Reflections on Being a Boater
When you’re a boater, it’s a key component of your life. Some might call it a defining trait.
My boating experience began at around age 5, when my Dad took me along on a weekend boat camping trip on Bumping Lake in the Cascades. Friends of his invited us to join them. What I recall is arriving at this mountain lake in the dark, launching their small outboard-powered boat, and then riding in complete dark to the other side of the lake that cold Fall evening in order to make camp on shore, in the dark – cold and hungry. But, the adventure involved was tangible and very intriguing. Everyone aboard was together, happy to be there, in spite of the discomfort, and really glad once we were tucked warmly into our sleeping bags in the still of the night.
We did a lot of boat camping once we got our own boat, which occurred when I was in the seventh grade. Lake Coeur d’Alene, Lake Chelan, and the San Juan Islands were the highlights. And we fished for salmon out of Neah Bay, Westport, and Ilwaco – back in the days when there was salmon to be caught.
Right after graduating from college, employed and finally earning a steady income, I drove an old beater car, a choice that continues to this day, as it helps me justify owning a boat. The summer after graduation, I bought a 22’ swing keel, trailer-able sailboat. I was still living in Portland at the time, but soon realized I had to get back to Washington and the Puget Sound in particular, where the boating was so much better. I moved to Seattle in 1978 and lived in a fourth floor apartment at the Aqua Marina – now a condo building on the south shore of Lake Washington in Rainier Beach. I could be pulling away from the dock and raising sail within 5 minutes of arriving home from work. This was heaven.
More boats followed and now in the twilight of my working career years I have been selling boats out of Everett. People come to our office and I often greet them with “you look like you have the disease (boats). We’re here to help.” That usually gets a chuckle, as we boaters know that the attraction is strong and often seems a bit crazy – that old story of this pursuit being no more than ‘a hole in the water in which you just pour money’ being one aspect of that craziness.
But, of course, it’s much more than that. Boating represents more than just a sport, in my humble opinion. It’s like a separate lifestyle. I lived aboard for 10 years and that is certainly a fully alternative lifestyle. But even a few days’ cruise gets one to feeling like you’re in a different world, separate and safe from the land madness.
While being on the water is often serene and beautiful, it can also be scary and uncomfortable. I think part of the attraction for me as a boater is adapting to Mother Nature, learning her ways, improving my skills in not only operating the boat but anticipating what things could happen, with a coping strategy already in mind if something does happen. It’s very rewarding to feel a growing level of competency in managing a boat on the water, avoiding drama while working within the limits of Nature’s dictates.
Boaters tend to help each other, readily and without qualification. Whether you’re young or old, on a big boat or a little beater, a boater needing help can usually count on fellow boaters to pitch in and help – without an expectation of compensation. I’ve certainly witnessed that within our Club on many occasions, but it’s really neat when it happens with total strangers. That feeling of “stranger” is gone in seconds. We’re fellow boaters.
I like sharing what it feels like to be a boater. I like hearing what it means to others. Sometimes, those feelings and perspectives come through in a conversation, with the label of “what it means to be a boater” never mentioned. That’s another very cool thing.
It’s the end of the regular boating season now. We’re all getting our boats ready for winter, altering our focus from getting out on the water to making sure the water stays out of our boats. But, being a boater can sustain us during the “non-boating” months. Let’s remember those good feelings of what we have achieved with our boating experiences this last season, the skills we continue to improve, and the growing respect we have gained for Nature, our environment, the fragility of the planet and how important we all are as stewards of our Earth.
Next Dinner Meeting: Tuesday, October 15, 2019
IVAR’S Salmon House, 401 NE Northlake Way, Seattle
5:30pm – Meet and Greet
6:45pm – Dinner in the Banquet Room
Topic: “A Slow Tour Through the Land of Chocolate and Beer”
Speakers: Larry, Sharon, Richard, Betsy, Jerry, and Pat
This month we will hear from our fellow club members Larry, Sharon, Richard, Betsy, Jerry, and Pat. They will share the story of their recent trip to Europe where the six of them chartered a bare boat barge in Belgium, meandered the canals for nine days through Neiuwport, Brugge, Ghent, and Diksmuide.
~Tonight’s Featured Menu~
Mixed Greens Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Alder Grilled Coho Salmon
Blackened Salmon Caesar Salad
Ivar’s World Famous Fish ‘n Chips
Includes: Seasonal Vegetables with the Protein Entrees
Coffee, Decaf, Hot Tea
Special dietary needs can be accommodated; please let me know on your Evite RSVP.
Main course selections are due by 9:00 pm on Friday, October 11. 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 9:00 pm Friday October 11.
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.
WHEN YOU RECEIVE THE EVITE INVITATION TO THE DINNER, PLEASE REPLY AND USE THE “COMMENTS” FIELD TO TELL US HOW MANY IN YOUR PARTY AND WHAT MEALS EACH OF YOU WOULD LIKE!
It’s that time of year again, the time when the club meets for dinner and socializing, the time when the Rear Commodore pesters you to renew your membership (why haven’t you already?), and, as always…
… the time to elect new Officers and Committee Chairs to the Board!
We Need You!
It takes a lot of work to keep a club like SBYC humming along, to make sure that dinners, cruises, and races happen, to make sure that reciprocals are available, to keep you informed of events, and of course to make sure we don’t run out of money. Volunteers make it all happen, and that’s how we keep your costs down, so that you can continue to enjoy this wonderful club and all the benefits it brings without breaking the bank. When people step up, however, then it need not be onerous, and the work is shared among many hands, and everyone has some fun at the same time. Volunteer!
For 2020, as always, all elected positions are open for challenge, but two positions in particular will be vacant and in need of being filled. Just think, you could win with a clean sweep!
In addition to these elected positions, there are vacancies among the appointed positions as well. No need to stand for election, just volunteer and be appointed!
Social Media Chair
You may think serving on the SBYC Board is a lot of work and… well, there is some work, of course, but the fun! The camaraderie! The glory and acclaim! Have your name forever recorded in the annals of SBYC Officers and Board members! You may think the work is too technical, or requires special skill sets, but no! This is the ultimate on-the-job training, with everyone pitching in to help, and you will realize leadership skills you never knew you had.
If you have any interest in the above, or any other position on the Board, or just have questions, contact a member of the Nominating Committee, or any other current Board member. Your Nominating Committee for electing 2020 officers is:
- Matt Fraser
- Jessie Lundin
- Colin Shannon-Garvey
As a reminder, the elected Board consists of:
- Vice Commodore
- Rear Commodore
- Cruise Chair
- Race Chair
- Director-at-Large (2)
The appointed Board consists of:
- Immediate Past Commodore
- Fleet Captain
- RudderPost Editor
- PHRF Handicapper
- PHRF Director
- PIYA Representative
- Social Media Chair
Nominate yourself! Stand up and be counted!