Lex Peterson Stories 

October 2004 by Kathy Taylor

Our cover this month is so full of joy – a much needed reminder in a time of so much sorrow.

There’s Lex racing a hobie with the big boats at Z-Fest in January of 2003. He and Tina on their first “hot” holiday (take that whatever way you like!) Having a blast! Shmoozing around the anchorage, so very Lex.

At the time he wrote for Top Currents,“It was a wonderful opportunity to connect with old and new friends in the cruising community, move for a short time from a dreamer to a doer, and see how we intersect and interact with all the other communities out there.”

Further on he reflects, “What struck me about this trip was seeing how important it is to belong to a community, a tribe, a support network. It doesn’t matter whether the currency of your tribe is big houses and fancy cars, or happy children, small fishes and music till 5 a.m.

What matters is your participation. Do you add value to your community or just consume its resources?” (Currents April 2003)

Lex would toss off wonderful words like these, and email them over to me with a triumphant “ta dah!!” I started out belonging to his BCA tribe, then his friends who just loved messing around in boats tribe and then, most importantly, his family tribe. He and Tina have become close and loving friends. One of the consequences of having great friends is that you get to be part of their great family. So now, of course, my life is blessed with a connection to Chris, and Jen, and Annie, and Pauline and John, and Colleen and Kate.

by Kathy Taylor

His brilliant too-short life has been celebrated recently with a wonderful afternoon of story telling and trading of memories at the Rowing Club. Calgary Olympic Park was also the scene of a touching celebration. Not many people in the sailing community knew that our Commodore was an Olympic athlete who had not only formed the New Zealand bobsleigh team but was its driver in the 1988 Winter Olympics.

And we honored Lex at our Club Night on Tuesday. I spoke, as did Malcolm and Dave and Sally and Peter. What a wonderful heartfelt tribute! But it was the photo montage set to the sounds of Lex’s favorite chanteuse, Diana Krall, that moved us all. Thank you Guy, for that.

When I close my eyes and think about Lex, the last few months float by just like that montage, a moving slide show. There are images of eating sushi, watching the little boats at Jericho, admiring his new brown leather couch, having a beer at Fiddlehead Joe’s, sailing for one wonderful afternoon on Hot Pursuit ...and... okay, more sushi and more beer!

But a few moments have more glue than others.

August Rendezvous. Lex and Tina hosting a drop-in at Blackberry Cottage. Tina and I fixing some food in the kitchen. I turned and saw Lex in his cushioned Adirondack chair on the deck in the sun. He was like the central image in a beautiful still life. Behind, with him always in sight, Tina. At his feet, Annie arranging flowers. By his side, Chris and Jen playing chess. Down the hill, Rosebud bobbing on her mooring. Friends coming up the path.

Lex:  "Live your life today”  


Currents May 2004  Jeddiah Island Protected. 

Editor Kathy Taylor 

It was near dusk on Jedediah Island. An old horse named Will nickered softly in a distant gnarled orchard, and a flock of rangy matted sheep parted as we strode through the boggy field. A crumbling barn and the windowless remains of a weatherbeaten house stood in the grassy clearing.

A few windstripped rhododendrons, hinting at garden luxuries of the past, lined the path that led to the rocky point overlooking the pool fringed beach, and beyond, to the forested hills of Lasqueti. On top of this stony shouldered point is a plaque inscribed with a dedication to Dan Culver.

In 1993 Dan was the first Canadian to
summit K2. His team used no oxygen and he
carried with him, to plant at the top of the
world, a Canadian flag, and a pennant in honor
of the Tatshenshini and another for Clayoquot
Sound. For Dan there were no boundaries
between work and play, or between the wild rivers of British Columbia and the craggy peaks of Nepal. Dan did not survive the descent, but his spirit lives on this beautiful island.

When Jedediah’s peaceful profile on our Pacific coast was threatened by development plans, Dan Culver’s family and the Foundation established in his name galvanized a last minute, grass roots fund-raising effort that saw the creation of Jedediah Island Marine Provincial Park.

A year ago I read these words on that plaque on Jedediah Island. I scribbled them on the back of a grocery receipt that I found in my pocket and when I went home a few days later I made a little poster and stuck it on my fridge. These words became my mantra. I moved a few months ago and the poster didn't make it onto my new fridge, but I found it tucked away in a file a few days ago and thought I would share it with you.

These are big words. Dreams. Boldness. Magic. Genius. Notice that there is no “but” in these words. These are the words

of people who live in the first half of the sentence, “I want to..., I would really love to....,I can.....”. No buts - no second half. These are the words you hear when you listen to your own pulse.

In this month’s Currents, there are stories by, and about, the first half of the sentence. In our feature on racing we explore the idea that racing is good for you as a sailor. Going fast is safety; going fast is challenge; going fast is learning;     going fast just for the hell of it is fun.

We meet John Cuzner, who is the epitome of boldness. Within a six-month time period in early 2003 he purchased J’Sea, readied her for a race, and skippered her to a fourth place finish in the longest leg of ARC Europe. Oh, and he learned how to sail at the same time.

Spending time in a small boat on a large ocean is a time perfect for giving hidden dreams flight. In the stillness of a calm anchorage or in the wild scream of the wind it is possible to hear your own pulse, an

idea that Cress Walker explores in his sailing conversations.

Let’s not forget magic, because that is what Lex and Rosebud have. She puts up with him spurring her around the track, and he loves her for it. The race is incidental.

Genius? Well, the division of responsibilities between Cam and Marianne McLean, our profiled volunteers this month, on their Seabird 37, Mayknot is brilliant, and it’s worked for 35 years!

And where am I a year later? Most mornings I spend writing in my new home near False Creek, and on these sunny spring afternoons you can often find me on English Bay with my dog buddy Dixie in Cooper’s Hunter 25 Hot Pursuit, one hand on the tiller, the other on my pulse.

“Begin it now.” 


Lex on Top Currents

How to start a Sailing Festival that saves the children ! 

This story is written by Lex Peterson April 2003

AYEAR AGO AMERICA WEST  BRIBED US TO GET off an oversold plane to Los Angeles, effectively trading those seats for two on a nearly empty one to Zihuatanejo late January.

It was a wonderful opportunity to connect with old and new friends in the cruising community, move for a short time from a dreamer to a doer, and see how we intersect and interact with all the other communities out there.

I wrote the rough draft of this as I watched the fishermen come in at first light one morning. They had been out handlining in their pangas all night, while we lay awake wishing the sound of the overhead fan would drown out the Tequila Town disco across the street from our hotel.

There’s a remarkable grace, economy of movement and level of cooperation when these fishermen come in. The panga driver picks an empty spot on the beach and accelerates madly, hauling his Yamaha outboard up just as they hurtle through the surf and onto the sand. Then they are helped to unload their gear and coolers of fish, carrying them up to large wooden storage boxes under the palm trees. Out come scales, buckets, plastic tarps – in go the fish- ing gear, battery, lights and propane bottle. The fish are thrown on the tarp on the sand, and commerce begins. There’s an unhurried ease and elegance about this, an activity that has gone on for genera- tions.

I watched a small Indian woman conclude a transaction. She carefully selected a dozen smaller fish to add to her overflowing washing bucket, then placed it on her head and began what is likely a very long walk home. She may well be walking up one of the hills surrounding Zihua where most of the native Indians live, often squatting, lured by the prospects in urban Zihua.

Yesterday, we joined some 30 members of the cruising commu- nity to visit the Netzahualcoyotl Indian School, where one remark- able woman, Maria Sanchez Hernandez started teaching under a tree to give back to her native Indian community. She has attracted other support, and Zihua Sail Fest was started by cruisers to raise money for her school, a most worthy endeavour. These children, who speak one of five native languages, must first learn Spanish to go to a Mexican school. We saw a happy, vibrant group, now almost 300 students — kids just being kids.

It was wonderful that our community could see how relatively insignificant sums for us could change lives and futures for others. 

Sail Fest raised the astonishing sum of USD $23,000, which will build a large retaining wall, and cruisers will be able to paint their boat logo there, like the seawall in Horta.

But not all cruisers have enough discretionary cash to buy retaining walls and classroom or even supplies for school.

A BCA member, cruising singlehanded, and uninsured, almost lost his boat near Puerto Vallarta, after falling asleep and grounding, the week before we were in Zihua. He is facing a large repair bill and re- viewing his options. Cruisers in the bay were supportive, and were be- ing regularly updated on his progress. Not a year ago, he was assisting another BCAer in a similar dilemma near Victoria.

( Editor Note: the first minutes of this were; a boat from Puget sound, Bainbridge Isle, is at a rendezvous. She went ashore for groceries. A little indian girl walking the sand, asked her to buy a trinket. The sailor Woman said:  Why are you not in school? Where is it? The little girl said up in those hills. Sailor woman said "take me there, I will buy all of your trinkets". They walked a lot, and arrived at a tree with a teacher and children under it, learning. The sailor women went back to the rendezvous and organized the sailfest and emphasized that: all boats will pay enough to attend this community event,  that the school is built for those children.  See  it is your Participation ! She really added value !) 

What struck me about this trip was seeing how important it is to belong to a community, a tribe, a support network. It doesn’t matter whether the currency of your tribe is big houses and fancy cars, or happy children, small fishes and music till 5 am.

What matters is your participation. Do you add value to your community, or just consume it’s resources?

 —   And in reaching beyond your community, you’ll find humanity. —

   ~~~~ ~ ___/|\_ ~~ ~~ ~~~~        __~!~_       ~~~~ ~ ___/|\_ ~~ ~~ ~~~~

Cam and Marianne McLean      May 2004   of Mayknot

Joined: 1987. They joined Bluewater in 1987 but their cruising life had begun in the late 60’s with the purchase of Iace Da, a converted 26-foot fish boat, for the princely sum of $500. They learned many things from her, faced constantly with mechanical challenges and her desire to sink, but most importantly they learned how to turn disaster to adventure.

Chapter: Vancouver

Boat: Their current boat, Mayknot, is a Seabird 37 sloop moored at Bargain Harbour. They bought her simply because they fell in love... and their grandchil- dren having now grown to adulthood are accompanied by spouses and require a stateroom to themselves. Their boat choices have been influenced by their love of family and the desire to share the cruising life with them. The previous boat, Sandy Mac, a CT 41 was purchased not only for her classic beauty but also because she had a cozy fo’c’sle, just right for the grand- children. Cam and Marianne’s determination to own a sailboat came during their tenure with a second motor vessel, a Seamark 35. They recognized their most enjoyable times were found drifting in the Strait with the engine silenced once again!

Reason Joined: They joined BCA really through hap- penstance. A neighbor, upon learning of their purchase of Sandy Mac queried, “When did they plan to take her offshore?” He had just returned from single-handing his own CT 41 to Hawaii. The idea like a small seed took root and grew with a life of its own. For Cam it was all about crossing oceans. After ten years of sailing the coast from the Charlottes, around Vancouver Island, to Alaska, both inside and out... it was simply time. For Marianne it was the dream of cruising in Mexico. Happily for both they each found that they enjoyed the other part more than they thought they would. Marianne gained confidence on passages to Mexico, Hawaii and home while Cam was surprised to learn that he liked Mexico!

Positions Held: Fleet since 2000.

Favorite BCA Experience: For Cam and Marianne the shepherding of the Fleet is obviously a labour of love. Each year they become guardians of the dreams brought to them by the boats and their crew. They see their task not so much to teach as to guide because they know that the journey belongs to the dreamers. They provide a forum for the knowledge that the dreamers seek as they endeavor to shape their dreams into reality. For them the Farewell to the Fleet Rendezvous is always special and Cam usually shares some poetic words with us as he recalls nights at sea with the stars scattered across the sky from horizon to horizon.

Favorite Cruising Experience or Destination: Having crossed oceans Cam and Marianne concur with many returning BC sailors. Their favorite cruising grounds are right here. They love coastal cruising and find that our waters offer a lifetime of exploration with always another inlet to discover.

Future Plans: Another trip to Alaska is always in the plans though like many sailors they don’t like to say they are going somewhere specifically. This summer they will most likely head for Alaska as they are looking forward to testing the comfort of Mayknot’s covered centre cockpit on the trip north. Marianne says if you see them at the Rendezvous in Winter Cove they are most likely on their way.

Attitudes & Platitudes: “Perhaps one of the major things that has made our 35 years of cruising success- ful and enjoyable is our philosophy of cruising. Our boat is our home and we are as happy on board as we are anywhere. We have developed processes that make traveling together easier and stress-free.    ~~      We have a clear division of responsibility.~~  Cam is the captain and      Marianne is the owner. Immediate decisions are made by the captain but longer-term plans are made with consultation between owner and captain. While underway, if anything goes wrong, it is the captain’s fault. If the crew makes a mistake, they were not properly instructed. This takes all the argument and recrimination out of mishaps.” 

~~~ ~ ___/|\_ ~~ ~~ ~~~~          ~~~ ~ ___/|\_ ~~ ~~ ~~~~

Photos taken at Heriot Bay Quadra Isle July 24, 2022.  

Mayknot at Heriot Bay July 2022Mayknot Heriot Bay 2022

     Thank You  and again, we end this page with one of the Bluewater values .

 Friendship and Seamanship ~ To quote Lex:

What struck me about this trip was seeing how important it is to belong to a community, a tribe, a support network. It doesn’t matter whether the currency of your tribe is big houses and fancy cars, or happy children, small fishes and music till 5 am.

    What matters is your participation. 

Do you add value to your community, or just consume it’s resources?

 —   And in reaching beyond your community, you’ll find humanity. —

IMG 2559IMG 0220More roses on Board

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