Spring is coming...
March 1, 2015: Meterologists will tell you that we have had a relatively mild winter, when taken from the broad perspective of December 21 to March 21. True temperatures were reasonable for much of the season but... Damn! These last few weeks have made up for it. It's been a while since the Severn froze over. A trip across the Bay Bridge would see ice all the way across on the south side of the span.
But wait! There is light at the end of the tunnel and it is not the oncoming headlights of a salt truck!
March 8 means the beginning of Day Light Savings Time. Who wouldn't give up an hour of sleep on a Sunday to get that extra hour of daylight every day for the next several months?
Then, on March 20 the Vernal Equinox is upon us and that can mean only one thing: Burning of the Socks! The official beginning of the Spring in these parts. Better yet; this year it happens on a Friday so there is no reason to not come down to the Club, bring some "orphan" socks (the ones who have lost their twin) or some with holes (that means I will have none left) throw them in the fire, get a drink and some oysters and warm yourself with your fellow members. The thaw begins and better boating days are ahead!
Coming the following day (March 21), I hope you will join Tom Mullan, the Building and Grounds crew, the Fools with Tools and other members for Spring Clean-up. We need to scrub, paint, fix and rake as directed by our Building and Grounds Chairman as well as the Chair of the Marina Committee (Gavin O'Hare) to get the Club, Marina and Grounds ready for the heavy uses it will host in the months ahead. It is a great time to get involved so look for notices or for a make-up if we have rain (or snow).
One agenda that the Long-Range Planning Committee has given me that I am anxious to act on is the formation of the Family Committee. We tried to get it off the ground last year and did make some progress on developing a space in the Club for kids to watch TV and play video games but the effort did not get enough follow-through. While we will have the "garage/classroom" downstairs fitted out with radiant heat and some video consoles to go with the TV already on the wall, we still have more to do to maximize the Club for members with children.
Holly O'Hare has graciously suggested that the Junior Fleet Committee help to get this Committee up to speed with interested members who have kids so we can get this vital effort under "full-sail." Look for notices to come concerning the Family Committee.
Another pet project of mine has been our investigation into the possibility of taking advantage of Solar Power to help reduce power costs and improve our status as a truly "Green" Yacht Club. In my day job, I work in the Energy business and am very aware of developments of businesses whose format is to take advantage of government programs and low costs of capital to offer solar services with zero capital costs to the consumer (EYC, in this case) and with a long-term contract for power that is under current and projected utility service (BG&E, in our case).
I asked Rear Commodore Ed Wells (aka, "Vinny") to take charge of a process to review potential providers. The only instruction I gave him was that we could not look at any option that was not in Eastport Yacht Club's financial interest, regardless of environmental benefit.
I am happy to report that the Board was briefed on one such option that would allow us off-set all of our Club's power usage with Solar, at below BG&E rates, without any capital expenditure on EYC's part and which does not put any solar on our roof. The Board had some questions about the bid and we are seeking some other options from that bidder. We have also asked Ed (Vinny) to seek one other bid from another vendor. While the matter is not yet final, we may soon be able to say we are the "greenest Yacht Club" on the Chesapeake, all while reducing our power costs. It would be pretty cool to honestly make such a statement.
Well, hang in there. March always has some weather surprises for us even while tantalizing us with the whiff of Spring in the air. But, in the meantime, come on down to the Club, celebrate Burning of the Socks, St. Patrick's Day, help clean-up the place or just stop by after you put in some work on the boat in the yard... or maybe just your yard. Spring is coming.