With just two exceptions we were able to participate in all the cruises this year, and I have made it to all the dinner meetings. This gave me ample opportunity to speak to many of you at length. Although the topic of conversation tends to revolve around boats, I have been impressed by the interest and knowledge our club members have on a wide range of subjects. We have experts in design, tech, sales, education, finance, medicine and many other careers. Our group also has wide ranging interest and knowledge beyond marine activities. I have learned about world travel, cycling, history, skiing and of course beer. All this is a big part of what makes our little club great. Not only are the topics of conversation varied, but solid advice is always to be had. I have learned about WW1 battles, troubleshooting diesel engines, and NEVER to put Colin’s Guinness in the fridge.
With this as a prelude I thought I would share some recent experiences. Julia and I just returned from a great cycling trip in Germany and the Czech Republic, our first trip to both areas. We started with a few days in Berlin, a city with a fairly troubled past. Despite this, it is a great place to explore with amazing museums, parks, great food, and of course, beer. Berlin seems to have come to grips with both its role in WWII and its more recent division and re-unification after the fall of east Germany. The government and its citizens are open about Germany’s devastating activities in WWII with memorials and museums chronicling the rise to power of an unjust government, and the terrible creation of the Holocaust. None of this begins to atone for what happened, but the effort to acknowledge Berlin’s role and educate the public is very visible.
From there it was a great ride through the countryside to Dresden and then on to Prague. The cycling infrastructure in Germany far eclipses anything I have experienced before. Bike lanes and trails stretch for miles, and drivers are competent and courteous around bikers. Prague is a very accessible and beautiful city. It was largely spared the destruction of WWII and offers medieval architecture, narrow winding streets, open public squares and lots of tourists. Czechia has more castles than anywhere else in Europe. Czechs have the highest per-capita beer consumption in the world. They invented Pilsner and consider it a national treasure. On a more serious note, Prague has been through some hard times. Until recently there were locals who lived through the repression of the Hapsburg empire that ended in WWI, the occupation by Germany in WWII, and the subsequent bleakness of decades of Soviet rule. The Czechs have proved to be resilient, and Prague is a lively and dynamic place to visit. If you ever plan to travel to Berlin, Dresden, or Prague, and want some information, feel free to contact me.
Dinner Meeting Update
Our first Dinner Meeting of the Fall Season was held September 19 at the Elliott Bay Brewing Company’s Cascade Room in Lake City. As mentioned in last month’s article, we’ve been considering alternatives to IVAR’s Salmon House for some time, due to ever-increasing costs with our traditional format there. And believe it or not IVAR’s rates were found to be much better than any other comparable restaurant. By shifting to the Elliott Bay Brewing Company facility, we saved costs while still enjoying a buffet style meal, a staffed bar right in the meeting room, and a big space with big-screen presentation capability. Feedback from those who attended was very favorable.
We have reserved October 17 and November 21 (third Tuesday of the month) at this same facility in Lake City. An Evite will still be sent for all monthly dinner meetings. Even though this new format does not involve capturing everyone’s individual meal choice via Evite, we still need to know who and how many will be attending, so please reply to the Evite. The buffet meal will include Cobb Salad, Fish & Chips, Carnitas Tacos, Chicken Tenders, and Cuban Sandwiches. Cost is $27 for cash/check and $29 for credit card payment.
We’ve also been discussing various ideas for our programs after dinner. At the September event, we held a Summer Photo Contest. The big winner was Matt Fraser, whose Animal photo was an up-close shot looking down Abeona’s transom at a newborn seal pup and which won Best Animal Photo and Best Photo Overall. Matt also took honors for the best Artistic photo, a gorgeous shot of a sailboat at anchor surrounded by morning fog. The Best Sunset shot was from AJ and B Mallory from their summer cruising up north. The Craziest Photo showed Mark and Joan Freeman proudly dancing with their favorite rubber chickens at the June Dinner Dance (photo by David Horn), and the Most Interesting Repair Photo was a shot taken by B Mallory of her dear husband dangling just above Victoria’s spreaders in the bosun’s chair. It was great fun reviewing the more than 50 photos submitted and widespread agreement to conduct such a photo contest again in future September meetings.
For the October 17 meeting, our program time will be a group discussion on Grounding and Collisions. We’ve all seen or experienced these unfortunate events while out on the water (some this season). By sharing experiences, we hope to identify things learned by those who had this misfortune, with the goal of helping to prevent groundings/collisions among our group in the future or at least be better prepared by knowing how to react, and/or what not to do to achieve a better result when these things do occur. Should anyone have specific things they’d like to see covered in this session, please let me know before the 17th. Also, our Quarter Master, Katie Breitling, will again be showing and selling new SBYC “merch” (caps, sweatshirts, stickers, and more). Take home a new SBYC logo piece of gear and wear it proudly wherever you go!
Although the weather forecasters are predicting a warmer/drier than usual winter for us in the Northwest due to a fairly severe El Niño this year, most of us will be spending less time out cruising than in the Summer months. Stay in touch and have some fun with SBYC members via the monthly dinner meetings during this time of year.
Stay warm, stay safe, and stay in touch!
Autumn is here and the sun has set on the cruising season. During the prime season, we enjoyed a few club events, a birthday trip to Winslow for me, and a couple of weeks up to the Gulf Islands and back – along with many a sunny evening sail outside the breakwater at Shilshole.
Last summer, the club brought back the SBYC Dock Party as a semi-regular club event. We held two dock parties, and we were hoping to work in a third before the weather turned. Alas, our schedule proved too full to host another this month, but we will gear up and be ready to roll with at least three next summer. If you’re like me and are unfortunate enough to not be out cruising all summer, these parties provide an opportunity to connect with other club members stuck on land for a given weekend and meet other folks from the docks that our club inhabits. If you’re interested in hosting a party on your dock next spring/summer, please let me know and we’ll start working up a schedule for next season.
This time of year, the club’s attention turns to the club dinner meetings. These meetings are a great and easy way to introduce potential members to the club. If you have any folks in mind that you think would be great additions to the SBYC, please invite them and share the Evite. If you’d like someone to reach out to your prospective members, please just let me know, and I’ll reach out.
I’m happy to announce that the board has approved one new member this month! Doug and Dana Wilson have attended a few events over the past couple of years, and they have completed the new member process. We’re excited to have them and their C&C 34, Carmanah, in the club. You may recognize Carmanah from the local racing circuit. She’s been out on the course for many years in our area. If you haven’t met the Wilsons yet, come to the October dinner meeting, and introduce yourself to these fine, new members.
Finally, it is that time of year when we ask folks to begin the membership renewal process. Membership renewal fees are due by December 15. You can pay by check, cash or card. Note that the Square device charges us an extra 3.5% if you pay by card, so that would be added to your cost if you choose to pay that way. You can pay in person at a meeting or event, mail the club a check with the memo listed as renewal, or there is a tab on the website that will lead you through a process that allows you to make any changes desired to your club roster listing, and culminates with a “click to purchase” button. Link here to the website location for renewal. Please renew before the December 15 deadline. If you miss the deadline, there is now a $20 late fee assessed through the end of the calendar year, and that late fee goes up to $25 after January 1. Note also that if you’re late enough, you may not be listed in the roster.
We look forward to seeing you all soon!