Next Dinner Meeting: Tuesday, February 19, 2019

IVAR’S Salmon House, 401 NE Northlake Way, Seattle

5:30pm – Meet and Greet

6:45pm – Dinner in the Banquet Room

Topic: “Boat Tech”

Speaker: Steve Mitchell, Blog Author

Reminder, we have two NEW menu choices, thanks to the team at IVAR’s Salmon House (see below).  Steve Mitchell runs the blog,  Come hear him talk about electrical systems and technology on boats. REMEMBER: Please use the Comments box in your RSVP on Evite to advise how many people and which dinner menu choice each would like.

Steve grew up on a Christmas Tree Farm and spent the majority of his childhood outdoors, learning everything from construction to engines to electrical design from his father. He also started playing piano at age three, and went on to participate in a number of musical groups up through college, which he attended as a Music major.

Boating and the water have always been a big part of Steve’s life, having grown up in Gig Harbor, near the waters of Puget Sound, about an hour south of Seattle. His first experiences on the water centered around small Sunfish and Lasers, all sailed on nearby lakes. In later years, most spare time was spent on the waters of nearby Fox Island, Wollochet Bay, and Gig Harbor on anything that floated.

Along the way, Steve developed a deep love for computers and technical engineering. He built and ran one of the largest bulletin board systems (BBS) on the west coast, and participated in some of the first parts of the Internet in its infancy. He dove head first into systems and network administration, and started working for various companies in the Seattle/Tacoma area. These included National Distributing, Sagem Morpho, Simpson Tacoma Kraft,, Sierra Entertainment and more.

For the last 20 years, Steve has been employed at F5 Networks, an industry leader of network and security products based in Seattle, WA. His focus has been on technical engineering, complex testing and development. He also designed and built the most progressive customer engagement spaces and cutting edge data centers for the company around the world in Seattle, London, New York and San Jose.

Steve’s love of the water never left, and having had the opportunity to work for so many great companies and travel the world, he was able to experience new ways and places of being on the water. However, he always loved coming home to the waters of Puget Sound.

Through the 1990’s and 2000’s Steve owned almost exclusively sailboats, including a 48′ Hunter, 34′ Beneteau, 29′ US Yachts, 26′ Clipper Marine, 30′ Catalina and a number of sailing dinghies. He plied the waters of Puget Sound, now called the Salish Sea, and Canadian waters up to Desolation Sound and further.

In the mid 1990’s, Steve started to combine his love of networking with boating, and built systems to gather performance and monitoring data on board his boats. Data collection and organization has always been a passion, and various systems and projects came and went trying to provide a centralized way to see your boat data. SailBits (then called was born in 1997 when Steve started documenting his experiences with these networks and projects.

In the early 2000’s he also tried power boating for a while, and enjoyed parts of it, but was still not done with sailing. Further developments in cheaper cellular access, NMEA 2000, and WiFi helped Steve’s love of data and networking on a boat become more of a reality. He participates actively in SignalK and canboat open source projects, as well as many other forums and groups where networking your boat has gotten to serious levels. In 2010, SailBits started garnering wider attention, and allowed Steve to write for publications such as Panbo, Three Sheets Northwest and other boating publications in the past few years.

Steve’s last two boats contained over 100 different networked devices, had completely reworked electrical systems which provided amazing amounts of information and generally were technical showcases. Much of the experience he learned from his civil engineer father helped to be a DIYer when it comes to pretty much any project on the boat.

In late 2018 Steve decided to move to power boating again and is looking forward to the extra room and power to be able to continue his testing and love affair with technology on the boat. He can also now include a decent sized piano on board, which he still plays and actively composes new songs on.

~Tonight’s Featured Menu~


Mixed Greens Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette


Cedar Plank Roasted Sockeye Salmon – Local berry salsa, cornbread pudding, seasonal vegetable
Blackened Salmon Caesar Salad – Spicy rubbed Coho Salmon served our traditional Caesar Salad
Chicken Marsala – Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables
Ivar’s World Famous Fish ‘n Chips – Original recipe since 1938! Alaska True Cod, coleslaw
Potato Gnocchi – Potato gnocchi, sweet green peas, mirepoix vegetables, mushrooms, shallots, white wine, lemon cream sauce

Coffee, Decaf, Hot Tea

Special dietary needs can be accommodated; please let me know on your Evite RSVP.

Main course selections are due by 9:00pm on Friday, February 15. Look for your Evite invitation in your email, then hit reply and use the comments field to tell me how many in your party and their dinner selections. Cancellations must be made by 9:00pm February 15.

Note that the deadline for reservations is also the deadline for cancelling a previous reservation; otherwise you will be charged for the meal.

Dinner is $35 per person. If you charge your meal (credit card), we will add $1 per meal. Please purchase your drinks from the staff in the banquet room. The receipts count towards our room rental minimums.