In the wind: November 9, 2023

November 11: Remember the Jericho Beach Air Station

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. Too 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 like the: 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 lives 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.

This monument just south of the former Jericho Beach Air Station’s Marine & Stores Building Commemorates those who served at Canadian Forces Base Jericho Beach. The monument receives regular TLC from the JSCA.

Remembrance Day Ceremony in Jerry’s Cove

Each year, leading up to 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. The service commences at 1045H. Please remember to display a poppy on your PFD.

False Creek Rowing Comes to Jericho

Off Season Fitness Training @ Jericho Sailing Centre

The False Creek Rowing Club is delighted to begin hosting a rowing machine program as a partner of the JSCA from the very end of October to the end of March.

Coached erg sessions will be held every Monday and Thursday with two time slots: 6-7pm and 7-8pm. In addition, joining this program will give you 24/7 access to ergs. For more information scull your way over to

The program will cost $216 in coaching fees + $46.25 RCA and Rowing BC fees + $110 if not already a member of Jericho Sailing Centre Association.

To sign up, please register with both FCRC here: Rowing Canada AND JSCA

If you have questions please contact us via email at

November Means Colder Weather, Water, Shorter Days

As time sails closer to the 2023 Winter Solstice, daylight is dwindling by a couple of minutes each day: tonight’s sunset is at 1639H. Please plan your ocean therapy sessions accordingly and dress appropriately for potential cold water immersion.

Jericho Sailing Centre office hours are also dwindling. This week the office will be closing at 1630H. For security sake, we ask all Fall and Winter users to keep gates locked when not actively passing through them.

JSCA Committees Planning for 2024

JSCA members are encouraged to participate on committees to help us ensure that the JSCA best serves the needs of all members. Below is a brief description of our committees along with their next Zoom meeting date. If you would like more information about our committees or would like to attend please send a note via reply email and I can answer any questions and send you a meeting link. If you are unable to attend but have some ideas you’d like to see, please send them in a reply email.

JSCA 50th Anniversary Celebration Committee November 20 @ 1800H

Annual Fleet Planning Meeting November 21 @ 1900H

Operations Committee November 28 @ 1900H

Planning Committee Next Meeting 2024 TBA

Safety Committee Next Meeting 2024 TBA

Keep an eye on our newsletter for future committee announcements

Inactive Craft Must Vacate Jericho Before April 1, 2024

As of August 6th, there were still 28 inactive craft which are not eligible for storage renewal next year. The owners of these craft have all been served notice under JSCA’s storage policy that they face losing storage privileges due to inactivity.

English Bay Safety Seminar

The English Bay Safety Seminar was developed for users of the Jericho Sailing Centre to help keep them safe at play while on the waters of English Bay. The seminar covers basic water safety fundamentals along with user specific information drawn from the logs of the Jericho Rescue Team who have intervened in thousands of “sea disasters” over the past 49+ years.

Why make your own mistakes when you can learn from the mistakes of others? Don’t challenge Darwin’s theory, make sure your water safety knowledge is the fittest it can be. Your survival may well depend upon it. Find the missing links and fill in the gaps in your water safety knowledge

Sail the Slideshow on our Website

There be Dragons here!: Find out where not to go in Vancouver Harbour

On the Water-Safety 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 practice.  
1. Always wear your P.F.D. on the water. PFD’s MUST be properly fitted.
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 it’s 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
16. Stay at least 300M clear of ships at anchor in Vancouver Harbour.

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.

For more water safety info., tread water over to: English Bay Safety

Jericho Sailing Centre Etiquette

Common sense and consideration of fellow members 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: 

  • 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/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 dollies are for launching/retrieval only (not for storage) and must be returned to the fence immediately after use.
  • If you launch from your own dolly or trailer return it to your storage spot after launching.
  • 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, non-barking/whining 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 flake 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.