Thank you all for having me serve as your commodore this past year. We had a wonderful board of officers, committee chairs, and volunteers to keep the club running smoothly again this year. It was great to finally have a full year of cruises and races with in-person dinners resuming this fall. The whole club works well together, and we really look out for each other. I am happy to be a part of this club. This coming year I look forward to attending events as a member and a cruise sponsor, leaving behind my duties of cruise chair and commodore (I need a break!).
I have renewed my membership for 2023; have you? Next year will be my 20th year in the club. I don’t feel that old! I have never been a member of a club for so long, a testament to the quality of our members. Be sure to renew by December 15 to get your membership listed in the 2023 roster. You can renew on the SBYC website with various ways to pay your annual dues.
As we move into 2023, we have a great board of officers, directors, committee chairs, and volunteers to keep the club continued on a steady, safe, and fun path forward. The club will be helmed in the very capable hands of our newly elected Commodore, Thomas King. I look forward to seeing you all throughout our 2023 activities.
“There is no better tool or equipment you can have onboard than a well-trained crew.”— Larry Pardey
David Horn, Commodore
As I settle in on this dark rainy night to compose my last article as a Vice Commodore I find myself reflecting on the past year. We started with Zoom as a substitute for our monthly get togethers, and worried about what would happen to our much loved cruise agenda. Remote meetings lost their novelty over time and participation dwindled, something I very much understood. About that time, the in-person cruises started up with much enthusiasm and expert guidance from our Commodore/Cruise chair, David. They were a resounding success. We added new members, helped each other out with boat projects (how many times can AJ climb a mast in one summer?), and enjoyed late nights on the dock with close friends. Although I can claim no credit, I consider 2022 to be a resounding success for the club.
There are some changes planned for the December dinner meeting. Several members expressed a desire to forgo the gift exchange and put the funds and effort into supporting the community. Nobody stepped forward in support of the tradition and after a discussion at the most recent board meeting it was decided the the exchange had run its course and would be set aside this year. I suspect that some did really enjoy it, and if so, a case can be made for next year. Talk to your 2023 Vice Commodore, Roger Newby, or me and let us know your thoughts. Please consider donating the $20 usually spent on a gift, and we will work out some deserving non profits to be presented at the dinner meeting. If you prefer to buy a gift Toys for Tots is a great option, link https://fort-lewis-wa.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/default.aspx?nPageID=100&nPreviewInd=200&nRedirectInd=3. But be quick, as the campaign ends December 15.
On a more somber note please stay safe this winter season. RSV is still with us, Covid is on the rise again, and influenza is showing its ugly face early and in much greater numbers than prior years. Because of the growing concern about these 3 viruses, the recent recommendation to restart mask use in group settings, and a desire to keep our membership safe, I have decided to cancel the December in-person meeting. I will set up a ZOOM virtual meeting for December 20 at 6:30, an Evite will be sent out soon. I am aware some of you will be disappointed by this decision but I do feel safety has to come first.
Finally, I want to thank our membership for the kindness and patience shown me this year. I was a rookie on the board and had a few early missteps. Many people have even thanked me for organizing the meetings this fall at Ivar’s. I really just followed in the footsteps of those who had done a stellar job in the past, most of the work had been done.
Be sure to mark and block your calendars with the 2023 SBYC Cruises. Please consider signing up to a sponsor one of the four available cruises below to organize and help our new cruise co-directors, Julie Newby and David Rynning. We have the marinas and facilities already booked for 2023 and the band for the June dinner dance. If you have ideas for the Summer Rendezvous location, please let the new cruise directors know your ideas as well.
FEB 17-18 Winter Fest, Bell Harbor Marina (sponsored by ???)
APR 08 Yellow Fest, Blake Island (sponsored by ???)
MAY 13 Burger Burn, Port Ludlow (sponsored by ???)
JUN 10 June Dinner Dance, Kingston (sponsored by ???)
JUL 01-03 Independence Day Weekend Raft Up, Liberty Bay
JUL 30 – AUG 05 Summer Rendezvous, San Juan Islands or farther North
SEP 02-03 Labor Day Weekend, Port Orchard (sponsored by David Horn)
SEP 23 Salmon Bake, Poulsbo (sponsored by Kathy & Dennis and Patricia & Colin)
Invites will go out next month for the Winter Fest at Bell Harbor Marina in downtown Seattle February 17 and 18. We have 10 slips reserved. Call the marina now, tell them you are with SBYC, and reserve your slip today. We’d also like a sponsor for this event. It’s pretty easy; basically, just arrange a potluck or dinner out and a happy hour.
David Horn, 2021-2022 Cruise Chair
This will be my last Rudderpost entry as Race Chair.
I have very much enjoyed running the race program over the years. We have a good community of racers around here. And, of course, none of this would have been possible without the knowledge and support of Joe Bozick, Tom Madden, and Jerry Hillis, along with a host of excellent volunteers helping on the race committee.
As Anne Girvin picks up the Race Chair baton, I have full confidence that she will do a fantastic job. Already she has made connections with other Puget Sound race organizers and has some exciting ideas for next year.
We are currently in the middle of the 2022-2023 Snowbird Series. The December race was on the 10th. Last month’s race was full of great weather and camaraderie.There was a slight snafu wherein the R buoy went for a walk and the race had to be abandoned. It was all taken in stride and good fun by the crews.
The remaining race dates for this series are:
- Dec 10, 2022
- Jan 14, 2023
- Feb 11, 2023
- Mar 18, 2023
If you would like to learn more about racing or how races work, talk with Anne Girvin. We are always happy to have more people involved.
The preliminary race dates for the 2023-2024* series are:
- Nov 18, 2023
- Dec 9, 2023
- Jan 13, 2024
- Feb 10, 2024
- Mar 9, 2024
*2023-2024 race dates will be official when the SARC is published.
Linger Longer tied up at the Elfin Cove dock looking across Icy Strait
Many of you do not know us. We are Kirk and Kris from S/V Linger Longer. We have been members since ’06, when we were persuaded to join the club so that we could be part of an all SBYC crew to help bring Larry and Sharon’s Antares back from the Vic/Maui race. It seems that we were relatively quick to get ourselves integrated into the club. The secret was to hang out at the bar as long as possible before going into the room where the dinner meeting would be held. Then we would sit at whatever table had two open seats. It was almost always with people with whom we had not previously enjoyed dinner. Over the course of that first year, between dinner meetings and all of the other events, we had spent quality time with darn near everybody in the club, and it was good.
Fast forward a few years, after mucho dinner meetings, countless yellow-banded airplane bottles, lots of salmon, many meals cooked over fires on Blake Island, raft ups with Nancy’s jello shots, some time as the club treasurer and much more, we cut the dock lines in June of 2013. Literally, Harold took a knife to our dock lines. Our plan was to go up through BC into SE Alaska and then down into Mexico where we would decide if we would continue on through the Panama Canal and visit the Caribbean and Atlantic Ocean or hang a right and go to the South Pacific. Short story is that we never left Mexico and remain down here still. Even bought a house in a small fishing village in Banderas Bay.
But my purpose here is to try to encourage people to go exploring by boat. I mean crossing the Strait to the San Juans, cross the border to Victoria and the Gulf Islands, go up to Princess Louisa Inlet, spend time in the Broughtons, see the wild west side of Vancouver Island, take the inside passage to SE Alaska. Live on the boat away from the dock for a few weeks or months. We did all of that before making the “big left turn” down to Mexico. We miss it. These places offer some of the best cruising that you can imagine. Once you break through the gateways, Strait of Juan de Fuca, Strait of Georgia, Seymore Narrows, through the Broughtons and into Queen Charlotte Strait, a whole new world of boating awaits. The crowds are not there. Every day will provide new sights and experiences that will have you saying “wow.” You may, for the first time ever, find yourself alone in an anchorage. Hope you find Fury Cove, our all time favorite anchorage. We have watched momma bear and her cubs foraging on the beach at Lady Slipper Cove. We have seen the spectacular phosphorescence from a huge bait ball and then a starburst of green light as something big torpedoed its way through. Northern lights with waves of green wafting across the sky. Lots of humpback whales, porpoises and some orcas. You can meet new people in hot springs or maybe have one all to yourself. Millions of trees, countless waterfalls. Old abandoned fish processing facilities just slowly decaying away. Watching glaciers calving from up close, but not too close. Getting into zen mode to navigate through the bergy bits on the way to some of the glaciers. Seeing a place like the village of Elfin Cove where there are no roads, no cars, only boardwalks. There are so many awesome sights, your sights, that you do not have to share with thousands of other people. When you are out there away from the crowds and meet other cruisers, a special bond happens, as you all know that you are part of something special that the vast majority of people, including boaters, will never take the opportunity to experience.
So just do it. I will be trying to have a little something more in the Rudderpost along this line from time to time. If you happen to be heading down to the Puerto Vallarta area, give us a heads up. We still pay dues so I expect that our info is in the club roster booklet.
What’s a year-end Rudderpost without a holiday poem? Knowing everyone is too busy to mess around with poetry at this time of year, I have reached into the barrel of creativity to come up with a tribute to the season—especially for SBYC!
So here we go.
The Salish Sea shimmers bright, As the sun sets on this winter night. From Shilshole Bay Yacht Club we send cheer to all our members far and near.
The waves may crash, and the winds may blow, but our love for the sea will never wane. We’ll weather any storm that comes our way and sail on to another beautiful day.
So, here’s to our fellow sailors, may your holidays be filled with joy and cheer. Please join us on the water to make some memories that last all year.
From SBYC on the Salish Sea, we wish you a happy holiday. May your days be merry and bright, and your spirits lifted through the night.
Of the beauty that surrounds us here, where the mountains meet the water clear, may you feel the warmth of our love, and know that you are always part of our club.
Happy holidays to all. We’ll see you on the water again.
OK, so maybe it’s not so great.
You’ll probably believe me when I say it was written in a couple of minutes, but we now have the answer to all those difficult stories you write for the Rudderpost. It’s called ChatGPT and it will write your stories for you. It’s an Artificial Intelligence program. Can’t say as I’ve mastered it though I’m working on it, and to be honest, I asked someone else to access the site and write this poem for me. What you do, you see, is input a few words with what you want to have written—whether it’s an essay, a poem, a book (I guess) a treatise, a term paper (won’t that make teachers happy?) or a letter to grandma.
For this poem, we typed in “write a poem with holiday greetings from a small yacht club to its sailor members on the Salish Sea.” (We could have asked it to write the poem in a certain poet’s style.)
And the poem above is what it came up with—in moments. Seconds. Of course, I made a few changes, but that part is easy to do.
So the next time David, or Tom or Pauline ask you to get your story to the Rudderpost pronto, look no further than ChatGPT. (Warning: You’d better have checked it out before that deadline because it’s not totally intuitive!!) But if you have time to waste, messing around with this is great fun.