July 14, 2020

Commodore’s Column – Summer 2020

Dear Fellow Members,

Fortunately, our paper club had already been evolving into a digital one with a new website, crew/boat pool facilities through RailMeets, videoconferencing for committees, a private Facebook group for members, a book club, and the digitization of our archives and membership proposal process. This preparation allowed us merely to take in a reef, not heave-to, and we continue on course under as much canvas as prudent.  Whether we shake the reef or take in another is the persistent question discussed by the flag officers at weekly meetings.

I would like to thank all of the committee chairs and volunteers who are making extra efforts to adapt to the circumstances.  In particular, the Young Members Committee, chaired by Erik Storck, has presented a fantastic series of periodic lunch time chats via Zoom.  The honored guests have been exclusively STC members, including Charlie Enright, Luigi Reggio, Dick Neville, Rich DuMoulin, Stan and Sally Honey, Rich Wilson, Chad Corning, Ed Cesare, Anderson Reggio, and Peter Isler.  These chats will continue periodically, so do not hesitate to send Erik any suggestions for topics.

I would also like to recognize the Seamanship Committee, chaired by Jack Cummiskey, whose Subcommittee for Junior Seminars, chaired by Kelly Robinson, has worked hard to adapt its plan for junior safety at sea seminars to an online format.  Rich du Moulin, who chairs the Subcommittee for Adult Seminars, will be testing a corresponding and socially-distant hands-on lesson for junior sailors at Larchmont Yacht Club this week.  Rich is also leading a small committee on a special project at the forefront of safety at sea that will be announced later this year.

The unfortunate cancellation of the Block Island Race and Bermuda Race, among others, has not daunted our committees and stations which continue to plan regularly scheduled events as best they can, including the Marblehead Station’s Ted Hood Regatta (Aug. 21-23), the Intercollegiate Regatta (Oct. 10-11), the Gulf Coast Station’s Hands-On Safety at Sea Seminar (Apr. 10, 2021), and, of course, Block Island Race Week (June 20-26, 2021)

Though under the present circumstances we may be fortunate to not have a clubhouse to worry about, we do have a small office, which remains closed. Our staff are monitoring emails and voicemails sent to the office from home.  If you need to reach them, please do so by email.

Unmoored from any clubhouse, our club exists wherever our members are active and our burgee is visible.  The flag officers encourage you to display the burgee day and night as a flag, on apparel, a sticker, zoom background, etc. Those familiar with my attention to protocol will be shocked to hear this but I encourage you to fly it as best you can -- even if not on a pigstick or jackstaff.  Speaking for my administration, you will not be reprimanded by the flag officers for displaying a burgee from a spreader halyard or --gasp-- a backstay (see excusable offense by Carina on the Transatlantic). If it causes a confrontation with a fastidious sailor, add rum.

Fly that burgee!

On behalf of the flag officers, station captains, and Governing Committee, we wish all members and their families good health while waiting for this unwelcome storm to blow over.

Kind regards,

AJ Evans