Commodore leads Sea of Lights

Yacht club sets sail on its annual nighttime voyage

Royal Victoria Yacht Club Commodore Andrew McBride

With the Oriole in refit the Molly Malone will lead the parade of lighted boats Friday night (Dec. 4) along the shores of Oak Bay and Saanich.

Fittingly, the 136-foot vessel will have Royal Victoria Yacht Club Commodore Andrew McBride at the helm.

Traditionally HMCS Oriole leads the annual parade, but McBride, also the co-ordinator of the 10th annual Sea of Lights at RVYC, figures he’s up to the task.

“I’m going to try and fill the void, make my boat look bigger. I do have something like 3,000 lights,” he said.

The best viewing for the Sea of Lights is at Cattle Point around 7 p.m. followed by Willows Beach Park about 7:15 p.m. “If we’re going to do any tricks that’s where we’re going to do it,” said McBride. They’ll offer “similar antics” in Cadboro Bay around 7:45 p.m.

At Willows Beach Park, where Recreation Oak Bay hosts the family viewing, a big bonfire helps keep bodies warm and the Oak Bay Kiwanis offer hot chocolate and treats by donation. At Gyro, the Garry Oak Sea Scouts will have a hand in doling out warming goodies.

“It also benefits the Salvation Army, so we ask people to bring food and money donations,” said Charlotte Gann, who is primarily involved with the club’s largest endeavour, The Swiftsure International race, but offers her time for the sail-past this year as well.

Organizers hope to get the same number of boats as last year, 15 to 17, depending if you count the paddle boarder who donned lights last year and the two RCM-SAR units that accompany the parade. Some of the pilots will get a double-dose of holiday sailing with the big Victoria event the next night.

“Many of the participants in this will go around to the Inner Harbour the next night,” Gann said.

The annual event offers on opportunity for a good time for boaters and viewers, the co-ordinator said. “It’s great for the community, gets people out and allows us to mess around in boats in the dark,” McBride said.

“It’s fun. The club is often seen as a stodgy old boys’ place, but it really isn’t. This is an opportunity for us to be more outward.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pink Shirt Day originator to speak at Monterey school in Oak Bay

Travis Price continues anti-bullying movement with Island tour

Council approve temporary storage to extend life of Oak Bay Fire Hall

It’s cute, it’s iconic, but the picturesque Oak Bay Fire Hall is… Continue reading

Wear your rose-coloured glasses for the second annual Pink Shirt Gala

Anti-bullying event promises pink drinks, food and shirts

Pink Shirt Day uplifting for West Shore RCMP

Members of the West Shore RCMP have scheduled a variety of activities with students Feb. 26

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Pink Shirt Day campaign urges Canadians to ‘Lift Each Other Up’

Annual anti-bullying effort returns Wednesday, Feb. 26

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Most Read