hall, then proceeds into the fair grounds.  Watch for the Power & Sail Squadron’s float, then come to our booth to get details about how you can acquire your PCOC.

May 11, 2009

Mmm… lobster!

Filed under: Nautical bits — Jocko @ 5:12 pm

Submitted by Otter Bay Marina:

Saturday, June 6, 2009


RSVP REQUIRED BY MAY 30, 2009  TEL (250) 629-3579, FAX (250) 629-3589 OR

Safe Cruising,
Jess & Charlene Mansley
Marina Managers

Otter Bay Marina
2311 MacKinnon Road
Pender Island, BC  V0N 2M1

Phone:  (250) 629-3579  Fax:  (250) 629-3589

February 13, 2009

Car buyers, where art thou?

Filed under: Nautical bits — Jocko @ 9:01 pm

  stock photo

Submitted by Rocky

I notice that there has been a large auto transporter anchored in Plumper Sound for over a week now. My guess is that it is unable to proceed on to Annacis Island terminal to unload it’s cargo, probably because the yards there and at all the points across the country are plugged up with unsold inventory.
Does anyone have any other ideas?  The ship’s name may give a clue to the maker. I’m too far away to see.
Should be some terrific deals available on Japanese and Korean imports if you have the cash!
I remember the same thing happening in the recession of 1981/ 82 when I worked in that field.
It will be interesting to see how long it sits there.

February 25, 2008

Just cruisin’

Filed under: Nautical bits — Jocko @ 12:00 am

Pender Island Power and Sail Squadron invites you to a “Speaker Night”.

When: Tuesday February 26th, 2008 at 1900 (07:00pm)

Where: Pender Island Library, meeting room.

Speaker will be Bill Cowan who participated in the Canary Islands and St. Lucia Atlantic Rally for cruisers. Bill will be sharing his experience and showing pictures. Refreshments will be available.

May 22, 2007

New Marine Centre

Filed under: Nature watch,Nautical bits,Sustainable Living — Jocko @ 12:00 am

Have you heard? A new plan is proposed for a marine education centre for the sea surrounding the Saanich Penninsula and Gulf Islands. Check out for more information.

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