Commodore’s Column

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!”


2018 March Commodore’s Column

“And the Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.” 
Percy Bysshe Shelley

The month of March comes to the Salish Sea like a tentative fawn…unsure of the present and unaware of the future. March, according to the calendar, is the beginning of Spring and for boater’s it means the beginning of the boating season. Around here it mostly means cleaning the layers of green slime off the deck of your boat. For a few hardy mates it also means the first cruise of the season. For the first time, PTYC will celebrate St. Paddy’s Day on St. Paddy’s day. Remember this first “cruise” is for everyone. For the “salty”, Boat Haven will be a short walk away from the Clubhouse. For the “land cruisers” the festivities will begin on Friday and continue through the weekend. Only one reminder. The “wearin’ of the green” will be a must…

March also provides our members a chance to participate in our semi-annual Clubhouse cleaning. This important event will be Saturday March 31. Please plan on participating and helping Debbie and Mary “spruce up” our clubhouse for the coming busy season. Not a lot of skill will be required, just a heavy dose of “elbow grease” and “what else needs done”.

To end, I would like to say “Thank You”, to not only the organizers and leaders of our FUN(d) Raiser on the 24th , but also the many members who were so generous with their participation and donations. It is because of people like you, that PTYC is such a special place. The event was a rousing success and puts our 2018 Scholarship efforts off to a great start. Dave McCammon was an uproarious M.C. who was

adept at keeping the men and women competitors from attempting to gain an advantage. One thing I did learn was that, apparently, Yugoslavia plays a little “fast and loose” with the rules. Also, North Korean cheerleaders are especially rowdy and enthusiastic. It was a night of fun and camaraderie that made a snowy end of February seem more tolerable.

Now sweetly lies old Ireland 
Emerald green beyond the foam, 
Awakening sweet memories, 
Calling the heart back home .

Commodore Jess Schefstrom