April 2011 Commodore’s Column

As I sit down to write this column it is sunny, warm and calm; Sea Fever is rampant. The hull is buffed and gleaming, the brightwork shines and the new radar dome is installed; I am anxious to find a fog bank in which to test it (right). Nothing quite like messing about in boats!

A salute to the Watch at our March meeting who presented a delicious spread of homemade goodies; my thanks to Betty and Bob Petrie, and Barb and Mike Soskin. Longtime member Carlyn Stark made a rollicking presentation of her family’s early cruising years in Puget Sound that kept us all in stitches. Her presentation style brought humor and adventure to her summers spent on the Salish Sea. Thank you Carlyn for sharing a part of your life that we all wish we could have experienced.

The Program for our April General Meeting will feature Sara Spaeth, Executive Director of Jefferson Land Trust and founder of Chumsortium, and, Rebecca Benjamin, Executive Director at North Olympic Salmon Coalition. These groups are working toward the health and sustainability of our local salmon species and habitat. You will not want to miss this interesting program.

As members already know, the Port Townsend Yacht has embarked on an ambitious Membership Drive for 2011. Of interest to potential members, is a special reduction in our Initiation Fee from $400.00 to $150.00. Our Membership Drive will run at least through September of this year and represents a great opportunity to join a terrific Club. Should any potential members out there have any questions, please feel free to contact us by clicking on the Membership Drive Page on this website.

Our first semi-cruise of the season is the Open Boat event at Boat Haven here in Port Townsend.  This perennial event (May 1, 2:00 to 4:30pm) allows members to tour other members boats and is a lot of fun.  Members interested in signing up their boat for the tour please contact Cruise Captains Mori Whitney and Katherine Buchanan. Any member that would like to bring a guest are free to do so.

This year we are combining our annual Mystery Bay/Earth day cleanup with the spring shakedown cruise. Members may boat or drive to the park for a couple of hours of sprucing up the park, followed by a group lunch at the Valley Tavern. Perhaps an impromptu dock party may follow after lunch! For signups, see Chelcie Liu for the cleanup and Jim Quant for the cruise

Opening Day is fast approaching and, as always, members are encouraged to come out and join in the festivities; it really is a lot of fun. The breakfast kicks off at 9:00 am followed by the traditional flag raising ceremony. Boats will gather off the Boat Haven Marina for the parade that starts following the departure of the 12:45 pm ferry. Don’t forget the Clamboil Potluck that follows at Mystery Bay; you can either motor over in your boat or drive over.

And now, we continue with our “Sea-Word” challenge. Your guys quickly figured out the lyrics last month as coming from the famous shipwreck ballad “The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald”. This month we offer a poetic ode to boats that I know you will all recognize, but, do you know the name of the book and who wrote it? For extra credit, what is the name of the character who speaks so profoundly about the pleasure of boats.      Good Luck!

      Is it so nice as all that?” asked the mole, shyly…

     “Nice? It’s the only thing,” said the (name of character) Solemnly, as

      he leaned forward for his stroke. “Believe me, my young friend, there

      is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as simply

      messing about in boats.”


     “Simply messing…about in boats — or with boats… In or out of ’em it

      doesn’t matter. Nothing seems to matter, that’s the charm of it. Whether

      you get away, or whether you don’t; whether you arrive at your

      destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never  

      get anywhere at all, you’re always busy, and you never do anything in

      particular; and when you’ve done it there’s always something else

      to do, and you can do it if you like, but you’d much better not.”

That’s it for now, see you at the April meeting!     Fred Bell, Commodore