Commodore’s Column

2018 November Commodore’s Column

“All nature seems to weary now her task is nearly ended…
When night comes on with song and tale, we pass the wintry hours;
By keeping up a cheerful heart, we hope for better days…”

 Loreena McKennitt
The Seasons

November is upon us and with it the beginning of our “Big Dark.” The contrast between the high days of June and July, with daylight well past nine pm and the short days of November and December is quite dramatic. November at PTYC is a, relatively, quiet month before the rush of the holidays.

Saturday, November 10th is our biannual clubhouse cleanup day. To get our facility to shine for the Holidays we need your help. Debbie Williams and Mary Schefstrom will have a list of chores that requires only that you show up and be willing and able to work.

It is not too early to start planning your calendar for December. The “Red Letter Days” to circle are December 1-6, the Kingston Marina Light Extravaganza/Bell Harbor Cruise; December 15, our own PTYC Holiday Fiesta Potluck/Gift Swap and December 27, the Keycity Port Townsend Holiday Play/Afterparty. These three events really put a festive bow on a wonderful year for the PTYC family.

As educator/coach of 30 years, I am reminded of the importance of a strong finish. Be it a good lesson or a close contest, on the court or field, finishing strong will oftentimes make all the difference. So, in that spirit, let’s “sprint through the tape” to make 2018 a year to remember.

“The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, 
and miles to go, before I sleep…”
Robert Frost
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Commodore Jess Schefstrom



2018 October Commodore Column

“Listen!  The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves,

we have had our summer evenings, now for October eves.”

(Humbert Wolfe)

October is a magical month. The perfect conjunction of summer and winter that is ripe with beauty and promise. At PTYC, October arrives with a host of important, fun and (we fear) scary times.

The PTYC Garage Sale is on Saturday, October 13. This event is our major fundraising effort to help provide monies for our scholarship program. Opportunities to assist are many. We need help setting up, staffing during the sale and, of course, clean up after. Donations of saleable items are important and highly encouraged. Anyone wishing to assist in this effort should contact Muriel Powers or Katie Habegger or sign up online at our website . Donations of items will be accepted beginning the evening of our October 9th General Meeting.

Our annual Crab Feast is on Saturday, October 20. This delectable event is always a very popular time that has “sold out” in the past. Again, helpers are needed, and online signups are encouraged. A couple of reminders for this event is that if you wish to consume crab effectively crab crackers are desirable. Dave and Lisa McCammon will be able to tell you the best kind (wink wink). If you want to get serious about your crab intake, you will need to know that you are competing against an amazing champion crab eater. Stacy Olson will provide the finer points of crab consumption (wink wink).

The month of October will end with our Halloween Bash on Saturday, October 27. This year’s theme will be a mishmash of characters from the two movies “The Corpse Bride” and the “The Princess Bride”. If you haven’t watched these two movies I would suggest a viewing. Both are delightful. While costumes are encouraged (we will have prizes), they are not required. What is required is a limber torso for the DANCING we will be participating in.

As you can see, PTYC does not sleep when the boating season ends. Come on out and help us continue to make 2018 a memorable year.

“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya.  You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

(The Princess Bride)

Commodore Jess Schefstrom






2018 September Commodore Column

“ ‘Woudst thou,’ so the helmsman answered, ‘learn the secret of the sea? Only those who brave its dangers comprehend its mystery!’ “

(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

What a glorious cruising season it has been in our beautiful Salish Sea. Vita e’ Bella successfully carried its crew for an enjoyable six-week cruise beginning with the annual Reid Harbor July 4th soiree, through the Canadian Gulf Islands, south to Victoria and homeward with a fun meetup at Anacortes with our club’s third scheduled cruise of the summer. Mary and I were accompanied on our travels with the fast sailing vessel “Tosca”. Buddy boating with good friends like Craig and Stacy made for an enjoyable summer that flew by without any major problems.

Reflections on the cruise left us with some surprising thoughts:

  1. There are more boats out there now than in the past few years. A few miles outside of Friday Harbor I counted no less than 45 boats in our vicinity. Interestingly, at least 30 were sailboats and most of those were in fact sailing…that is a real change.
  2. Boating skills need to improve. We saw far too many encounters that required one craft or the other to dramatically alter course to avoid collision. These encounters involved both sail and power boats.
  1. Taking advantage of favorable winds, tides and currents can save time, fuel and frustration to a tremendous degree. Leaving Anacortes we enjoyed a 2-3 knot ebb going out Guemes Channel that was helped by a 15-20 knot southerly. With full main and jib we fairly flew across Rosario Strait to make Thatcher Pass on one tack. Contrary wind and current made for a boisterous crossing but Vita e’ Bella took it all in stride and our smiles were wide and warm as we continued north to Rosario Resort.

This summer’s four yacht club scheduled cruises have been great successes. Well attended, expertly planned and led, we look forward to comparing notes and stories from the travels of our yacht club cruisers. The Saanich Peninsula Cruise, the Reid Harbor 4th of July Cruise, the Anacortes Arts Festival Cruise and the Pleasant Harbor/Alderbrook Cruise certainly provided our members with a wide and diverse area to enjoy the wonderful region we inhabit. I would like to personally thank the organizers of these events who stepped forward and made these cruises such a memorable time. Of course, we should not forget we have two more cruises lined up for September: the South Sound Cruise September 14-21 which dovetails into the Poulsbo Cruise September 21-23. The ports of call are all interesting, “neat” spots that promise fun times. Sign up and join your fellow cruisers. You will not be disappointed.

A gentle reminder that September’s General Meeting is a Soup and Salad Potluck along with our meeting. It begins an hour earlier at 5:30 pm. Also, we will be choosing the Nomination Committee for the 2019 Board. Anyone interested can contact me or Jim Pivarnik and we will gladly accept your help.

“Now bring me that horizon”         Capt. Jack Sparrow

Commodore Jess Schefstrom