2022 April Commodore Column: “Learning Never Ends!”

After our March membership  meeting, I came to the realization of how important education is to our club, not only to our members so that we can improve our boating skills, but also by supporting a new generation of men and women interested in pursuing a career in the marine trades and sciences.

The Club has a long history of providing an Annual Safety Seminar which seeks to convey information, and on occasion, hands on experience, on issues concerning safe boating.  The seminar benefits us all by not only offering new information to some members, but also serving as a useful “reminder” function for the more experienced mariners.

In addition, as we did last month, we occasionally have speakers at our meetings who provide us with useful  information such as  updates on boating rules and regulations, safety tips and inspections. In the future, we hope to have speakers offer some practical tips in dealing with marine electrical systems, batteries, and navigating.

We also have a wealth of knowledge that resides in many of our members who are happy to share their knowledge with other members of the club, who may be newer to boating, or not experienced with certain types of equipment, or perhaps cruising in new areas.  I am happy to say that there is an effort underway to figure out how  best to tap into that “in house resource” for the benefit of all our members. This is a work in progress so stay tuned for further details.

The upshot of the foregoing  is that a safe and effective boater never “knows it all” but instead, is one who is constantly honing his or her skills to be the best they can be.  Boaters are, by definition, lifetime learners. And it is that spirt which, I feel, forms a critical foundation of our club’s scholarship program.

We authorized seven scholarship awards at the March meeting. In April, we will have the opportunity to hear from these recipients and see how our commitment to maritime education is reflected in this wonderful outreach program.  I hope you can attend that meeting to see how these funds are being put to work to develop the next generation of marine students and trades people.

Now, all of these ongoing educational efforts require varying  commitments of time, knowledge, and funds.  As to that last item, I am happy to announce that we are commencing the planning process for the annual Garage Sale, the proceeds of which are paid into the Scholarship Fund. The Garage Sale has been cancelled the past two years due to COVID Pandemic restrictions, but through your generous donations, we have been able to maintain the scholarship program. This year, we have had to cancel our usual February scholarship fundraiser, but as our county is opening up, we are going to be proactive in planning for the Garage Sale.  Many hands make the task easier, and certainly more fun, so please step up and volunteer to help stage this event, which (COVID permitting) is scheduled for mid-October. Feel free to contact me to be added to the team for this event and don’t forget to keep an eye out for donations to the sale.

In closing, we all know that spring is essentially here, not the least from the pollen reminder on our boats and through our allergies!  Notwithstanding that aggravation, it is a sign that Opening Day is literally around the corner and that we will be on the water soon — both very welcome thoughts.                                 Commodore Jim