Our Crews

Meet the crews that cut through the waves in their mighty dragon boats.  From the Tri-Cities to Deas Slough and four other points in between, these are the women who represent everything Abreast In A Boat stands for.

Interested in joining a crew or starting one of your own?  Learn more about who we’re looking for here.

Abreast Up The Creek

We are the False Creek crew, paddling at the site of the first Abreast In A Boat crew of 1996 and following our founder Dr. Don McKenzie’s credo of “paddle for fun; race to win”. We practice on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings from the lovely dock at Alder Bay on Granville Island using the facilities of the False Creek Racing Canoe Club. Crew members enjoy the camaraderie and buzz of the market, the creek and the boating community and can often be spotted socializing on Wednesday evenings after practice at the many attractive watering holes on Granville Island.

Map to False Creek Racing Canoe Club, 1318 Cartwright St., Vancouver, BC on Granville Island

By Jenny Yule

Abreast Deas Divas

Deas Slough. Doesn’t exactly inspire images of grandeur, does it. But despite its humble name, Deas is actually one of the most beautiful paddling locations in the lower mainland and home to the Deas Divas.

The Slough is located at the south end of the George Massey Tunnel, bordered by Deas Island park to the north and the farm fields of South Delta to the South. It is home to countless ducks, geese, eagles, sand pipers, herons and the occasional seal. It is, quite simply, a natural oasis.

The Divas are a unique breed of dragon boaters. As our name suggests, you need to have a certain propensity for waving like the queen, wearing the odd tiara and shrugging off the constant barrage of paparazzi! (Okay, maybe that last part is only in our minds!) But while we play the part of the diva on land, we are all athlete on the water, taking tremendous pride from working hard as a team (and we even have some hardware to show for it!) Our beloved coaches, Patricia and (GI)Jane, are committed to our success, constantly updating us with new and improved training techniques.

If you’re particularly observant on a Tuesday evening or Saturday morning from March to July, you just might catch a glimpse of a pink filled dragon boat streaking past under the highway bridge.

Map to Captain’s Cove Marina, 6100 Ferry Road, Delta, BC

By Christina Sestan

Abreast With FORT-itude

Abreast with FORT-itude started paddling in Fort Langley in 2006. Many of the women come from the Delta, Surrey, Langley area but some come from Vancouver to join us. The beautiful Bedford Channel is a terrific setting for paddling with nature trails beside the meandering river. In spring, the river current gets stronger, and so do we! Although our two fabulous coaches make us work hard, we ALWAYS have a break for jujubes!

The practices are Wednesday evening and Saturday morning. The crew is often found in the pub after practice Wednesday evening, and the coffee shop Saturday morning. We have participated in The Langley Day Parade, had an auction to raise money for breast cancer patients and arranged a picnic where family and friends could come and paddle with us or watch from shore and walk the nature trails.

This year we are paddling with the Langley Canoe Club and have an extra bonus with access to outrigger and voyageur canoes and kayaks. We are a group of friends that are happy to be alive and on the water.

Map to Fort Langley Marina Parking Lot

By Cheryl Watson

Abreast With Hope

Abreast With Hope is a new crew with Abreast In A Boat. We paddled for our first season in 2010 on the Deas Slough. We paddle one evening a week, Monday’s, from mid April until the end of June. Abreast With Hope came about with the suggestion that not all members of Abreast In A Boat can make the commitments required to be on a full racing crew. The members of this crew, due to time or health restrictions, can still paddle and be a part of the fun and camaraderie of the Dragon Boat Team.

The venue at Deas Slough makes for fun and relaxing paddles. We often take the time to sit and watch the Herons as they catch fish along the shore of the slough; and last year we all delighted in our weekly stop to watch the Bald Eagles nest with its 2 baby birds. It was fun each week to paddle by and slow so we could catch glimpses of the tiny heads popping up and down over the edge of the nest and the parents would caw and call to us to keep our distance; which we did in consideration for the birds. The slough is a quiet body of water about 30 minutes south of Vancouver located in Delta BC. Highway 99 runs over the middle of the slough. We share the water with kayaks, outrigger canoes, rowing skulls and the occasional motorboat. There are 2 marinas on the slough for power and sail boats each with its own PUB, this comes in handy for after practice snacks and beverages.

We start each practice with a warm-up led by one of our enthusiastic members followed by a paddle usually 60 – 90 minutes long followed by a cool down and stretching session and then we finish off by having dinner or a snack in the Pub. Last year there were 2 practices that had to be cancelled due to high winds so we all adjourned to the pub a little earlier than usual and had a very nice evening.

There are about 15 members on the crew and each week we have ‘guests’ join us from the other crews to make sure we have a full or nearly full crew. The paddling is easy and not too strenuous although we still work hard enough to reap the benefits of exercise. This is a fun and energetic crew and although we do not participate in the regular season race venues, we are all eligible to paddle in any of the summer venues. I for one fully enjoyed my first year with Abreast With Hope and I am returning in 2011 for my second season.

Map to Captain’s Cove Marina, 6100 Ferry Road, Delta, BC

Debbie Giroux

Abreast At Rocky Point

Our Tri-Cities/Burnaby/New Westminster/North Van paddlers have called Barnet Marine Park home since 1998, but are now moving to Rocky Point in Port Moody for our 2012 season.

We will no longer have to take our boat down to the water and launch it – it will be kept in the water and we use the coach boat to bring it to the dock for loading. We have the use of the Old Mill Boat House to change and have our snack after practice. There is free parking and many restaurants close by (The Boathouse and Pajo’s are at the site).

We practice twice a week (Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings) from late March to the end of June or into July depending on the last Regatta of the season in which we participate.

We all feel privileged to be part of Abreast In A Boat and to be able to challenge ourselves to continue the fight against this all too common disease.
Map to Rocky Point Park, 2800 Block Murray St., Port Moody, B.C.,

Read the article from the TriCities News, AIAB in the Tricities

By Diane Wahl