August 1, 2016

Sailing Spunk

It is hard to believe that August has arrived.  This is probably the slowest month of the sailing season due to hot temperatures and light winds.  For many, it may be a welcome break as July ushered in most North American Championships for one-design fleets.  I was fortunate enough to participate in the Flying Scot NACs in Newport Rhode Island this year.  It was a humbling experience with the large waves, strong current, and sea breeze between 15-30 mph all week long.  While I had the time of my life, I could not help but appreciate that our little lake offers some pretty nice racing as well.  My favorite conditions are on a cooler day with  7-10 mph winds.  Generally in Indiana, these kind of days fall in the late spring and early fall. It is amazing how the dynamic of the sailing experience changes so drastically in different locations.  These differences  also propagate different cultures.  For instance, I was recently on a lake that had roughly 200 sailboats.  While this may not seem so strange, the fact that 199 of the boats were of the same kind seemed strange.  Can you even picture everyone having the same kind boat on Eagle Creek?   Perhaps it was the secluded Appalachian Mountain environment which caused everyone to get the same boat.  Perhaps it was the fact that these boats were manufactured just a few miles from that particular lake.  Maybe no one wanted to “rock the boat” and get something different.   At any rate, it has created a sailing culture that is very unique to that lake. Speaking of unique; Our club,  located in a quiet and unassuming spot, has developed an inclusive and easy going cruiser boat culture.  I am not sure if it is more about sailing or socializing.  I suspect the latter.  Sure, we have some of the finest Beer Can racing around, but mostly it is about the camaraderie found at the “liars” table afterwards.  I have been to many clubs around the country and never found one quite like ours.  We don’t have the greatest body of water to sail on, nor the finest facilities.  What we do have is some of the coolest people you will ever meet, and a pretty decent oasis of fun that does not ruin our appreciation of other venues.  Most importantly, we have spunk.  That is all you need. If you like spunk, you may enjoy helping to keep it going.  We are looking for people interested in joining the board of directors.  Please contact me at if you are interested in a position next year.   Perry Cameron
July 1, 2016

ECSC in Full Summer Mode!

It’s summer and ECSC is full of activity.  Head out to the club on any weekend and you will see: Kids playing on the playground. Families grilling out on one of the club grills. People leaving or heading back to the dock. People washing their boats. People doing a few minor repairs to keep their boats shipshape. People gathered around the “Liar’s Table” at the Race Shed sharing drinks, food and memories. Kenny moving something around to make room for something else. All this means we have a very vibrant and active club.  So, please come on out and enjoy all that our club has to offer. Our ECSC Regatta is coming up on July 9-10 with our world famous ECSC Beach Party on Saturday July 9.  This is a great event.  We had almost 200 people RSVP for a night of dancing on the beach.  Hats off to Kenny for moving boats around to make room for the partiers.  Be sure to thank him for all of his hard work to make everyone’s weekend enjoyable. By now you have probably encountered our new web site.  It is truly an upgrade from our old site with lots of content and room for us to grow.  Check it out next time you are online. Welcome to our new members.  Thanks for joining.  Please introduce yourselves to just about everyone you meet. We would love to get to know you better and get you involved in our club.
June 1, 2016

Is it May or July?

What a strange spring it has been!  The weather in the beginning of May felt like the end of October, and the weather at the end of May feels like July.  The only thing that did seem normal was the ridiculously wonderful wind.  This was the first Mayor’s Cup since 2008 to have a substantial amount of wind, and I for one had a great time. The new website is online and appears to be fully functional.  Geoff Endris has spent a great deal of time putting it in order.  It is unbelievable the amount of time and energy it takes to put something like this together.  If you see Geoff, please thank him for his efforts.  If you hate the new site then the complaint forms are located in the sharks mouth on the wall of the John Storer pavilion.    Most of the relevant content to the site has been added.  We do plan on adding additional members only content such as the old Telltales and Board minutes for historical purposes. I am personally working on digitizing old copies of the Minutes.   I have only had time to finish up until 1973, but have already found several interesting things that I didn’t know.  For instance, the ECSC symbol you see accompanying this article was the original symbol of our club.  During the board meeting of March 22, 1973,  four insignias were presented before the board so that we could adopt an emblem that “would be easier to reproduce”.  Our current emblem offered by Lee Boschen was the one adopted. Another interesting tidbit is that it was decided in April of 1972 that the new ECSC newsletter would be titled “Telltales”.  John Halstead took the lead on discussing the format and low cost advertising contained within.  In the spirit of the 100th Indy 500, I will share one last token of interest.  (ECSC Minutes, April 27, 1972) “May 28-29 is the first major regatta of the season, the “500 Regatta.” Two races will be held each day, and a $7.00 entry fee will be charged for non-members”.
May 1, 2016

Let’s Go Sailing

The sailing season has commenced!  The trees are quickly growing their lush coats of green.  Activity at the club is at its expected spring norm, and it appears as if approximately half the boats are already in their slips.  Other boats are getting fresh coats of bottom paint, wax, and various other last minute repairs prior to launch.  This is the spring Eagle Creek experience that we have all come to know and love! Now that we are back in the thick of things, it is time to mention a few items.  In the last couple of years, we have noticed an increase in the number of motor boats exceeding the speed limit on the lake.  We have talked to the IMPD and the Park, but without a presence on the water, there is little either can do.  After further discussions with the park, The ECSC Board has authorized the use of one of the 48 hour slips for use by the Eagle Creek Park Ranger.  This action was taken as an attempt to enhance safety and speed limit rule enforcement on the lake while strengthening our club’s important relationship with Indy Parks. Please be aware that the first slip on D dock is now reserved for the Park Ranger’s boat. The Park Rangers may also launch a personal watercraft patrol boat from time to time from our ramp. It is also possible, but unlikely, that Park Rangers might enter the club with lights and sirens blaring in response to an emergency situation on the water. It is not clear how often Park Rangers will use our facilities. Regardless, club members should always be aware of their possible presence at our dock and on the water.  Please use this as a gentle reminder to obey park rules and observe safe boating practices.  That means PFDs for everyone on the boat, kids must wear PFDs, lights on boats after dusk, etc. Remember that sailing quickly loses its fun when someone gets hurt.  Let’s stay safe and have a great season! Perry  
April 8, 2016

Spring is here!

Spring has arrived! The trees are beginning to bud, the birds are beginning to return from their southerly vacation, and our first ECSC work party has concluded. I have some exciting news to report! We have come to an agreement with the Purdue Sailing Club to make ECSC their home for 2016. In order to make this happen, we have changed our bylaws to now include a “student membership”. In addition to paving the road for collegiate sailing, this created a platform for our junior program to be more successful as well. Traditionally the junior program had to rely on a scholarship program to allow kids whose families werenot members at ECSC, to participate in the program. With a student membership now available, the scholarship “band-aid” will no longer be needed. The Purdue Sailing Club races International 420’s and will be hosting at least 1 collegiate regatta at Eagle Creek. They will be practicing on weekends which may help invigorate Sunday racing participation. For those of you who may be looking for crew on Wednesday nights, many of these college kids would love to get experience on bigger boats. PSC will certainly add a new dynamic to our racing program. If you have not put your 2016 stickers on your boat yet, please do so as soon as possible. We are making a concerted effort to remove all abandoned boats from the property. Updated stickers make this job much easier. See you on the lake! Perry  
March 8, 2016

Spring is around the corner

Spring is officially around the corner with only three weeks to go! There is something exhilarating about the prospect of a new sailing season. No matter how many years go by, that excitement never seems to wane. If you have great fondness for big wind, then spring is for you! Of course, with big wind comes increased adversity. This is what makes it so exciting. It always pays to sail with caution this time of year; however, almost all of us have stories in which we did nothing of the sort! These stories tend to climax with the broach of a spinnaker, an out of control boom, broken shackle, torn sail or even an unplanned swimming lesson. For those of us with an insatiable appetite for adventure, it is these moments that remind us we are alive! There is of course the down side to Spring as well. I can remember just a couple of years ago, paddling a Pram through the front door of our new racing shed. The designer and builder of the shed raised it upon pillars higher than Eagle Creek had ever been known to flood. Ironically, the flood waters reached a record height that year, christening the new shed. Besides submerging many of our structures during a flood, the next two weeks are generally spent picking up driftwood, trash and other miscellaneous debris around the club. Sometimes our smaller beach boats end up adrift, causing us to hunt them down around the lake. In the end, spring floods generally take a club wide effort to clean up. If this happens to become a flood year, please take time to assist in the clean up. Otherwise, come out and enjoy the big wind! Perry   Perry  
February 8, 2016

Old Man Winter is here

Here we are in the middle of old man winter, clinging to our hot cocoa and coffee. Some of us are working on our boats in garages, basements, or pole barns. Some are sitting next to the warm fire reading up on sailing tactics, or perhaps enjoying a novel or two. Still, others are in Florida with a beer in hand, riding that 20 degree heel, posting their triumphant photos on social media for the rest of us to envy. No matter where you are, sailing is probably not far from your thoughts. At the behest of our Harbormaster, I decided to go check my boats to ensure that the poor girls would not feel abandoned. The club is an unbelievably quiet and surreal place this time of year. Still, I could not help but feel the magic. It is only appropriate that I mention here that spring is less than seven weeks away. Soon the baron trees will begin to sprout new leaves, the birds will return to sing their songs, and the rain will pitter patter almost daily. As the ice on the lake quickly recedes, the activity at the club will once again return. There is something special about that early spring feeling, the knowledge that soon there will be fair winds and following seas on Eagle Creek ocean. The feeling that you will soon regularly see all your beloved friends who share your passion for making circles around marks. Indeed, that liars table will soon be open for business! In the meantime, it would be a great idea for everyone to heed the Harbormaster’s advice. Give the club a visit. Check out your boat and make sure that tarp hasn’t come off. Look around the club and make sure everything looks good. You should have already received your dues statements. Please send them in as soon as possible to ensure you get your new keys in a timely manner. The locks club-wide will be changed in early March. We are also making a valiant effort to remove all abandoned boats from the premises. It would be of great assistance to us if everyone would not delay in affixing their ECSC stickers to their boat and trailers. I hope to see you all soon at our club.
January 8, 2016

It’s a New Year

It is a new year and yet it feels as though sailing season never ended. I don’t know who this “El Niño” guy is, but he is welcome back any time. For those of you who may not know me, I am Perry Cameron. I have only been a member since 2008, but several in my family, have been active members of this club in the past. You can usually find me racing a J/24 or Highlander on Wednesday nights. This is my first time as Commodore, but I have recently served as Racing Chairman. I will do my best to serve the club well. The board met for the first time on December 8th to establish and approve the 2016 operating budget. Due to increased operating costs, the board decided to increase dues by $10 and slip fees by $10 for 2016. It is never popular to increase the cost of membership, but every few years, dues must go up to maintain the quality of the ECSC experience. Our long time Secretary David Fort was notably absent from this meeting. Shortly before our meeting, David called 911 and was transported to St. Vincent’s with a ruptured colon. He had an Emergency surgery and has been in ICU since. The road to recovery will be long and tough for David. As a longstanding member of our Eagle Creek family, please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. This club is a “sublime” place for many due to the countless hours put in by its members. It is a labour of love, and an expression of camaraderie to those who share our love of wind on sail. It is with pleasure that I introduce a few volunteers who make it all possible. Larry Conrad is our Vice Commodore. He will be assisting me and “Taking notes” for next year. Kenny Chapman has returned after several years to once again be Harbormaster. He will be working to finally replace the lighting on the club grounds as well as looking into what what it will take to replace our aging ramp. Rick Graef will continue to run the racing program, and I for one look forward to the many top notch regattas again this year. Tom Moore, after taking a long break has decided to return to the position of club bean counter. We are definitely in good hands. Jane Schmidt will continue her role as Membership chair. She consistently exceeds expectations in this role, paving the way for new members to join the club without difficulties, and old members to seamlessly transition to the next year. There are not words to describe how professional Jane is at conducting this role for our club. Next time you see Jane please give her thanks, as this club would not be what it is today without her efforts. Geoff Endris will remain as Publicity Chair. He dedicates a significant amount of time to keeping us all informed. This is his third year at this position, and I am confident that it will continue to go smoothly. Chuck Lessick will be in charge of Safety and Education this year. It will be his first time in this role, but he exudes an enthusiasm and competence that gives me the confidence that our junior program will be headed in the right direction for years to come. Our other newcomer Vickie Greenough also exhibits these qualities. She will have big shoes to fill in replacing our long time Social Chair Chauncey Olin, who held the position for so many years that it was easy for the rest of us to take social events for granted. Make no mistake, Chauncey’s hard work and patience are what made this several year endeavor look so easy. Please take time to pat him on the back and say thanks. Al Wilkins will be returning to run the ships store after a few years hiatus. He did a wonderful job in the past. Come out and get your gear at any social/racing event. Finally, I would like to give a hat tip to our past Commodore Nick Mates. He has been Commodore three times. His past experience has played an integral part in ensuring continuity to this rookie commodore by providing a great place to run board meetings, lending advice, and providing assistance whenever needed. My time as Commodore should be fairly easy, as I am surrounded by one of the best supporting casts ever.