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Subject: Sailing lessons and the box of chocolate
(Posted on Dec 14, 2010 at 08:59PM )
This was certainly a fun letter to open recently.   It talks about someone far away signing up for a course here.  We will let it speak for itself, but suffice to say a big THANKS to Marla for making the trip so special. 

Text to follow or click on the image of the letter to open the original. 
 


November 29, 2010

 

Cooper Boating

1815 Mast Tower Road

Canada V6H 3X7

Vancouver, BC

 

Forest Gump made the observation that ‘«£Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you‘«÷re going to get!‘«ō

 

Investing in a sailing experience with a company that I had no experience presented a significant financial risk.  Boarding a boat and putting my life in the hands of an instructor/captain whom I had no knowledge presented both a personal and emotional risk.

 

But if every instructor Cooper Boating employees is even close to the outstanding caliber of Marla Hedman all risk is nullified.  In August of 2010, I opened a ‘«£box of chocolates‘«ō to have one of the best experience of my life.  From the moment I stepped on board the Polaris to the moment we returned to Granville Island my heart was smiling.  The crew whom I had never met composed of an Engineer, a Physician, an Attorney and CEO, and myself: a Professor and President of a leadership consulting company, were all highly educated professionals that knew how to have a wonderful time.

 

Our instructor and captain Marla Hedman was equally as professional and enjoyable.  There was not a moment that I felt unsafe or that I did not believe that she had a keen observation of everything happening aboard the Polaris.  Marla has a wonderful manner of teaching that allowed the crew to maximize the talents and skills each of brought on board while giving us the opportunity to learn in a comfortable non-threatening environment.  Marla is an outstanding sailor with keen ability to both sail and teach.  She is fun, has a genuine nature, is an exceptional listener and outstanding coach, and someone I would be glad to sail with in any sea in any condition.

 

Thank you Cooper Boating for realizing it takes more than just a fine boat to make a great sailing adventure.  Thank you for selecting quality instructors like Marla Hedman.  I have been on other boats in ports in different parts of the world where the captain made the experience a nightmare for his or her crew.  This experience was just the opposite: Marla Hedman made this ‘«£Bucket List‘«ō moment in my life perfect!

 

Sail on!

 

 

Tim Clipson, Ed. D

Professor of Executive Leadership and Executive Communication

President of Leadership Is For Everyone, Inc. (LIFE, Inc.)

Subject: Last Martin 242 leaving the Cooper fleet
(Posted on Dec 6, 2010 at 05:52PM )
Our last Martin 242 is now available.  As the saying goes, we saved the best for last.  This boat was hauled in 2007 and completely refurbished with all new gelcoat applied to the hull (above the waterline) and deck.   The bottom was peeled off and epoxied.  We had this boat in BC PLACE STADIUM for the Vancouver Boat show as part of our display for learn to sail classes.  So, she might be a few decades old, but nobody that has seen this one up close can believe it. 


We've thrown some nice black sailcovers on her and have spare sails (including a few that would be great on the race course - the local fleet remains strong).   We even have a spare mast.  Hull #262 (also known as 263 for some reason). Call it two for one (numbers anyways).

Put it under the Christmas Tree for only $14,400!!  We need to make room for some more boats at Granville Island... take her away!!


Subject: Carribbean 2011 - Courses and Flotilla
(Posted on Nov 26, 2010 at 03:06PM )
The winter hit us early and promises to be long and cold here on BC's West Coast so we are heading to the other coast ...... and a lot further south!
The British Virgin Islands have long been a favouite cruising destination of all the Cooper Boating sailors and we are planning on being there from the middle of March to the middleof April 2011, coming home just in time for the Annual Easter Flotilla from Vancouver to the Northern Gulf Islands: YOU get to show off your tan!


Stage One - INTRODUCTION TO CATAMARAN SAILING
Boarding Sunday night, March 13th Soper's Hole,Tortola - BVI
Double cabins on 44 to 50 foot boats - get CYA AND/OR IYT certification
Returning to Soper's Hole, Tortola before Noon on the 20th of March.


Stage Two - FLOTILLA SAILING
Boarding Sunday night, March 20th in Tortola at Roadtown or Soper's Hole.
Join as a skipper with your own crew on your favorite size sailboat or catamaran. 7 Day bareboat yacht charters priced per size of boat: call for quotes.
Join as a CREW member on a boat with a CYA/IYT instructor to guide you through your first bareboat chartering experience.  (14 days available)

Returning before Noon on 27th of March, Roadtown or Soper's Hole.

Stage Three - MORE FLOTILLA SAILING
Boarding Sunday night, March 27th in Tortola at Roadtown or Soper's Hole.
Join as a skipper with your own crew on your favorite size sailboat or catamaran. 7 Day bareboat yacht charters priced per size of boat: call for quotes.
Join as a CREW member on a boat with a CYA/IYT instructor to guide you through your first bareboat chartering experience. 

Returning before Noon on April 03,Roadtown or Soper's Hole.

Stage Four - CRUISE AND LEARN 'TROPICAL FLAVOUR' 
Boarding Sunday night April 03 in Roadtown, Tortola - BVI
This 7 day program leads to a Canadian Yachting Association's Basic Cruising Standard and Coast Guard Operator's License.(PCOC)



CONTACT MARLA TODAY FOR PRICING.  Check out her 7 day ITINERARYTo book a charter outside of these dates, check here.   Also stay tuned or get in touch with Marla about the Croatia flotilla coming in September 2011.


 
Subject: More marine mammals seen while cruising
(Posted on Nov 22, 2010 at 02:47PM )
Looking back on the 2010 charter and boating school season, it is clear we had a lot more sightings of whales and other marine mammals such as the infamous DAHL PORPOISES.   
 Photo courtesy Brandon Brind
Not commonly seen in this area is the humpback whale, but Jeff managed to capture a shot of this one on October 17, 2010:
 Photo courtesy Jeff Motley
If you manage to see some interesting marine mammal while out there, make sure to report it here.

We've been seeing guys like this for all the years we've been offering boating holidays - clearly there are more around now than there were a decade ago.   Internet bonus - if you know what this whale is doing, contact our office for a special gift (just in time for the holiday season).  Hint: We had a boat in the fleet with this name!!
 Photo courtesy www.wildwhales.org

Subject: EASTER BUNNY SAILS AGAIN!
(Posted on Nov 19, 2010 at 10:18AM )
What is a flotilla you say??

EXTREME FUN ON THE WATER we say!!

FLOTILLAS - While the word flotilla originates from a formation of warships, the only mission of the flotillas organized around BC waters is to have fun and experience this great coast in a fantastic group environment. Those who are new can draw from those who have done it before. Those who have done it before come back because it's - well - just piles of fun.
 



The first FLOTILLA of the 2011 season falls on Easter and the dates are April 22/23/24/25th. We have a coordinator, Marla Hedman whom you can contact for further details.



ITINERARY for EASTER CRUISE

Day One, April 22 at 0900 we depart Vancouver and our destination is Porlier Pass for 1415 hrs.  Once traversing this scenic and exciting pass, navigate through the charming waterway between Reid, Norway, Mowgli and Hall Islands and set your course for Thetis Island Marina for Friday nights stay.  This marina and its owners are always hospitable and the rustic shore amenities never fail to entertain! The roadways on Thetis Island are low traffic and easy hilly so for those of you that like to hike or jog, you can get more of the island experience. Have your evening meal aboard or ashore at the Thetis Island Pub.  (NOTE: Subject to interest we will have groups originating from areas other than Vancouver Harbour)

Day Two
, April 23 starts out rather leisurely as slack water at Dodd Narrows is 1453 hrs. Sleep in or get an early start if there is a yachting challenge to participate in that day. We're on our way to Newcastle Island in the Nanaimo Harbour. This island marine park is a BIG favourite for many cruising enthusiasts and that evening we will be having a roaring bonfire near the tidal pools. Bring your favourite roasting treats and roasting sticks, too! We do not cut down anything on this island! We encourage all our musical friends to bring guitars and bongos and harmonicas and song sheets.


Day Three
, April 24 is EASTER BUNNY CHOCOLATE TIME! This annual event includes boat crews scouring the rock quarry for Easter Bunny "droppings",  many mugs of steaming coffee and hot chocolate, peaceful gazing at the beautiful surroundings and laughter at the antics of adults becoming children again as they race to gather more chocolate than the young yuns. It is recommended to get off the docks around noon as we have approximately 21NM to travel to reach our Sunday night home: Gibsons Landing on the Sunshine Coast. Everybody loves Molly's Reach and well known foodies say that the best carrot cake on the coast can be found here. Good fish and chips, too. For those who like their seafood raw, check out the new Smitty's Oyster House on the boardwalk below the pier.


Day Four, April 25th is Monday and our destination is home. There are some hearty breakfast spots in Gibsons and there is also a fuel dock here for boats needing to top up their tanks. If you want to leave early, you can always stop at Snug Cove for lunch, anchor in Mannion Bay for a picnic or just sail for the city after a sleepy morning.

Why a FLOTILLA is a good thing!

1) FLOTILLA LEADER - The flotilla leader is there as a resource - available on the VHF and by phone. Your fearless leader will keep an eye on the group like a shepherd tending their herd. They are also there to help make sure your anchor is well set, grab a line and give a pointer when you are docking. Flotilla leaders are generally available when you need some assistance. They will also organize some of the shore side activities normally associated with these events. 

2) BASIC TRIP PLAN - While we have adjusted basic plans from time to time because of weather, there will be some great destinations along with that old adage - more than half the fun is just getting there.


3) BRIEFING - Before departing, the flotilla leader will brief skippers and everyone interested on the route, destinations, navigational considerations, timing and a review of the most recent weather information. For those who are new - think of this as cruising with the training wheels still on!


4) GREAT PEOPLE - From beginner to expert, flotillas attract a wide range of experience and mixing this allows for great learning and mentorship. If you enjoy new experiences and meeting new folks - you're one of those great people welcome to join the next flotilla!


5) FLAVOUR - There's usually some theme to the flotilla that - a treasure hunt at Easter, a jazz festival in the fall... a cool potluck dinner between great friends to wrap up the season each year in November - each flotilla has a flavour to allow you to pick your favourite!


6) TRAINING BOAT- there is always a CYA instructor or two or three ready to mentor sailors on their first big cruising experience.


7) CREW FIND MEETING - join the flotilla leader to meet new and old friends to discuss sailing and boating plans.  FEBRUARY 27th, Sunday afternoon at 5PM on Granville Island at the classroom of the Cooper Boating. 1815 Mast Tower Road


FLOTILLAS ARE ORGANIZED BY THE BC SAILING ASSOCIATION.
Subject: START HERE - New Friendly Schedule & Modular Format
(Posted on Nov 16, 2010 at 08:03AM )
To compliment the friendly instructors we have around here, we've re-organized the courses into a modular format to allow people with busy lives to get this great pastime into their lives and ensure the sailing classes meet student objectives.  Surrounding the basic level for new sailors is three core modules - CREW, BAY SKIPPER and CRUISING NUTS & BOLTS.  If you would like the well rounded, cover all the bases approach, take all three modules.  If you are looking to sail smaller keelboats (perhaps with our sailing club - the JIB SET - you can take the CREW module and start crewing on the 24 footers - putting your new skills into practice and having a lot of fun with the great group of people in our club.



Progress to the BAY SKIPPER level when you are keen to take things up a level and be comfortable in command of these great pocket cruisers -


Looking to crew on larger boats, take the CREW module followed by the CRUISING NUTS & BOLTS weekend.



Skippering these boats is best done with the BAY SKIPPER module in English Bay before the CRUISING NUTS & BOLTS weekend to Gibson's on the Sunshine Coast.

None of these modules is over one week in duration and can fit into a busy work schedule.  Need any help - our office is open daily and ready to assist.


Subject: Bareboat key elements from Cooper Boating
(Posted on Oct 31, 2010 at 04:49PM )

Following up on the meaning behind the bareboat concept of our earlier post, it seems appropriate to look at how we at Cooper work as agents to take care of our bareboat guests.

The legal side does create certain obligations and a competent charter agent can help with all of those.   Cooper's two guiding principles surround COMFORT and INSURABILITY.  

Comfort aboard comes not only from the boat itself and its fit, finish and equipment, but the comfort of the skipper and crew operating the boat  their experience and familiarity with the vessel type.  Perhaps it has been several years since you last skippered a vessel.  In this case, the prudent skipper often reaches out for some assistance to refresh their skills - either via a formal lesson before hand or by taking someone at the beginning of a bareboat charter holiday to help break free of the boating cobwebs and ensure that the skipper is comfortable handling the vessel and the navigator is up to back up to speed on coastal pilotage.

Familiarity with a vessel type leading to comfort aboard does depend on whether or not this is  a boat you've operated before (or a near sistership).   Changing vessel types - especially large changes like different prop configurations or North American vs. European manufacturers - can lead to an increased challenge for a skipper.  We've seen the greatest frequency of changes when people make large changes to the type or size of vessel they are using.  

Some of the same factors that drive comfort also affect insurability of a skipper.   As mentioned in the post about the word 'bareboat',  the insurance on the vessel is transferring to the charter client for the duration of the trip as if they were an owner.   Insurance depends on the risk factor and that includes experience, most specifically recent experience on the size and vessel type.   A long track record of boating experience without an accident is a great step to being insurable, as is formal training - especially hands-on training to a national or international standard.

Ironically, when renting a vessel, it is not essential to have a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) - providing one walks through a rental boat checklist and signs this off as the charter commences.   The fact is, the PCOC seems to be addressing specific accident situations and is especially focused on vessels smaller than those in our charter fleet - the standard of training and competence required to be insured on a charter vessel is far greater than the level offered by a PCOC alone.

If there is an accident in one's past, it does not preclude insurability - one accident can be a vital learning experience - but it should be fully disclosed so that future risks are properly covered.    Indeed, we use past experience from debriefing accident situations to alert future people to the inherent risks of operating a boat on our coast.   Come to think of it, everything provided to back up one's experience as provided on a boating resume should be completely factual as it becomes an integral part of the charter arrangements.   The insurance company isn't out there checking everything up front necessarily, but if the boating resume is found to contain fictional content when following up a claim, it would certainly jeopardize the insurance coverage in place.

While some of this sounds heavy and does carry with it real obligations, we have been working with folks wanting to have fun on the water for over a quarter of a century now and can make most of this fall to the routine.   So, if we're suggesting something to help you bolster your resume it merely stems from our guiding concept that we want to you be properly insured and comfortable on the boat of your choice.   Let's get going with your spectacular experience!




Subject: Get those long boat holidays booked in now
(Posted on Oct 29, 2010 at 10:03AM )
As the calendars start to fill up, it becomes progressively more challenging to fit the long reservations in.   We already have a bunch of 2 week bookings for 2011, along with a few 3 and 4 week reservations on key boats.   It is so fantastic to get out for a long time as our coast has so many places to see and one can truly unwind on a long adventure on the water.   Cooper is uniquely positioned to handle these longer bookings as clients can effectively start at one base and make a 'pitstop' at another base along the way.
Remember, the moment you have the reservation, you can start planning and really looking forward to your adventure on the water.  We've collectively got the most experience helping people plan spectacular trips on this coast.


To help checking boats by date available, please take a look at our secure online booking system.  Our system is compliant with the new credit card rules and open 24/7 so you can plan from the comfort of your own home. 


Subject: Last Basic Sailing Class Cooper Boating this weekend.....
(Posted on Oct 27, 2010 at 06:11PM )
We're running the last Basic sailing class starting Wednesday this week.   Not just the last course for the year, but the last class with the current format.  We're breaking this course info modular components for a couple reasons.

The new format is CREW and BAY SKIPPER.  Both courses span less than a week in format and have different objectives.


The reasons to change are to make the course shorter for ease of scheduling and to better match client objectives as they take to the water.   New sailors with us have shared that courses drawn out over many weeks make it hard to balance with their busy lives.  In addition, part of having fun on the water is having the level of experience  that matches the level of responsibility.  Many people want to just crew aboard the boat and have fun.

Want to crew aboard a bigger boat?  Do the CREW module and then our CRUISING NUTS & BOLTS weekend.  Want to be a skipper on the day sailing boats and cruise English Bay?   Then proceed to the BAY SKIPPER after CREW.   Feel free to get some practice as a crew member in between.  Want to get to the bigger cruising boats?  Add the third module of CRUISING NUTS & BOLTS.

Both CREW and BAY SKIPPER run two evenings in the classroom during the same week and the on the water component involves the entire weekend that same week.





Subject: Welcome Jamie Johnston to Cooper's Operations
(Posted on Aug 24, 2010 at 06:40PM )
We are pleased to announce that Captain James Johnston will be joining Cooper Boating effective September 1st, 2010.  James, or Jamie to his colleagues and friends, has over 15 years experience on power vessels up to and exceeding 100 feet, has worked in the operations area of the marine trade and is a qualified CYA Power Boat Instructor Examiner.

We also wish to inform you that Roger Boulet will be departing Cooper Boating at that time.   Early this year Roger informed us that he would move on after the current season to pursue his career as an independent marine technician, and while we are pleased for Roger we will all miss his energy.

The addition of Jamie to the Cooper crew will fill the role that Roger is vacating, with his background leading certain local yachts and a management of a local luxury yacht service department.  In addition, his certification to several standards as an instructor examiner allows continued growth of the Cooper Boating school.

You will see that Jamie also enjoys sailing - evidenced by this photo.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish Roger well in his future endeavours and to welcome Jamie to the Cooper Crew.



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