Our Second Sponsor – SILVA BAY SHIPYARD.


I wandered in to the office last Tuesday to ask a question. Could we use the natural space beside the “Ways” for the purpose of somehow getting the Dragon Boat out of the water for cleaning etc, on Saturday April 21st.

Well, you all know the end to this story. Don was extremely gracious. He and Simon discussed the easiest and quickest way to get her out, clean and paint. When I questioned him, quite tentatively about the cost, he very quietly said “no cost”..

Gabriolans are SUPER> I told this story to the People assembled at the Steer’s Clinic on Saturday April 21, in Nanaimo, and they were extremely impressed. Some talked about being charged $400 just to get their boat lifted out of the water…

By Wednesday April 18th, Don and I talked at 4:30pm. He told me that she was already cleaned, painted and simply waiting for a reasonable amount of dry time, before they hoisted her back into the water.

WE THANK THE SILVA BAY SHIPYARD SO MUCH for another demonstration of Gabriola Island Generosity….



We need to meet when it is a great time to enable most of you to attend. The suggestion has been a Sunday morning at The Hive. Will this work for you. Please send me an email to <> and I will let you know. Perhaps next Sunday or the one after – 11th or 18th. If Sunday is absolutely the Worst day of your week, let me know. I will go by majority and of course publish via BLOG decisions made. Getting Closer. Now I have to write a letter to the Gabriola Recreation Department and officially request that we take possession of the 20 paddles that they have.

Suggestions have been to possibly run a Parent and Child team. Seniors for sure. My lead stroke for 4 years was a 75 year old powerhouse; the Energiser Bunny. Jean the Machine, we called her. Male, female, fit or not fit, confident or a wee bit scared of beginning an activity – come one, come ALL.

ACTION: Respond to my email when you get it, please.

The listed people, please send me your best email in order that I have a completed list to begin with. I will be bcc’ing you so that no information is shared until we develop a private system for contacting club members only. My suggestion is ROSTERBOT. In fact, I have had an account with them for a year now, in anticipation of getting to this point. BUT all ears, for efficient apps that will do what we need. Paddles UP and Take it Away.

Susje, Bille, Jenny, Shanyn, Grace, Codi and Yolanda – emails PLEASE!!!!




I have been overwhelmed by the response to my first post announcing a quasi web site being live; I am ready to begin planning, promoting and filling the boat several times – I hope.

#1. SILVA BAY RESORT & MARINA – Yolanda welcomed the big yellow boat with open arms. She and the owner of the Marina were and still are so thrilled that the Gabriola Dragon Boat Club wants to call the Marina home…They eagerly gave permission for the boat to have a permanent mooring, at no charge at the Marina. PLUS it looks like we will be able to store our paddles and PFD’s in the little blue shed there. This is a huge bonus.
#2 JIM HUGHES – a bit of nepotism I suppose, but he is worth it. Until I met Jim, I was having a heck of a time figuring out HOW to get the Boat from Chilliwack to Gabriola. I was even almost serious about inviting some National Team members to paddle it from Vanier Park in Vancouver to Silva Bay – this tells you a little bit about how my creative brain works. Throw out an idea. Silly, bizarre, realistic or not. And see what sticks. NOTHING was sticking. The expense of the boat crossing the Strait was simply too prohibitive for me. Truck with a special Dragon Boat hauling system on it and then the Ferry costs. YIKE… I met Jim. We fell madly in love. TMI I suppose.Upshot is. He has a boat he wanted to moor at Silva Bay all of a sudden. We went to the Marina and Yolanda was more interested in the Dragon Boat than the opportunity for a paying full time boat moorage. She did tell him “yeah, yeah. You can bring your boat. BUT I want to talk with Jo about the Dragon Boat”. Never being a person who shied away from a problem, Jim devised a method, which involved a large white plastic barrel and a harness. In May we had the boat trucked to Vanier Park and amidst many boaters, 2 Vancouver Police boats, 1 Coast Guard boat and a Coast Guard Hovercraft that happened to be there, Gabriola’s Dragon Boat was launched. Bemused by the activity of Jim and his daughter Tina, all watched as the boat was launched into the water. Then attached to the back of Jim’s boat. The Vancouver Police were helpful in making way for the two boats in leaving. HMMMM 35′ of Jim’s boat + 48+ of Dragon Boat. 4pm they left. Just on dusk, 4 1/2 hours later Diane Hepper, Wendy Crost and a young fellow from the Log Cabin Building School all welcomed Jim and Tina to Silva Bay. Oh. I was there too. So many thanks to Jim for ensuring the boat made it here, without any glitches. He did have some Coast Guard vessels come by to have a look and make sure he was OK. Thanks to Tina for being Jim’s mate on the voyage. Gabriola Island finally has its own Dragon Boat.

Well Diane is my very dear friend, so she really had no option, but to become a Dragon Boater. An active person all of her life she is very keen on doing this new sport. Wendy we met at the Picnic in the Park? Not sure of the name right now, at the Golf Course that same year in 2016. She has remained steadfastly interested and helped in any way she could to keep encouragement high. ALSO, when Jim and I were away for 2 months they ensured that the boat was pumped out after too many rains.Thank you to both of you…

I have probably misspelled their surname. Sorry. AS it goes on Gabriola, own a dog, go for a walk and it is impossible to not meet people and chat. Diane met them on one such walk. They were very keen to be integral members of the club. Both with massive Dragon Boat experience, Paddling, Coaching and Steering. Jean met with Diane and I several times to begin the planning process. Alas, life moves meant they left Gabriola. I know that having found such a wonderful resource once on Gabriola, that there would be others to jump in. Their input back then was pivotal for me to keep my heart in it.

Now, these two I have not met officially. I believe I may have met them at the Silva Bay Restaurant (well prior to the big burn) in the summer of 2017. Chatting as I do, to Nate, I believe, he expressed interest in giving Dragon Boating a go. He told me that there were many of the young workers who were intrigued by the notion of adding another paddling sport to their repertoire. Yes. I continued to receive such positive vibes from every person who allowed me to tell them about the boat. What I didn’t realize at the time, was that when the Boat was looking rather water logged, after Jim and I had returned, they would often take it upon themselves to bail her out. And manually too. It takes a good 1/2 hour to 3/4 hour to do it with an electric pump. So, BIG shout out to Alex and Nate for jumping in as it were. Gabriola spirit is alive and well always.

The Sounder did spend some time with me for photos and a story. So I thank them for that. My health had already taken a bit of a nose dive. This meant that I had to focus on rehab etc and so, the Dragon Boat Club was put on hold.I’m still not sure if I will be able to Dragon Boat. I hope so, ‘cos I love the energy, feeling and sense of calm as the boat skims the water – assuming good technique by all. Synchronicity. I may have to be a Beginner Coach to feel all of that again. That will be OK.

So, keep your eyes peeled for Web Postings of Blogs and emails and become informed about our first meet & greet get together. ‘Cos soon, we will be “taking her away”…..


YES, it never is too late!

PADDLES UP – little did I know when I first heard that command in 2010 the impact that Dragon Boating would have on my life. All positive improvements at a time in life when I felt I was heading into the downslope of my abilities, physical health and mental stamina. Yep. I was quite beaten up at that point.Cancer is never a road that is traveled easily. Life does change forever in the few seconds it takes for the words to sink in. Post treatments, Dragon Boating was the best decision I ever made (with a heap of kudos to my then husband – for making sure I made it to the first practice, with a large cup of java in hand) when it comes to my personal wellness.All of the wisdom provided to me for decades about the benefit of consistent physical movement finally resonated into ownership within my mental commitment. I am reasonably blessed with a modicum of intelligence, I think. I knew for so long and could recite the benefits of exercise. Of being outdoors. Never had I been able to put this knowledge into real action. Never too old to learn.Here I am on Gabriola Island. Post a few more curves. I had moved here when I visited on a regular basis in support of my best friend. This place called to me. Being an Aussie by birth, the water and all that is created positively by exposing myself to Dragon Boating, had cemented my desire to continue Dragon Boating on Gabriola. Feeling somewhat flush at the time, I found a boat for sale and bought it. Yeah. I had been told that the former Gabriola Dragon Boat Team had disbanded some 10 years prior, mainly due to the lack of access to a boat for practising.If you go to the Silva Bay Resort & Marina it is quite hard to ignore the 48′ long yellow banana style boat that has been moored there since last May. This last year has been a difficult struggle trying to get to the place where I could launch (so to speak) the opportunity for a new Dragon Boat Team on Gabriola. I know that the Gabriola Recreation Department has 20 Paddles waiting for new paddlers. Surely most people on this amazing Island have access to a Personal Flotation Device – we have what we need to get moving. Paddles Up. Take her away………