Sailing season is getting closer every day. Spring will be here in less than a month. The first race of the season is just a month and a half away. We are all getting anxious to go sailing.
Speaking of warmer weather, our past Commodore Perry Cameron wrote last year about sailing in March to take advantage of the strong winds. Rumor has it that he beat March by a month this year. Club spies have given me reports that his J24 was seen out sailing on some of the warm February days we had last month. Now that is real dedication to sailing.
Sailing soothes my soul. There is something special about gliding through the waves using only the wind for power. Tweak a sheet, traveler or other line and feel the speed change. Tune everything so the tiller feels good and the windex points just right. Feel the boat get in that groove and just go. Worries fade away when I focus on sailing.
Our Eagle Creek Sailing Club makes sailing even better. Social events, regattas, education programs and racing all enhance our experience. Drop the hook and raft up with friends for a relaxing day on the water. Watch our youth learn to sail and represent our club at regional events. Learn new skills from fellow club members. ECSC members are always ready to welcome and help each other.
Are you ready for the season to begin? I know I am.
Just when thoughts of sailing entered our minds, January turned cold again. However sailing season is only two and a half months away. Board members and Committees are busy making plans for an exciting 2017 season. Sailing related opportunities are ever increasing as the time draws near. We encourage all members to submit their membership renewals and enjoy the many advantages of being a part of our sailing community.
I stopped by the Club on Wednesday before the first race seminar. The boats all looked secure as they quietly waited to get back into the water. It was nice to see a bald eagle fly overhead. The eagle seemed to be watching over our gear and making sure all will be ready for spring.
I also attended the race rules and tactics seminar held at ISC last month. The wind was up and halyards were making their music. They slapped against masts anxious to hoist sails once again. It was good to see so many ECSC sailors enhancing their knowledge on all things racing and getting ready to go sailing once again. We’ll be on the water sooner than you think.
Happy new year to all ECSC members!
We all hope you had a safe and happy holiday season. A special extra welcome goes out to all new members in 2016.
The days are already getting longer, and we can start thinking about the 2017 sailing season. Maybe it will be a new sail, bottom paint, or even a new boat. Some will attend a sailing seminar, or go to the boat show in Chicago. Even better is to go south to keep our sailing skills sharp in warmer waters. My bucket list includes winch maintenance and other needs. It is never too soon to dream about the next sailing season.
Our Board approved a good 2017 operating budget at our December meeting. Our January meeting will start detailed planning for our 2017 season. It will also start updating the long term plan for capital replacment or improvement needs. Please feel free to contace me or another board member with suggestions.
Sadly, the colder weather is upon us. Most boats are out of the water. Some members will be continuing their sailing adventures in warmer climates. The rest of us are a bit envious, but we wish you safe and happy sailing.
This is a good time to reflect on the season behind us and start planning for next year. All will agree 2016 was a very good year for ECSC. We had the benefit of a great leadership team and generous volunteer support. Social events were great. The racing and education programs enjoyed high levels of participation with many new sailors and racers. Boat trailer parking improved with the removal of several derelict boats. The web site is better organized with a new look and feel. There are many more. Please give a big "thank you" to the 2016 team and volunteers for the many benefits we enjoyed as members of ECSC.
The 2017 team will work hard to make next year a success next year. We are already working to complete 2017 budgets in December. We will work to preserve and improve on the 2016 successes. We want to continue making ECSC a fun and safe place for sailors of all ages.
We will also work to have an adequate cash reserve for major capital replacement projects. Past Commodores have projected the timing of major capital replacements. Some of those replacements may be drawing near. We have heard concerns about the condition of the boat ramp. Dock board replacement may be accelerating soon due to general age. Lighting maintenance and lighting improvements can further enhance security. The Board and our new Grounds Committee will be carefully reviewing the capital plan.
Recent Bylaw changes will have their first impacts next year. The most significant change clarifies responsibility for buildings and grounds that are not part of the Harbormaster responsibilities. ECSC had an on site caretaker for many years. We do not have a caretaker now, and there are significant challenges associated with having another. A review of the Bylaws revealed a need to more clearly establish responsibilities for buildings and grounds. Your Board added an new Grounds Committee, chaired by the Vice Commodore. The detailed responsibilities are available in the Bylaws on our improved web site.
We hope to improve online access and items to our Ships Store in 2017. Many sailing clubs are starting to use online services that will put our logo on many more items than we can keep in our inventory. Les Miller has agreed to lead this worthy initiative.