September – The Bittersweet Month
September 1, 2015: As I write this, my kids are getting ready for their first day of the new school year. While summer still has almost another month to go from a calendar perspective, the sight of school buses, the increased traffic on the road that comes with it, the slightly longer commute into work (I work in DC) means the practical end of summer. This time of year has always had a touch of melancholy for me.
The sweet part? September is often the beginning of the best boating weather of the year. It is also a time when a lot of fun and interesting things are happening around the club. Opening the calendar on the EYC webpage, we see… Wow!
- EYC is cohosting the Annapolis Labor Day Regatta with our friends at AYC and on September 5 we have a party at our Club. Look on the webpage to volunteer and help us host this great event. This is the building of a new tradition that we hope will become a beloved Summer-ending event.
- September 13 is the last “Music on the Deck” for the year and in coincides with a “Chesapeake Seafood Bake.” This is a variation on our former Crab Feast but with a twist. Look for notices to make reservations for this delicious celebration of Summer on the Bay. I am told the pricing will be a tremendous value for what you will get. It should be fun.
- September 16-19 is the I-505 North American Championships which we co-host with our SSA neighbors. While most of the traffic will be next door, there will be a lot of sailors and activity around the Club. It should be interesting viewing from our deck. Next year we co-host the I-505 World Championships with SSA.
- September 19, we have our annual cruise to host St. John’s College students. This is a wonderful event that our Cruising Committee does to help our local scholars to become better acquainted with the charms of Annapolis beyond the Johnnies’ campus. St. John’s provides a lunch but we need volunteers with boats to make this event a success. Contact Bob Arias or Carroll Greve to volunteer or see the calendar on the webpage.
- September 19 also brings Hospice Cup XXXIV. EYC joined with AYC to take over race management of Hospice Cup, one of America’s oldest charity regattas, a few years ago and it is the third jewel in our fund raising regatta triple crown. The post-race party will be held elsewhere, but our Race Committee has been collecting entries and managing registrations, and will be busy on the water with both regular CBYRA racing and the unique Hospice Cup Class for those who don’t normally race. Registration is open at http://eastportyc.org/hospice-cup, and the “off the water race” also is open to raise funds for Hospice Cup in support of multiple hospices serving the Maryland, D.C., and Northern Virginia area. Whether you’re a racer or a cruiser, there are plenty of ways to get involved in support of Hospice Cup.
- September 26 will be the US Team Racing Championship Viewing Party. We hope to have commentators who will help us enjoy this event from our deck as I am told that team racing is quite different than fleet regattas. It can be like NASCAR in that one team boat may intentionally deviate from course to try and harass another team’s boat in order to help another member of his/her team… Sounds kind of cool and gladiatorial.
Whew. That is a lot of stuff that should make for some good times at the Club. The best place to get details on all this is the calendar on our webpage. Well, I’ve got to run some errands to help get the kids ready for school so that is about all for me.
Oh, one small thing I’d like to ask of all of you. It is kind of a pet peeve of mine. If you are a smoker, you are welcome to enjoy a cigarette, cigar or pipe on one of the many nice sitting spots around the outside of the clubhouse or down at the marina. But when you are finished with a cigarette, can you please put it in the trash or use one of the smoking posts near the front door? We have had a lot of “butts” on the ground around the front door and it doesn’t make for an inviting place to enter the Club. Your cooperation on this small matter would be greatly appreciated.
OK. That really is it. Enjoy the rest of the summer and the coming month of September.
Update on Member Relations
August 18, 2015: As I have communicated with you last week, we have offered the former members who were litigating against the Club an opportunity to return to the membership for purposes of pushing a By-Laws amendment to meet their needs. This effort is intended to try and keep member issues out of court and deliberated within our Club framework: The By-Laws. Regardless of the outcome of a By-Laws vote at the Annual Meeting in November, we are hopeful this will allow the lawsuit to be dropped permanently and no members will need to be dismissed as a consequence.
The Board is allowing the plaintiffs some extra time to consider the matter between themselves. The By-Laws Committee has been working with a group of members who sponsored a By-Laws amendment to “grandfather” Senior Members to their status before the September 7, 2014, Special Meeting.
In the meantime, let me urge all members to refrain from engaging in rhetoric that will inflame matters. It is a fact that members on all sides of this issue have, at times, given themselves to unkind words and characterizations that were unflattering – to say the least. The steps the Board has taken and the time we have allowed the members who were litigating and were subject to discipline are meant to allow for a period of reflection and discussion in the hopes that the Club can finally move forward.
Please, please, please, be respectful in your conversations – whether verbal or by email. If someone approaches you about the issue and you don’t want to talk about it, please say so. Talk about the Orioles or how the Nationals are a disappointment (a pressing concern of mine). If you do want to talk about the issue with willing members, please be aware that conversations are best had in civil tones without vitriol.
The Board will work hard to keep the members informed, but we need your help to make the atmosphere of the Club as civil as possible. We may get a compromise and we may not. Either way, let’s keep our voices and our rhetoric down and don’t send emails out too late at night. That is what my teenagers have told me, at least. They are better at handling their electronic conversations than our generation.
[Commodore Scott Miller was out of the country on a family vacation at the end of June; Vice Commodore Heather Ersts stepped up to write his column for him this month.]
July 1, 2015: Bonjour!
While the Commodore is away, the members will play! And play we did! What an awesome party we had with the French crew of L’Hermione while Commodore Miller was in, of all places, France on a family vacation. Oh la la! Thank you to everyone that jumped in to help plan and execute an evening that was quintessential EYC.
There are few activities that are more Annapolis-in-the-summer than Wednesday Night Races. EYC was able to get 30 L’Hermione crew members on boats in the thick of it--the great majority on race boats--including the Captain of L’Hermione. Language barriers made for interesting communications, but from all reports everyone had a great time.
What to Say?
August 1, 2015: I thought about writing some of the things that are planned at the Club this coming month so as to not burden our members with more words on the very unpleasant events that are occurring among some members. But the title of this column is “State of the Ship” and it would be disingenuous to pretend that all is well. We are in the midst of a very unfortunate situation.
I won’t belabor you with an exact chronology. Much of it is available on the Bulletin Board on the Member Side of the webpage. But I must try and capture where we are and why. Those who have opposed the Board’s actions will inevitably disagree with some of this.
After the vote last year to adopt changes to the former “Emeritus” category (now “Senior”), a group of Senior Members indicated an intent to sue unless the Board “grandfathered” the members in place before the vote to their old dues level.