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This blog is the voice of BCA's Commodore. Leslie Hansen will post here regularly to keep members up to date on association matters and all things to do with chasing the dream, living the dream and sharing the adventure with others after the return to shore... Please feel free to contact Leslie ( with your questions, suggestions and comments.


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Thank You from Mexico - John Spicher Update

Posted By Jennifer Handley, March 3, 2014

We received the following email from Carolyn Daley (SV Shannon) in response to posting the blog about the unfortunate accident that should never have happened to cruiser, John Spicher, on Feb 18 2014:

John's family has asked that we thank the BCA very much for what you are doing.  I'll keep in touch with Tom & Jeanne and give you timely updates as best as we can. Thanks again for all you are doing about getting John's story out.  It's all about boaters helping boaters... and this is one good cause...

Plans in the La Paz cruising community are well underway for a "Let's Bring John Home to La Paz" benefit party to be held Wed afternoon at Marina Palmira.

While the emergency part of this story is over, the need for help is still great.  The 'emergency' part was quite depleting financially. For the long run, John is looking at quite a bit of rehab, physical therapy and then getting fitted for his new foot.  If you'd like to help out, donations can be made through the following ways:

PayPal using the account
For direct deposit/wire transfer; please contact Tom at for instructions
If you're in La Paz, come to the benefit party on Wed March 5, 4-6 PM.

Download File (TIFF)

Tags:  boating accident John Spicher kill switch lanyar 

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An accident that should never have happened

Posted By Jennifer Handley, February 27, 2014
SV Time Piece
On February 18, 2014 John Spicher on SV Time Piece was very badly injured, doing what John can usually be found doing... helping someone else.  In this case another boater in the anchorage was operating his very large (15-17') dinghy with a large outboard (30-40 HP) but without wearing his safety kill switch lanyard.  He, for whatever reason, was thrown from the boat.  The aforementioned kill switch lanyard would have immediately turned off the motor (had it been engaged).  Instead, the situation quickly became that of a run-away dinghy spinning wildly in circles, with the owner/operator in the water and no longer in control.

John quickly jumped into his dinghy and went to pull the man from the water, all the time watching the run-away dinghy carefully.  John managed to get the swimmer into his dinghy and was making his way back to shore, when the run-away boat struck an anchored sailboat, and changed course... directly at John.  The runaway dinghy ran right over the top of John, throwing him and his newly acquired passenger into the water.  John was not immediately aware that his left foot, ankle, and lower left leg had been struck by the prop, leaving it very   badly mangled. 

Then, to add injury to insult, the run-away (still spinning in deadly circles) ran right back over John just as he got back into his dinghy.  This time, it landed right on top of him and pinned him down.  He was not hit by the prop this time, but in pushing the boat away and off of himself, he landed back in the water again. John was rescued by another local Mexican Captain who helped stop the bleeding (an artery had been severed), got him to the beach and arranged for an ambulance.

By 2 PM that afternoon, with Jeanne Walker (SV Eagle) accompanying him, John was on a medevac flight to UCSD (University of California, San Diego) trauma centre.

John SpicherToday at the time of posting, we have learned that unfortunately John lost his foot and lower portion of his left leg in surgery yesterday.  This is very sad news for such a brave young man. He has been released from hospital and will be going home with his brother.  John now faces months of recovery time and equipment. The support of friends and the sailing community has been strong and will need to continue to help with the accumulating costs.

He has a long road ahead of him.  As well, the cost for his care and recovery will be high.

A PayPal account has been established for those of us who wish to make a donation to help him cover the many expenses that are occurring.

and can also be reached via   

Further information about John and his recovery is also available on

BCA will keep monitoring John's recovery and keep you informed.

Photos courtesy of Jeanne Walker.

Tags:  boating accident  John Spicher  kill switch lanyard 

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Cruising Club of America Honours Jeanne Socrates with its Blue Water Medal

Posted By Jennifer Handley, February 15, 2014

Bluewater Cruising Association extends heartfelt congratulations to Jeanne Socrates ( who has just been awarded the Blue Water Medal by the Cruising Club of America!! 

Jeanne Socrates 

Jeanne started her third attempt from Victoria in 2012 and completed a non-stop circumnavigation last year in 259 days.


She became the first woman to sail nonstop around the world from North America and the oldest woman to sail solo nonstop around the world. Jeanne was supported and encouraged by many BCA members including, in particular, Ian Grant and Shaun Peck.





More information about the award can be found here:

Tags:  circumnavigation  Jeanne Socrates 

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