Sea of Lights seeks more sailors

Annual lighted ship sail-past is this Friday, Dec. 2

Andrew McBride

Open waters welcome outside boaters to the Royal Victoria Yacht Club’s Sea of Lights sail past for the first time.

Organizer Andrew McBride holds a slight concern over getting enough boats out for the annual event.

“We’re scrambling for boats,” the past commodore admitted. He’s still hopeful  and headed out for neighbouring marinas sending out the invite to sailors across the region in hopes of filling the annual 15 to 25 vessel parade expectation.

“I’m hoping some of these guys will pick it up,” he said. “We’ve got good prizes for the boats that go out and get lit up.”

About 20 Oak Bay businesses and regional marine outfits donated prizes and support for the annual event. He also offered the incentive of a two-night moorage for the event set for Dec. 2.

“The navy is sending an orca-class warship. I hope they throw some lights on it,” he said.

The navy will also provide a judge for the event, rounding out the panel of new RVYC Commodore Gordon Wilkinson and Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen.

“It’s really important that the municipalities pitch in the way they do, because it makes it a community thing,” McBride said.

Saanich and Oak Bay offer sites for shoreline parties.

Willows Beach Park features the traditional bonfire and hot chocolate by cash or non-perishable food donation supporting both the Oak Bay Kiwanis and Salvation Army.

The best viewing time at Willows Beach is expected around 7:15 p.m. Cattle Point viewing should be best around 7 p.m. and those at Gyro Park in Saanich get a taste of the lights around 7:45 p.m.

At Gyro Park the Garry Oak Sea Scouts and Cadboro Bay Village Business Improvement Association co-ordinate hot beverages by donation to support the Salvation Army.

To register for the Sea of Lights email info@rvyc.ca.

As always, the sail past is weather dependent and would be cancelled if the seas are unsafe.