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2018 June Commodore’s Column

“Anything’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen out there…”    (Captain Ron)

You have prepared and planned and charted and dreamed now it is time to cast the dock lines and seek your boating quests. Boats only work and make sense when they are free from the bonds of dock and marinas. Between June and September PTYC has four planned cruises; The Saanich Peninsula Cruise, the Reid Harbor July 4th Cruise, the Anacortes Arts Festival Cruise and the Pleasant Harbor Cruise. Each of these are detailed nicely in this month’s Baggywrinkle. PTYC cruises are really the best way to get to know fellow members. Sharing boating experiences on the docks or aboard members’ boats is a relaxing and fun way to connect with the PTYC family. Interestingly, three of the four cruises we have scheduled this summer can be accessed also by driving. So, if you don’t have a boat and you are wondering what a “cruise” looks like, jump in your car and hook up with us.

On a somewhat connected subject, what does your summer reading list look like? If you are open to suggestions let me offer a few. Everyone knows about the Patrick O’Brian 20 book series following the travails of Captain Jack Aubrey and his ship’s surgeon friend Stephen Maturin. Spanning the turbulent years of the Napoleonic Wars, O’Brian’s books are the “gold standard” of the genre. Movie buffs will perhaps remember that the classic “Master and Commander” movie with Russell Crowe is a peek into the O’Brian world of naval action. Another high quality series are the Horatio Hornblower books by C.S. Forrester. Spanning 12 books the series, like O’Brian’s, covers the pivotal years England stood against the hated “Bonny” and the French. The O’Brian and Forrester series of books are naval historical fiction of high quality that are universally praised for their accuracy and excitement. I would also offer a third series of this genre that I have found to be the equal to O’Brian and Forrester. The author is Douglas Reeman who wrote the Richard Bolitho series of books under the pen name of Alexander Kent. Some 30 books in all, Reeman’s Bolitho is a British naval hero of the first rank. It is hard to elevate one series of books over another. However, if I was looking for a quick, fun, exciting read for a summer cruise I would bring a few of the Reeman series to keep the midnight anchor watch almost enjoyable.

Mr. Pullings . . .we will beat to quarters”

Captain Jack Aubrey, Master and Commander

Commodore Jess Schefstrom



2018 May Commodore’s Column

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

William Whiting, 1861    

Opening Day is upon us and along with it the accoutrements of our club traditions. The weekend is chock full of important, fun and, hopefully, safe and sane events. We moved the traditional Saturday morning breakfast to Friday night dinner last year and we found that the event was much more relaxed and timely for skippers who plan to participate in Saturday’s parade. The Friday dinner will highlight Past Commodores and will also have a flag raising ceremony with our Sea Scout unit.

The solemn poem to start this column is part of a much larger piece by William Whiting that has been used in various forms for well over a century. Its somber nature communicates the awesomeness of the waters we venture upon. As such, participation in Saturday’s Boat Parade and Blessing of the Fleet, is to be encouraged. It is a festive, colorful and important event. If you are “on the fence” about being a part of the parade, take the leap and join us, you will not be sorry. The Blessing of the Fleet imparts the concept of being part of something that is much bigger than oneself and that is something that, if you have ever boated beyond the sight of land, know is a transforming truth.

Saturday evening will be a fun pizza party at the club to round out the weekend’s festivities. Remember, both Friday’s and Saturday’s dinners are prepaid, if you are interested and we have available seats, please contact Mary Schefstrom (

With the Opening Day Weekend the heart of our boating season really begins and I would encourage all boaters to make a few “promises” to themselves, their First Mates and their craft. One, always wear PFD’s when afloat and require guests and crew to do likewise. Two, prepare your craft to successfully take and return you to your homeport. Checkoff the obvious maintenance items before departure and you will be rewarded commensurately. Three, avoid “hard and fast” schedules. We find our most enjoyable boating experiences are those that follow a very loose and flexible schedule that allows for inclement weather and kitchy communities with friendly brewpubs.

So far away now, but any day now, I’ll sail on the morning tide
Home, oh! Take me home, home to the people I left behind
Home to the love I know I’ll find: oh! Take me home.   

Phil Coulter-Lake of Shadows



2018 April Commodore’s Column

“I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky. And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.”                                                 John Masefield

Boating season is upon us. This means different things to different people. To the maritime trades of Port Townsend it means a larger payday as boats of all kinds shake off their winter coats and seek repair and refurbishment. To actual boat owners it means cleaning, repairing, mending, waxing, buffing, and painting.   The work we do on our boats is vital to a successful boating season, however, don’t forget also to “Dream.”

Dream of a destination you haven’t been to before. Dream of a favored tack to clear the headland. Dream of a spinnaker run on a broad reach on a warm August afternoon. Dream of a flawless docking in front of a crowd at Friday Harbor. To some, dreams such as these cause consternation. I would suggest to those who think they are not quite ready for such “dreams,” to give it a try anyway. It is only “out there” where the adventure lies. You will surprise yourself and the knowledge and experience gained will serve you well in the years to come.

We had a rousing St. Paddy’s Day weekend at the club and a few hardy captains even “cruised” into Boat Haven for the festivities. PTYC’s resident chefs really delivered for the meals on Friday and Saturday. The Event/Cruise Captains though deserve high praise and attention. Stacy Olson’s split pea and ham soup on Friday was sublime. Mary Schefstrom’s corned beef and cabbage entrée and Susie Gorski’s colcannon for our Saturday dinner were superb. Give these ladies a big hug and a big thankyou for a big job well done the next time you see them.

April brings PTYC our Safety Seminar and Chili Cook-off on April 14. Signups are available on-line. This coupling of events has proven to be quite successful in the past and we look forward to this year’s edition with a presentation on the concerns to have about carbon monoxide on boats and the “intense” competition of the Chili Cook-off.

Late in April we also have the Open Boat event at Port Ludlow Marina on April 29. If you have not attended this event think about driving or cruising on down to Port Ludlow and checking out some of our members’ boats. It is always a fun and interesting time. Sometimes we get stuck on boats because of inclement weather and we are forced to drink wine to survive. (Ha!)

I would end this missive by quoting Samuel Clemens:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails.

Explore!  Dream!  Discover!”