This is the time of year when we ask our members to renew their commitment to the club. As this process is wrapping up, I got to thinking about the many reasons why we all decided to join our Yacht Club. For some, like Susie and myself, we were new boat owners, and we were hoping to find a group with not only knowledge about sailboats, but recommendations of where to go, when to cast off, and what to be on the lookout for. Some joined to be with friends, both on and off the water, and others joined to meet new people and make new friends. Many of us wanted to explore the many boating destinations throughout the Pacific Northwest, from marinas to anchorages, both well-known and some off-the-beaten-path.
In reflecting on the myriad reasons for joining our club, a common thread seems to run through the “why we joined” question: it’s the wealth of knowledge and practical experience contained by the very people who make up our membership. And the best part of that observation is the demonstrated commitment and willingness of our members to freely share their knowledge and insights.
One of the easiest ways to access this treasure trove of knowledge, is to sign up for and participate in any of the club cruises that we have on tap for 2022. Basically, you can head South towards Seattle and then through the locks into fresh water, or boat to Pleasant Harbor or Poulsbo; head North to the San Juans, Point Roberts, and even further onto numerous destinations in British Columbia; or East to Anacortes and Bellingham. As the destinations are finalized, Cruise Captains, and Co-captains will have ideas on what to see or do at each destination, maybe schedule a few shared meals and cocktails. Again, it is the chance to get to know each other a bit better in an outdoor setting, share stories and tales, maybe offer suggestions and advice to those who have not been there before and just generally enjoy each other’s company.
So, in part, this column is a reminder that these programs are most successful when folks commit early on so that there is time to plan for the cruise. If you have never been on a cruise, make it happen this year. And….no boat? No problem! You are welcomed to sign up and drive to accessible locations and join in the festivities. If you are not sure you want to lead a cruise, sign up to be a co-captain. Many hands make the tasks much more manageable, and fun for all, so don’t be afraid to step up. We have all been in that position before, but rest assured, once you get involved, it is not only fun to participate in the cruise, but every time, it seems something new is learned, deeper friendships are made, and knowledge of our fellow club members grows. It is a tried-and-true model that has served this club well for 75 years. So, don’t hesitate-sign up for a cruise and have some adventures this summer – see you at events and/or on the water in 2022.