January 1, 2016: Wow! What a month it has been.
To begin, I want to say how proud I am of Eastport Yacht Club and the overwhelming call to immediately throw open our doors to our neighbors at Annapolis Yacht Club after fire destroyed their clubhouse. We did just that and hosted the Frostbite race the next day. Getting on the water and gathering together afterwards—events that are the crux of a yacht club—was what many people needed to begin the healing process.
And while Annapolis Yacht Club rebuilds its clubhouse, AYC members will be welcome at EYC as our guests. I hope everyone will welcome them with open arms and hugs. However, please be assured that EYC members are the #1 priority of the Board.
The current and incoming Board met the Monday after the fire to discuss what EYC was able and willing to offer AYC in terms of their members, committee meetings, and rentals. A variety of options and possibilities were discussed, some were implemented immediately, such as accommodating AYC members as our guests and picking up the rentals we could, and some are awaiting a formal meeting with the AYC Board.
At this time we do not have formal reciprocity with AYC. The word that AYC members are welcome as our guests has been sent out in a variety of communications from us (through the EYC website, EYC Facebook page , and word of mouth), but no formal communication has been sent out from AYC and that is OK. So far the AYC members coming to EYC are a manageable number and have not yet required any additional actions or hires by us, however, we are willing to put plans into play if the need arises.
In the meantime, I ask everyone to be patient and accommodating as we move through the next few weeks—I have no doubt there will be a few bumps in the road, but we will manage them. We are asking AYC members to show their membership card and sign in. And as is always the case, the EYC parking lot is only for EYC members; if you see someone parking without an EYC sticker on the car, politely ask them to park elsewhere.
The AYC fire the afternoon of our Lights Parade exhibited several characteristics of our incredible yacht club community, which have been further demonstrated by our members since.
First, when the poop hits the fan, the boating community is there for each other. This occurs on the water, off the water, for boat-related projects, home repairs, or personal loss. We saw this during and after the AYC fire.
In addition, I have to commend many of our members who further illustrated this point on Christmas Eve morning when Keeper of the Log Kathy Downs’ boat sank in her slip. Kathy was already in Pittsburgh with her family when word went out on social media from an EYC member looking for the owner of a submerged boat on Back Creek. In no time, EYC members were offering all manner of assistance from sending pictures and reporting from the scene, meeting the Harbormaster and Tow Boat US, Christmas dinner, help to haul all the wet stuff off, to recommending engine mechanics and offering to help design the new interior. The offers of help were so great that Kathy was able to stay in Pittsburgh. Thank you to everyone! Another proud moment for me as an EYC member, and I am sure for others as well.
Second, a building does not make a club—people make a club. Eastport Yacht Club is comprised of an incredible group of people. Get to know them. Their names and contact information will be in your mailbox any day with the 2016 EYC Directory. Use the contact information to further your relationships with fellow members. Call someone you haven’t talked to in awhile, invite someone you have always wanted to get to know to join you for a drink at the bar, or email the chair of the committee you have been thinking about joining.
Third, we are all stronger and can accomplish amazing things when we work together. Sailboat racing and being a member of EYC has taught me the power of teamwork. We have an incredible team at EYC and our Board, committee chairs, members, and staff are working together to create a fun and fabulous year. There will be an All-Committee Chair meeting on Saturday, January 9, from 0900-1200 to set goals for EYC for 2016 so that we will all be sailing the same course. It is going to be a great year!
I am so proud, honored, and excited to led the EYC team into 2016. Thank you and Happy New Year!
December 1, 2015: Happy Holidays! They are upon us, whether we are ready or not. However, fear not!—many elves have already been working away to ensure we have a wonderful holiday season at Eastport Yacht Club.
Speaking of elves, the first thing you have to do this holiday season is to find out your elf name. This important—and will get you drinks from the bar! The chart to assist you to discover you elf name is around in a variety of places at EYC and on our website.
Now that you have your elf name be sure to head to the club on Saturday, December 5. Join the elves decorating the clubhouse from noon until 1600, or you can help trim the tree after 1600 at the new “Get Your Elf On” Holiday Party. My advice is cancel your plans and don’t schedule to attend another party that night because this party—with a pile of fun holiday cocktails all of which you are going to want to try—is going to be fabulously fun and a not-to-be missed-event!
The Light Parade elves have been working all year to build Eastport Yacht Club’s gift to the City of Annapolis and if the Lights Parade poster(S!) are a hint, this year is going to be stellar.
There are three posters this year created by local students working with their art teachers. The Lights Parade is a very difficult event to capture in any medium—we all have glowing squiggly line photos of a favorite boat—so local art teachers used the creation of the EYC Lights Parade poster to discuss techniques to depict a night event, a water-based event, and a landscape. The end results are magical and I have no doubt many will be taking home a souvenir of this year’s parade.
Congratulations to Chief Elf Babak Rajaee and his elves for this brilliant idea and the rest of their hard work.
The Lights Parade is Saturday, December 12. Come on down to the club and the marina for the best viewing venue of the parade in town. The parade is always a special night and is an event which all EYC members can be very proud of and should celebrate together. Please check with the House Committee and on our website for the particulars about that evening in terms of number of guests permitted, food service, and drink specials.
The holidays are a time to celebrate—and celebrate we will—but it is also a time for caring for each other and those who are in need of some extra love and assistance. This year, as we have for several years, EYC is working with several of our community charities to provide much needed food and supplies. This Thanksgiving we are donating six cooked turkeys to We Care and Friends, which will provide 3,000 Thanksgiving dinners to Annapolis residents who are homeless or in need.
During the month of December there will be boxes for donations to the Lighthouse Shelter and the Annapolis SPCA under the Christmas tree by the front door. Both of these organizations have lists on their websites of requested food and supplies.
While you are doing your holiday shopping, support the EYC Foundation for FREE! AmazonSmile will donate to our EYC Foundation with each purchase you make. All you have to do is make sure you have selected Eastport Yacht Club Foundation as your charity using your regular Amazon account and shop away! This works throughout the year, so please sign up today.
The winter solstice is upon us—yeah! Come on back Sun!—and with the end of one year and the birth of a new, I leave you with the last lines of a favorite poem, “The Shortest Day” by Susan Cooper:
Lots of love to you and yours,
Commodore Tootsie Pickle-Pants
Groovin’, on a Sunny Afternoon ...
October 1, 2015: As I said in last month’s “State of the Ship,” I begin to miss the Summer as it slips away and the sun goes down a bit earlier each day. That said, these autumn days on the Chesapeake can truly be wonderful. So let’s enjoy the glorious weather, the great cruising time and all the great things the Club has to offer.
Before getting to that, however, I want to put in a plug for something that won’t happen until November but is tremendously important in the life of the Club: The Annual Meeting. This year it will be held at the Waterfront Marriott on Saturday, November 14.
At this meeting we vote on the new Board for the coming year, we hear about how the Club is doing financially and otherwise and we vote on any Bylaw proposals before us – important stuff of which all members should take an interest. Please plan on being there for this meeting and attend the Founders Day party that follows at the Clubhouse.
October is full of lots of stuff, some of which happens at the Club and some just associated with our maritime life. Beginning the month is a “yard sale” that involves not only the normal stuff of such an event but also maritime stuff. Check it out at the Club on Saturday, October 3, and then come around again that evening for the EYC Pig Roast... No, they aren’t roasting the Commodore. But if you like good barbeque, this is your event. Look in the Newsblast or call the Club to make reservations before it sells out.
Be there or be square!
First and foremost on everyone's calendar for November should be the EYC Annual Meeting on Saturday, November 14th at 1100 at the Annapolis Waterfront (formerly Marriott) Hotel. It is imperative that Voting Members attend this meeting so that we can have a quorum and conduct the business of Eastport Yacht Club.
The Annual Meeting Packet with the meeting agenda, minutes from last year's meeting, committee reports, and proposed bylaws amendments will be mailed to the address the office has on file for you in the next week. (We’ll also post them on the Members’ side of the website.) Please read the materials before the meeting.
If you are a Voting Member and cannot attend on the 14th, please find someone to be your proxy. It is your responsibility to find a proxy and brief them on how you would vote on the club issues and business, if you were able to be at the meeting.
Senior, Associate, and Junior members are always welcome and encouraged to attend the meeting.
It's time to celebrate! After the Annual Meeting everyone is invited back to the clubhouse for the EYC Founders' Day Party. Personally, this is one of my favorite parties of the year. Chef Henry and his crew always serve up some fabulously yummy goodies.
This is EYC's Homecoming and is a time to tell stories, share a drink (or two, or three) with each other, and celebrate all that we love about Eastport Yacht Club. What is YOUR favorite EYC story or memory? Be ready to share it! Have a GREAT picture of an EYC event or EYC members? Bring along a copy to post!
There are all kinds of fun events planned for November--some brand new and not to be missed! The first weekend of the month don't miss the EYC Yard Sale and an interactive comedy night with Free Range Improv, both November 1.
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!