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!