The launching of “Crwban”

The Launching of Crwban and her maiden voyage, the 2020 Solstice Row.

The Hollyburn Sailing Club has seen the launch of many member built boats…Nothing Social Distances you better that building a boat!!!

As the ceremony begins, in respect, the Scotch Mist clears and the clouds begin to break up.

Crwban (pronounced ” Crew-ben”) is the Welsh name for a turtle. Land turtles are not found in Wales, but Leatherback Sea turtles frequent their shores. The backs of Leatherback turtles look a lot like the clinker planking on the pram.

Photos courtesy of Steve Britten & Rueben Schulz. Thanks Steve & Rueben!

Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Sailing Club has many new regulations in place to make the use of the Club and it’s facilities safe for members and guests. Social distancing is one. Commodore Jennifer and boat builder Mike stay an oar-length apart.

We actually say at the club, stay an oar-length apart for the rowers, a boat width apart for the sailors and a paddle distance apart for the Kayakers and Paddle Boarders. (All of which are a little over two metres)

For Crwban’s launch, we have a bottle of “SEE YA LATER” bubbly, as I hope that Crwban and I will return to the land.
The Cork is popped and Crwban is christened.

For the rest of the Ceremony, all attendees are poured some bubbly for toasts at appropriate times.

Crwban builder Mike gets his bubbly to toast his boat with.
The roll-out to the water begins.

Builder Mike is playing bagpipe music, “Scotland the Brave” as he rolls Crwban down the ramp.Click to play launching music!

There are two parts to the ceremony…Where Crwban is given to the sea and where she is asked to return safely to the land.

To remind Crwban to return to the land safely, she is brushed with tree boughs, a symbol of where she came from.
At the water’s edge, at the transition point between earth and sea, Our Commodore reads the launching ceremony.

Madame Commodore:  For Fifty-seven years, the Hollyburn Sailing Club has seen the launching of many boats.  From Sabots built in the clubhouse to vessels built in member’s homes and first set to sea here.

These boats have nurtured our members over the years and so we affectionately call them “she.”  With the blessing of the Gods of the sea and the waters of the earth, they will continue to nurture and care for our sailors, paddlers and rowers in the waters of English Bay and beyond.

To our home-built boats we toast, and ask to celebrate “Crwban.”  (Then everybody raises their glass filled with champagne or your favorite beverage and shouts: “TO THE ROWERS OF OLD…TO: “Crwban!”  (Everybody takes a sip.)

At the water’s edge, at the transition point between earth and sea, Our Commodore reads the launching ceremony.

The moods of the bay are many, from quiet and tranquil to angry and violent. We ask that the waters upon which she rows treat her kindly and that Crwban be given the strength to carry on.  Her Hull is strong and she keeps out the waters of the sea.”  (Again the glasses are raised, and the assemblage shouts: “TO THE SEA…To Mike Bretner and Crwban….TO THE SEA!” Everybody takes another sip.)

Toasts during the ceremony

Today we come to name this lady, Crwban, crafted with love and care by Mike, and send her to sea to be cared for, and to care for Mike and all who row in her from the Hollyburn Sailing Club.  We ask the spirits of the sailors of old and the moods of Gods of the sea and the mighty sea herself to accept Crwban as her name, to help her through her passages, and allow her to return with her crew safely.  (Again, with the raising of the glasses)  “TO THE SEA…TO THE SAILORS BEFORE US…TO CRWBAN”   (The glasses are drained by a last, long sip by all.)

The final toast to the Sea, the Land and Crwban.

Now pour champagne over the bow to appease the gods of the sea. And brush her with cedar bows to encourage Crwban to remember the land and return from the sea with her crew, safely.

Mike, you may now launch your boat Crwban.

The first Row. Note the essential equipment…a seat cushion. I will not need the bailer!
This will be a short row in front of the Club in preparation for the Solstice Row.

Crwban is sitting right on her waterlines. Just about perfect!

Crwban is a delight to row…I am sure that her maiden voyage at the Solstice Row will be a successful one. She tracks well yet will turn “on a dime”.

The top pennant is the Hollyburn Sailing Club pennant, the lower one is for the Vancouver Wooden Boat Society.

Waving to the launching ceremony guests.

I would like to thank our Commodore, Jennifer, for her good humor in officiating at the ceremony. I would also like to thank the club members who attended and participated in the launch.

Crwban on the beach with the Solstice Paddle Kayak flotilla.
Crwban gets christened again by the Solstice Flotilla leader, Kayak Captain Maciej.
Crwban rowing into the Sunshine during the Solstice Row.
With the Solstice flotilla, South-West of the Dundarave Pier.
Crwban amongst the paddlers.

Crwban’s maiden voyage of the Solstice Row was a great success. Leaving the doom and gloom of a cloudy Ambleside and rowing into the Solstice summer sunshine was a great adventure.

GPS track of the Solstice Row.

I trust that Crwban will work out. Light enough to car-top easily and big enough for two.


This entry was posted in Under the Keel..... Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.