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Yachters set course to light up Nanaimo harbour

Dave Maurdie, Nanaimo Yacht Club commodore, left, and Lorraine Willgress, yacht club publicity chairwoman, pump up the Christmas Light Cruise preparations aboard Maudie’s boat with an inflatable Santa. The cruise happens Saturday (Dec. 8) beginning at 6:45 p.m. - Chris Bush photo
Dave Maurdie, Nanaimo Yacht Club commodore, left, and Lorraine Willgress, yacht club publicity chairwoman, pump up the Christmas Light Cruise preparations aboard Maudie’s boat with an inflatable Santa. The cruise happens Saturday (Dec. 8) beginning at 6:45 p.m.
— image credit: Chris Bush photo

Nanaimo Yacht Club members are ship shape to set a course across Nanaimo Harbour for the annual Christmas Light Cruise.

The small armada of brilliantly decorated craft sets sail across the harbour Saturday (Dec. 8).

The festive flotilla is meant for all to enjoy and draws crowds to the waterfront, boaters to the water, and is the yacht club’s annual tribute to the start of Christmas.

You don’t have to be a club member to participate. Any craft of any size can be decked out with Christmas cheer and join in.

“We allow anybody with a boat anywhere on the channel to decorate their boat, come out and run with us,” said Dave Maudie, Nanaimo Yacht Club commodore. “They just have to let us know they’re going to join us.”

Participants are invited to the yacht club afterward for potluck chili and a Christmas sing-a-long.

There will also be a jam at the yacht club pub open to all musicians who want to stop by and play along. Children attended by adults are welcome at the club.

There are also prizes for the best decorated craft, best all-round crew and other categories.

“Anybody who would like to come and join us, bring their acoustic guitar or whatever,” said Lorraine Willgress, yacht club publicity chairwoman.

“It will just be people casually getting together and we really want people to know that through these events we’re opening up to the community. Come and see what we’re all about.”

The club is encouraging as many people as possible to bundle up for the weather and come down to the waterfront to watch the craft ply the waters of Nanaimo Harbour, Newcastle Channel and Departure Bay.

At least 20 yacht owners confirmed participation so far and the Royal Canadian Coast Guard Nanaimo Unit and Nanaimo Harbour Patrol are also expected to turn out.

The craft will form up in front of the Dinghy Dock Pub for a skippers meeting at 6 p.m. and boats light up at 6:45 p.m. to begin the cruise.

For more information, please call the Nanaimo Yacht Club office at 250-754-7011.

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