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