Christmas takes to the water

The Maple Bay Carols Afloat event has been a local holiday staple for years. - Andrew Leong/file
The Maple Bay Carols Afloat event has been a local holiday staple for years.
— image credit: Andrew Leong/file

The Maple Bay Yacht Club is hosting its annual Carols Afloat on Dec 9.

Members of the club will decorate their boats with lights, making it a sight to see for anyone in the area. These beautifully decorated boats will leave the Yacht Club at 6:30 p.m. and make their way around the bay so the community can watch.

But members say they don’t get quite the view that the community does.

“When you’re on the boat doing it, you don’t get as good of a view because you’ve got the lights of your own boat, which is distracting and you’re all in a big line so you can only see the boats around you.” Scott McIvor, president of the club said.

“So actually being in the parade you don’t get as good of view if you were sitting on the shore. But it’s fun.”

While it might be fun, member say they don’t do it for the club; they do it for the community.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to make the whole area feel better about Christmas and brings a spirit to the Maple Bay area and others who come to watch. It’s an important part of the season,” Bob James, a member and boat enthusiast said.

James has been a member of the club for nine years and a boater for nearly 50. For him, the yacht club is a chance to learn from and bond with other boaters.

“I like the camaraderie and the ability to get the experience from older members. You learn about the right and wrong way, places to go, that kind of thing.” he said.

The boats are scheduled to sail, rain or shine. James hopes that people will still support the sail-past even if it’s bad weather.

“It depends on weather. They are yelling encouragement on the shores but on stormy nights they are hiding behind their windows,” he said. “It’s still a neat feeling to be out there and they are still appreciating the fact that we are there.”

For more information about the Carols Afloat contact the Maple Bay Yacht Club at 250-746-4670.


In Cowichan Bay...

The holiday spirit hits the waves first this year in Cowichan Bay.

The Cowichan Bay Sail Past sails past the village on Saturday between 5 and 7 p.m.

The village will be rocking between 3 and 7 p.m. including a free children’s Christmas craft room’ set up in the hotel. For more, phone Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay at 250-701-1000.


...and in Chemainus

The Chemainus-Crofton Eagles and B.C. Ferries are back with community holiday tradition.

The 2012 Christmas Carol Ship Cruise, an hour of caroling, hot chocolate, snacks, Santa and if all goes well a view of Ladysmith’s Lighted Sail Past sets sail at 6:20 p.m. Dec. 8.

Tickets are $6 and can be purchased in advance at: Chemainus Foods, Chemainus 49th Parallel Grocery & Lito’s Cafe, (Crofton)

All Proceeds go to the Chemainus Harvest House Food Bank. Call 250-246-3947.

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