January Commodore’s Column

“…and he sailed into the sunset”. This classic fragment of literature has been employed countless times to describe a poetic, serene departure. In my case it might better be described as “…engines thundering, belching diesel soot and kicking up a nasty wake, he slammed the throttles forward and launched into the churning maelstrom, his Admiral desperately clinging to the wildly bucking vessel for dear life”. Ah, pleasure boating!  However it is described, this is my last Column as depart I must.

A very special thank you to our December Watch Mike and Sandy Smith, Sue McKay, Paul Happel, Macy Galbreath and Bill Rothert. The delicious dessert was enjoyed by all. And of course, a very special thank you to our premier guest speaker, Santa Claus. Santa, aka Vince Verneuil, lead a fascinating pop-quiz on “Santa Claus through the ages”. It was a lot of fun but I still do not get why reindeer were chosen over other fleet-footed beasts; a team of Pegasus, for example, with wings already built-in?

The Holiday Party, held December 10th at the Clubhouse, was incredibly festive and fun. The tropical theme this year was highlighted by delicious tropical cuisine including Rick Rezinas’ version of Kailua (pulled) pork that was better, in my opinion, than that served at commercial luaus on the Hawaiian Islands!  A great time was had by all!

The CHANGE OF WATCH dinner/gala/extravaganza is scheduled for Saturday, January 14, at 6:00 pm at the Clubhouse and IS NOT TO BE MISSED. The themed dinner this year will feature authentic recipes served buffet style and also includes appetizers, wine, desert and coffee. The bar will be open. The highlight of the evening is the darkly mysterious ceremony where outgoing Board members pass the “flags of power” to the incoming Board members. Our own Dan Newland will serve as Master of Ceremony; speeches will be short and the camaraderie high. Reserve your place now (if you have not already done so) by contacting Club member Ilona Bell on or before January 10;  price:  a bargain at $27.00 per person.

Our membership drive for 2011 was hugely successful and I would like to once again extend a warm welcome to all new members. I would also like to thank all Club members for your help and support in recruiting new members but, in particular, our Membership Committee members Macy Galbreath, Victor Grabner and Vince Verneuil.

A final reminder to Club members, that annual dues are due by December 31. If you have not already done so, please send your check to our Treasurer Penny Jensen or to me. Please feel free to call me if you have any questions regarding continuing membership.

And finally, we must bring closure to our “Sea-Word” challenge. I would like to thank everyone for participating in this light-hearted venture; I hope everyone had a little fun with it. Be assured, as you swagger down the dock and encounter friends and quickly dominate the conversation with your new-found knowledge of seafaring poems, songs, books, derelicts, ghost ships and submarines, I guarantee that you will be met with looks of astonishment, if not stupefaction.

Thank you all for your support throughout the year and I wish you all the happiest of holidays and the best cruising ever in 2012!                                          Fred Bell, Commodore