In The Wind: February 5, 2021

Jericho Sailing Centre 2021 Winter Update

Last Spring after the world capsized within the wave of the Covid-19 global pandemic, the JSCA swiftly righted and bailed our organizational ship, trimmed the sails, and set about carrying out our constitutional mission to deliver ocean recreation programs, facilities and services to the people of Vancouver – all while minimizing the risk of spreading the virus. For 2021 our challenge will be much the same, although this year we will begin from a moving start.

A 15.7′ King Tide earlier this week erased the Jericho Pier pilings from this view 

The Jericho Sailing Centre has been operating through the winter under strict Covid-19 Safety Protocols (details below) and has been accessible to members only. The Centre has served more users than usual this winter largely due to fewer available recreational opportunities elsewhere and more available leisure time. Without full knowledge of the effect of vaccine rollouts, variant viral strains and evolving public health guidelines, we anticipate that as we sail into Spring our Jericho Sailing Centre Covid-19 Safety Protocols will remain much the same as last summer. We will continue to restrict the facility to JSCA members and accompanying guests only, until our school and Galley partners open for the season when we’ll welcome the public too.

Invoices for annual membership and storage fees will be emailed to current members in the last week of February with a due date of March 31, 2021. While membership fees will remain unchanged there will be a 5% increase in storage fees to allow the JSCA to meet the rising tides of inflation and additional operating costs related to the Covid-19 pandemic. If you have changed your email address since our last billing period, please let us know. Anyone planning to store their craft elsewhere in 2021 is asked to notify the JSCA office and vacate the compound by March 31 so that we may bring others in from our waiting list.

We all look forward to the arrival of Spring and another ocean recreation season when the Jericho Sailing Centre provides a safe shore from which people can temporarily escape the shadow of the pandemic and the surly bonds of Covid-19 restrictions for some free flowing, soul soothing hours of salty therapeutic enjoyment on Vancouver’s largest playground.

Jericho Sailing Centre 2021 Event Planning Meeting – March 2 

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the JSCA successfully conducted 53 on water events, within public health safety guidelines, from June through October last year. The Jericho Sailing Centre Annual Event Planning Meeting, normally held in late November, was delayed until March 2, 2021 at 1900H when we expect to have a better view of the Covid-19 pandemic environment for event planning. 

All members welcome, please RVSP this email or contact the JSCA office for the meeting link.

Jericho Sailing Centre Winter Office Hours

The JSCA Office is open everyday 0930-1700H.

Winter Photos

Thank you to JSCA’s Safety and Events Manager, Dominique Labrosse, for providing the winter photos in this week’s newsletter, including our cover and this photo of the aptly named, Paul Rowe from earlier this week. If you have a winter photo of Jericho activity you’d like to share please send it to us.

Jericho Beach Kayak Centre – Winter Programs 

Online Trip Planning Course (Feb 18 – March 11)
Take advantage of those long winter nights and get ready to plan (and dream) about next year’s paddling trips!

Our Online Trip Planning Series runs over 4 evenings and we will cover everything you need to know to successfully plan your next kayaking trip!
We will talk about Charts & Navigation, Tides & Currents, Marine Weather, Picking a suitable location, What to bring and how to pack and of course Risk Assessment.

There will also be plenty of time to discuss any questions you may have. We will also provide (optional) exercises to practice what we have learned.

Online VHF Radio Course (March 9)
One of the most useful tools while being on the water in any craft is a VHF radio.

Get your ROC(M) VHF license from the comfort of your home.

During this pandemic we have received special permission from Canada Sail and Power Squadron to offer VHF courses and testing online.

Jericho Rescue Team Program – Winter Training Paused Due to Covid-19

The Jericho Rescue Team normally trains on weekends through the winter but this year we have had to put our regular program on hold to minimize the risk of spreading Covid-19 among our volunteer and staff crews. We look forward to resuming our regular support of Jericho Sailing Centre activities when it is safe to do so.

SAFETY NOTICE: Winter Ocean Recreation

MacSailing instructor Colin Taylor is well dressed for a breezy, Zesty late fall sailing session on the English Bay briny.
Photos: Dominique Labrosse

While this time of year can provide thrilling ocean recreation opportunities it’s important to know that there is increased risk due to the cold and the fact that there are fewer mariners on the water.  

Remember you are always responsible for your own safety.

Before you launch

  1. Check the weather, wind and tide forecasts and compare them against current conditions. Make sure conditions are comfortably within your levels of ability, preparation and the performance envelope of your gear/craft.
  2. Make sure you have all required safety gear with you. If something goes wrong this time of year there are fewer boaters around in the bay to help – be prepared to help yourself. Review the Transport Canada requirements for your craft here: TC Safe Boating Guide
  3. Dress appropriately. Cold weather marine recreation requires warmer clothing than summer. Along with general clothing, managing heat loss via your head and neck is paramount. Thicker wetsuits, dry suits, neoprene hoods, toques, neck tubes and thermal layers are all appropriate. Be aware what effect increased clothing will have on your ability to operate your craft. If you are paddling/rowing with high aerobic intensity, bring an extra layer or two to wear during warm-up, cool down or if you end up in the water.
  4. Make sure your craft is seaworthy. Take the time to carefully check all your pins, shackles, split rings, drain plugs, stays, steering mechanism, halyards, lines and other rigging.
  5. Find a buddy to go with you. Sailing/paddling/rowing in twos or small groups is a great way to ensure there’s help around should something go awry. Please be wary of current COVID-19 related health orders in this regard.
  6. File a float plan with a friend. Tell them who you are with, when you are leaving, where you are intending to go and when you plan on returning. Similarly, fill in our winter launch log at the JSCA office when available and check back in upon your return.

Have a means of calling for help. Carry a whistle on your PFD, carry a cell phone in a waterproof pouch or a waterproof hand held VHF radio. VHF radio certification and training are available from our school partner: Jericho Beach Kayak Centre.

Once you’ve launched make conservative decisions

  1. Minimize the chances of ending up in the water. Don’t push the envelope of your abilities or your craft’s performance envelope. Be smart about the risks of gear or skill failure.
  2. Stay closer to shore in case you need to use your whistle to signal for help.
  3. Make multiple laps close to Jericho instead of travelling farther afield. If you do fall in and lose strength to the cold, it’s a shorter trip back to safety.

  If something goes wrong and you end up in the water

  1. Stay with your craft. You are much more visible next to your craft than alone in the ocean.
  2. If you are not able to get out of the water employ the HELP (Heat Escape Lessening Position) principle. If alone bring your knees up to your chest and wrap your arms around them, keeping your elbows next to your sides. If with others huddle together as close as possible.
  3. What to expect; 1-10-1 the three critical phases of cold water immersion:

1 – Cold Shock. An initial deep and sudden gasp followed by hyperventilation that can be as much as 600-1000% greater than normal breathing. You must keep your airway clear or run the risk of drowning. Cold Shock will pass in about 1 minute. During that time concentrate on avoiding panic and getting control of your breathing. Wearing a lifejacket during this phase is critically important to keep you afloat and breathing.

10 – Cold Incapacitation. Over approximately the next 10 minutes you will lose the effective use of your fingers, arms and legs for any meaningful movement. Concentrate on self-rescue initially, and if that isn’t possible, prepare to have a way to keep your airway clear to wait for rescue. Swim failure will occur within these critical minutes and if you are in the water without a lifejacket, drowning will likely occur.

1 – Hypothermia. Even in ice water it could take approximately 1 hour before becoming unconscious due to hypothermia. If you understand the aspects of hypothermia, techniques of how to delay it, self-rescue and calling for help, your chances of survival and rescue will be dramatically increased.

For more information, shiver over to this cold water education site:

It’s Storm Season Batten Down your Hatches

Every “off season” vicious 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 can 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).

Seasonal Compound Water Shutoff

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 military grade concrete. This means it is particularly susceptible to freezing and associated pipe and fitting breakage. 

The possibility of below freezing temperatures require us to do the 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. While the rest of the compound water is shutdown the water hosing station on the SE corner of the building near the main compound entrance is insulated and operational throughout the winter.  Our compound water system will be re-energized in February or March depending on prevailing temperatures.

Winter Launch Log

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.

Jericho Sailing Centre Covid-19 Safety Protocols – Week 38 STAGE 4

The Jericho Sailing Centre is sailing into Week 38 of operation under the Jericho Sailing Centre Covid-19 Safety Protocols.  These protocols have been put in place to minimize the risk of spreading Covid-19 among the users, staff and volunteers of the Jericho Sailing Centre and must be strictly adhered to-no excuses, relaxation or Covid fatigue permitted. 

During STAGE 4 of our Covid-19 Safety Protocols the Jericho Sailing Centre will primarily be in use by JSCA members and their registered guests only, through the Winter and early Spring. Our Windsure and MacSailing school partners have closed for the season. Jericho Beach Kayak Centre will have limited programs running through the winter; paddle over their website for info Jericho Beach Kayak .

Members of the public may join the JSCA any time throughout the year.

The main gate is the initial access point for members and their guests during STAGE 4. Your valid* JSCA Membership Card will be required to unlock the member gate. If you enter with other members please make sure to card swipe the reader on the gate for potential contact tracing purposes. Please do not let anyone else in -have them phone the JSCA office to gain entrance.

Under STAGE 4 everyone entering the Jericho Sailing Centre facility must: wear a facemask at all times, stay physically distanced at all times, wash their hands frequently, register upon entry*, and of course, be kind to each other.

Guests accompanying members will be required to provide their name and phone number** at the office service window. All ocean gates will remain closed until needed for boat launching or retrieval. 

To support the Jericho Sailing Centre Covid-19 Safety Protocols there are temporary washroom, changeroom, shower and handwash stations throughout the compound. Showers and changerooms within the building will not be available. Interior washrooms are available but will have an occupancy of 1.

All traffic within the Jericho Sailing Centre hallways and staircases, will be One Way only to support physical distancing. Please look for directional signage through-out the building and compound. JSCA office service is accessible via 2 service windows on the east exterior wall under a temporary awning.

The success of our Jericho Sailing Centre Covid-19 Safety Protocol depends on the cooperation of our entire Jericho community. Thank you to everyone who has committed to put “community” over “self”.  Together we are doing everything we can to minimize the risk of spreading the Covid-19 virus.

*Please ensure you have signed the 2020 liability waiver to ensure your membership card is valid. Waivers can be signed at the following link:  JSCA Waiver 

**Registration information is taken for the potential purpose of Contact Tracing only. All information will be securely stored and destroyed after 30 days.

Jericho Sailing Centre – Craft & Equipment Storage Available

There are still some craft and equipment storage spaces available to members at the Jericho Sailing Centre.

2021 Rates
Kayaks $165
Double Kayaks $199
SUPs & Windsurfers $165
Laser Racks $199
Tall Lockers $125
Small Lockers $66

Jericho Sailing Centre Etiquette

Common sense and consideration of fellow members and other users help make the Jericho Sailing Centre a true community centre with a friendly salt water community atmosphere. Here are a few etiquette reminders to keep things sailing along smoothly:

  • No Alcohol is permitted within the Jericho Sailing Centre other than that served by the Jericho Galley Patio & Grill At no time is alcohol permitted outside of a licensed area.                   
  • Do not leave your craft unattended on the shoreline for extended periods – share the shore. 
  • RAMPS, and the areas adjacent to launching ramps, are for craft launch/retrieval only. Do not rig, repair or otherwise loiter in this area.
  • Do not leave or rig your craft in the rinsing areas adjacent to hosing stations. 
  • The Jericho Sailing Centre is a SMOKE/VAPE FREE facility. There is No Smoking or Vaping permitted in any Vancouver Park or beach area.
  • Give pathway users the right of way and bear in mind they may be distracted and not aware that you are crossing the pathway with your craft or launch rope.
  • Launch dollys are for launching/retrieval only (not for storage) and must be returned to the fence immediately after use.
  • Do not use the winches unless you are familiar with their safe operation. Winch instruction is available from staff or Jericho Rescue Team members. Only members or registered guests may use winches & dollies.
  • Only leashed, well behaved dogs are allowed in the compound. No dogs are allowed in the building or on the deck. Do not tie dogs to the base of stairwells or in other traffic areas. Do not leave your dog onshore while you are on the water. The City prohibits dogs on beaches. In consideration of other Jericho users please consider leaving your dog at home while visiting the Jericho Sailing Centre.
  • Please coil hoses immediately after use and conserve water.
  • Do not block aisle ways.
  • Rinse racks are for rinsing not drying.
  • Swimming is prohibited in front of the Jericho Sailing Centre.

Respect your community by strictly following the Jericho Sailing Centre Covid-19 Safety Protocols.

Safety on the Ocean is your Responsibility 

On the ocean there are elements of risk that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce. Regardless of how you decide to use the ocean always show courtesy to others. Please adhere to the code listed below and share with others the responsibility for a safe ocean experience. 

It is every member’s responsibility to know and observe the rules of the road when on or near the water. Here are some key rules which every Jericho member must know and practise.


1. Always wear your P.F.D. on the water.

2. Sail powered craft have the right of way over power craft, paddle and rowing powered craft.

3. All non-commercial vessels shall keep well clear of commercial vessels.

4. It is illegal and extremely dangerous to pass between a tug and its tow.

5. A port tack sailing vessel shall keep clear of a starboard tack vessel.

6. A windward vessel shall keep clear of a leeward vessel.

7. A vessel clear astern shall keep clear of a vessel ahead.

8. Any vessel overtaking another shall keep clear.

9. A vessel tacking or gybing shall keep clear of a vessel on a tack.

10.The area south of the orange can buoys is for training or transiting only.

11.Swimming or wading on the beach in front of the Centre is prohibited and is particularly dangerous for small children.

12.It is unsafe to loiter or let children play near the bottom of launching ramps.

13. Stay well clear of the end of the Jericho Pier as fishers cast lines as far as possible

14. Be cautious of pathway traffic when launching/retrieving

15. Do not leave your craft on the shoreline for extended periods of time

Always do a careful pre-launch safety check of your craft equipment and crew.

Common sense goes a long way toward maintaining a safe environment. Membership in the Jericho Sailing Centre Association is contingent on members knowing and observing the Safe Ocean Sailing rules.