As I sit here writing this, it is barely one week removed from the devastating fire that ravaged Maui and decimated the town of Lahaina. So many lives lost, and so much materially gone in the burnt form of homes, businesses, and items of deep cultural heritage. Our Hawaiian yacht club brethren lost their once famous and popular clubhouse (upper level), along with many boats, too.
I know we have many members who visit Maui, sometimes annually. Our own John Powers was fortunate in that his island condo was left unscathed, as it lies some five miles north of Lahaina. I have heard nothing but good stories about times spent on the Valley Isle, with the Lahaina Yacht Club often identified as a wonderfully welcoming place for visiting yachties.
It’s not my intention to dwell on this horrific event, so I’ll close with the fact that the Lahaina Yacht Club has a Fire Relief Fund donation button on their website (lyc.us) which states, “donations will go to supporting our wonderful and diligent staff during this difficult time, as well as to rebuilding our club.”
Closer to home, in mainland North America, we have been dealing with heat waves, flooding, and even at this moment an impending hurricane. Fires still rage across Canada and the western and southwestern United States, with heat dome-related illnesses a real threat in many parts of the country. Without even raising the supposition of climate change, I think it behooves all of us to consider the potential wildfire danger here in NW Washington and take a moment to survey our homes, have a “ditch bag” ready (recommended by Jefferson County Department of Emergency Management), and develop some sort of an escape plan should any fires accidentally start in our neighborhoods. I know getting to our boat and out of the slip is our primary option.
Let’s get back to some positive elements, shall we? By and large our local weather and the Salish Sea north of here has, thankfully, been rather wonderful and quite conducive for boating this Summer. And that, my friends, is the best part of this missive! Since we last met in June, our club has had a six-week long cruise to the Sunshine Coast, Canada Day and the Gulf Islands Cruises, the traditional Fourth of July Cruise in Reid Harbor, an Around Whidbey Island Cruise, and the annual Pleasant Harbor fun-in. At the September general membership meeting I look forward to a synopsis from the various Cruise Captains about each of them.
In keeping with tradition, after the two-month summer break without meetings, this upcoming reunion meeting is our Fall Soup and Salad Potluck. However, this year, the September meeting events will start even earlier: at 4:30pm! Driftwood, of Salish Rescue, who was our June program, will be back to perform a :LIVE “In-the-Water Rescue” behind our clubhouse down on the dock. Their program will begin at 4:45pm---in order to have sufficient light. Hmm, I wonder if they need any volunteers… Just kidding! The good news is Driftwood and Crew have it covered. The Potluck will follow at approximately 5:30pm, and conclude with our meeting.
I hope to see you Tuesday evening, September 12, in the clubhouse for these special events. That would be a good thing!
Commodore Darren, “Always approach the dock at the speed you wish to hit it.”