Although we live and recreate in the California of Canada, ocean temperatures at this time of year are cold enough to be the most significant danger we all face when playing on Vancouver’s largest playground. Here are some things you must know before you launch:
Appropriate Attire – Dress for Cold Water Immersion The water temperature is well below the level where it is safe to recreate without a proper (no shorties) wetsuit or drysuit. People who get into serious trouble at this time of year have often made the mistake of dressing for the air temperature not the water temperature, which is fine until something goes wrong and they suddenly find themselves immersed in the water.
Use Your Head
Significant heat loss is through your head. Hypothermia is the most significant danger experienced ocean recreationalists face. A neoprene cowling, wool toque or hat should be standard equipment.
Always Stay with Your Craft
When a sailing dinghy, windsurfer or kayak capsizes they are usually within a couple of swim strokes of their crew. Some craft, particularly SUP’s and surf skis, require a safety leash (in good condition and properly attached) as they can easily get away in a capsize situation. Never leave your craft in an emergency situation as it is far easier to spot than a person in the water.
Use the Buddy System
Always sail, paddle, row with someone else, especially in cold water conditions. Let a reliable friend or relative know when and where you are going and when you expect to return. Diligently contact them upon your safe return. If you are launching from Jericho Beach stop in at the JSCA office to let us know when and where you are going and when you expect to return.
Be Aware of Sunset
JSCA staff have witnessed people launching within a few minutes of sunset. This is a dangerous practice. If something goes wrong for you: equipment failure; changing conditions; fatigue, etc., you are very difficult to find in the dark. Make sure your safety float plan includes plenty of time to get off of the water before sunset.
For more information on cold water conditions, shiver over to:
The 2017 Vancouver Boat Show will take place from January 18-22, at BC Place Stadium. The JSCA will have an informational display at the show and is looking for JSCA member volunteers to crew our booth. It’s a great way to meet your fellow members, spread the good word about the Jericho Sailing Centre and gain free admission to the show.We are looking for volunteers for two hour shifts. To sign up please email Maya at “admin(REMOVE_ME)@jsca.bc.ca”
For more info on the 2017 Vancouver Boat Show, showboat your mouse over to http://www.vancouverboatshow.
Below freezing temperatures in the forecast require us to do our annual winterization of our compound water service which includes flushing the system dry and shutting off the water main for the next couple of months.
As our facility has evolved from the RCAF Jericho Beach Air Station, much of the Jericho Sailing Centre’s compound water system is at or near the ground surface to avoid costly trenching through concrete. This means it is particularly susceptible to freezing and associated pipe and fitting breakage.
Our compound water system will be re-energized in February or March depending on prevailing temperatures. In the meantime, the water hosing station on the SE corner of the building is insulated and operational throughout the winter.
The 2017 JSCA Event Calendar is now up on
the Jericho Sailing Centre website. All of our
regular programs: Sunday Racing, Tuesday
Nite Racing, Jericho Wavechasers, Rookie Racing & English Bay Safety Seminars are back on board along with fixture regattas: Flights of Spring Regatta, Jericho Classic Regatta, Hobie Classic Regatta and the Tasar BC’s.
For the complete 2017 event calendar, sail, paddle or row your mouse over to http://jsca.bc.ca/events/
BC Hydro will be replacing a power pole in Jericho Beach Park on Saturday, December 10 and there will be no power service to the Jericho Sailing Centre from 0700H-1700H. The compound will be accessible, however the winches will not be operable. The building will remain closed for that day, anyone requiring access to lockers or clubrooms should make prior arrangements. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience.
Every “off season” vicious Pacific wind storms rip through the Jericho Sailing Centre compound looking for loose tarps, boat covers and poorly stowed gear. When they find a loose tarp they can turn a docile hibernating boat into a flying projectile which can cause damage to neighbouring craft. Members are responsible for ensuring they have “battened down the hatches” on their equipment stored at the Jericho Sailing Centre. If your boat causes damage to neighbouring craft you may be held liable. We encourage you to check your craft regularly year round (particularly before & after gnarly windstorms), remove any parts or equipment that can be easily removed (most thefts occur between Oct.-April) and make sure water doesn’t collect inside your hull (if it freezes and expands it can cause major damage).
Members who launch from the Jericho Sailing
Centre at this time of year are encouraged to stop
in at the Jericho office and fill out the Winter
Launch Log which outlines your float plan
to let people here know you are out there.
Racers, whatever your class, the annual Fleet Planning Meeting is where we lay out the first draft of the 2017 JSCA Event Schedule. Over this past year the Jericho
Sailing Centre Association was involved in 85 on water event days and the planning started at this meeting last November. If you have an idea for a 2017 event, or how we can make Jericho racing programs better, come to this meeting, share your ideas and help us plan for a successful 2017.
The bells that now toll here are wind whipped stainless halyards ringing a forest of anodized aluminum sailing dinghy masts; but it wasn’t always that way.
Department of National Defence Building 13, now known as the Jericho Sailing Centre, was a hustling, bustling place during the Second World War. Here, Canadians carried out their solemn duty to serve our country, to stand with honour to defend and preserve the freedom and peaceful way of life we all cherish today.
What is now known as Jericho Beach Park and the adjacent lands south of 4th Avenue were all part of the largest military training base in western Canada; Canadian Forces Base Jericho Beach. The foreshore, which was hemmed with a concrete wharf apron, 4 large airplane hangers and a Marine & Stores Building (now the Jericho Sailing Centre), was RCAF Jericho Beach Air Station, a flying boat and seaplane base. Through the CFB Jericho Beach passed thousands of western Canadians in their metamorphic journey from civilians to soldiers, launched from here to the eternal hell that is war. Many never came home.
The Jericho Beach Air Station’s focus was civil defence; launching recognizance missions from this shore to patrol the BC coast, looking for signs of enemy vessels and/or aircraft. This original Jericho “ocean access facility” featured floating wooden launch ramps, steel wheeled launch dollies, winches, winch ropes, indoor flying boat storage, armed guards and barbed wire; lots of barbed wire. The crews and personnel of Royal Canadian Air Force Squadron 4, launched flying boats and seaplanes from here; craft with names like: Blackburn Shark, Fairchild 71, Vickers MKII, Canso Catalina and the mainstay of the fleet, the Supermarine Stranraer – a sub hunter-nicknamed “the Whistling Birdcage” by flight crews for the sound generated by it’s biplane wing shrouds and rigging in flight.
The wind and the sea were elements as important to those brave souls as they are to us today although their work was far more dangerous than our leisure time launches. A dead calm sea was difficult to take off from as the heavy craft’s hulls had to break through the salt laden surface tension to lift off. A sleeping sea was also treacherous to land on as it was impossible for sky skippers to judge altitude over a swiftly rising glassy surface. Larger waves could also be a problem. There were many spills; eleven aircrew lost in mishaps during this period. In one episode a Blackburn Shark’s pontoons punched head on into an English Bay rogue wave in the late stages of a takeoff, flipping the bird and killing the crew.
It may soothe the prevailing pacifist nature of our modern day users to know that in over 1700 wartime sorties the original crews of Jericho never fired a shot in anger and their only contact with the “other side” was a mysterious, ineffective, invasion of incendiary bomb rigged weather-type balloons in the winter of 1944/45.
A monument, just south of the Jericho Sailing Centre entrance; the Jericho Hostel; Jericho Arts Centre; the Vancouver Park Board Maintenance compound, and the Jericho Sailing Centre are all that remain in Jericho Park in Remembrance of those flighty days and fearless crews. When the tubular bells of the Jericho Sailing Centre ring every November 11 they ring for all who served our country and particularly for those who served from these shores. Whenever we launch from Jericho we are exercising the freedom passed on to us from their weathered hands. Remember them well.
Each year, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh
month our good neighbours at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club hold a Remembrance Day Service on the water in Jerry’s Cove between the Jericho Sailing Centre and the RVYC breakwater.
Many of their past members served in the Canadian Navy during two world wars and current RVYC members do an excellent job of paying their respects in this solemn nautical tradition.
Jericho Rescue will be on the water in Jerry’s Cove between 1030-1200H to pay respects on behalf of the JSCA and assist any attending paddlers who may wish to observe this unique maritime service. Please remember to display a poppy on your PFD.