2022 January Commodore’s Column: “Happy New Year to Our Yacht Club Family!”

I wish to begin by saying that it is my honor to be your Commodore for this upcoming year. That said, it is also with some trepidation as we enter into what will be year three of the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic.  I have watched with admiration as our Past Commodore, Debbie Williams, guided our Club through two years of what has been virtually uncharted waters.  New issues and challenges continually arose, but they were invariably met with grace and good humor. Through Zoom meetings, outdoor gatherings and cruises, our Club stayed on course; and not only survived; but flourished in many unexpected ways. Congratulations are in order to all for persevering in unsettled times.

This upcoming year is a special one for our Club. Seventy-five years ago this February, a group of five families founded what is now known as the Port Townsend Yacht Club.  That idea was shortly thereafter formalized by the incorporation of the Club with the State of Washington.  Initially set to exist for a fifty-year period of time, by the mid 1980’s the Club’s limited existence provision was eliminated, and our existing Clubhouse was built upon Port owned land and pilings. 

Throughout this entire time, and up until today, while members have come and gone, boats have been bought and sold and boating styles and preferences evolved, our Club has provided a forum for boating enthusiasts to gather together to learn more about their boats, to improve their boating skills, and to support the next generation of boaters and vessel trades people via our successful scholarship program.   And the best part of all this has been, that the Club does this by tapping into our members’ skills and volunteer efforts to create fun entertainment opportunities, from cruises to Clubhouse events throughout the year, and perhaps most importantly, by creating the ongoing opportunities to meet new people and make new friends.

So, what does 2022 hold for this 75-year-old Club?  None of us has a reliable crystal ball, but as this is being written, yet another Covid Variant is making its presence known.  Our goal is to safely, and in compliance with state and local guidelines, provide clubhouse meeting opportunities where club members can come and participate in club events knowing that their fellow club members and guests are vaccinated.  Masking will be required initially and if and when infection numbers and local guidelines support it, we will add food and bar service.  Of course, for our cruising events, and other outdoor based activities, the procedures will be appropriately modified.  Ideally, we can work on a special 75th year Celebration for later in the year. If anyone is interested in brainstorming on what this might look like, please let me know.

While we remain in somewhat uncharted circumstances, we do have a history and good foundation. While we can’t know what the future holds, we can control how we approach it. I am reminded of a saying attributed to the author E.B. White: “There is more to the journey than the mere fact of arrival.”  That is a worthwhile observation, (particularly with us sail boaters) and so, while we will be cautious, at the end of the day, we want to have fun with and enjoy our fellow Club members and our boat.  We will do all that we can to provide for those opportunities.

“Fair winds and following seas to all!”               Commodore Jim