Though it looked like it was going on the rocks at first, from rum to fruitcake, it turned out fine. We had a pretty good year in all thanks to our wonderful board members. Ron McNeal and Deedy Payne brought in some very interesting speakers and Ron also put on some successful educational events. Carolyn Cronin and the ever present John Bagwell put on some awesome social events. Stan Ferris kept the funds straight. Russ Test and Doug Payne kept the membership up and will be instrumental in the way we received new members and guests in the future. Stephanie Miller handled the newsletter. From meeting minutes to proof reading to Sunday Sails, Alan Greatorex did all those behind the scenes things that keep the Club working. Emily Kaufmann, Linda Cook, and Bruce Anderss all stepped up and filled in some gaps left at the first of the year - Emily as Secretary, Linda in communications, and Bruce helped with cruising. Rhonda Brewer and Emily Kaufmann put me up to this whole Commodore thing and, whether you thank them or not, I am grateful they did!
This coming year our new Commodore, Dennis Lynde, has what looks to be a very interesting and dynamic board to work with as he takes the helm. In wishing Dennis and his crew a very successful and rewarding year ahead, remember it is not just the Commodore and Board that makes this club fun and interesting, but the membership as well. Get involved, be on a committee, offer suggestions, help out, together let's make our 40th year the best one yet!
Thank you Lake Pleasant Sailing Club,
The breeze freshens. Flags stir, flutter, and stiffen. A mother brings her children to their feet as a young soldier turns, snaps to attention, and salutes the flag atop the pole as the Star Spangled Banner plays across the field. The soldier then returns to her task saluting each of the 2977 American flags placed on the grass, one for every person lost in the tragic 911 attack. The sight of all of these flags waving in unison is hard to describe. It is like some type of large kinetic art display that forms wave upon wave of red, white, and blue - an incredible sight. A sight I might not have taken time to view if not for Mark Poisson and Judy Chasse, two Lake Pleasant Sailing Club members, who’s request for volunteers brought Connie Schultejans, John Bagwell, and myself to the Healing Field display, put on by The Exchange Club of Tempe. Not only a visual display but an emotional one as well - I was overcome with the feelings of pride, loss, and patriotism as we talked with people who lost friends or love ones as well as those that were present that day in 2001. Americans of all descriptions coming together to honor the victims and first responders killed in this terrible event is something to be proud of. We had come to help sell merchandise, t-shirts and such, but I walked away with much more. Not just the vision of flags waving, people remembering, or the smiles of children being given little flags, but a different vision of our country that I'll carry inside for a long while. Should you have a couple of hours to spare next year I encourage you to visit, or better yet volunteer, at the Healing Field. I believe you will find it just as rewarding as Connie, John, and I did.
See you at the Lake,
Sitting here sipping coffee, on this warm humid morning watching the sun light rise in the clouds and looking for some inspiration, all I can think of is Soursop. But why Soursop? I don't know. Maybe it is the unique flavor or maybe I just need a gelato fix. Soursop is a prickly tropical fruit that many of us may have seen in the specialty produce section of our local grocery store. It comes from the Annona muricate (or Custard Apple tree) which is native to the Caribbean and Central America. Though it is a very popular fruit around the more humid parts of the world I had not been exposed to it until this summer in Belize. Apparently it has made an impression on me. Wikipedia describes Soursop’s flavor as a combination of strawberry and pineapple with sour citrus tang and an underling creamy banana or coconut like flavor. I don't know who figured all of that out but it is certainly unique. I can tell you this - it makes a delicious gelato. And, come to think of it, mixed with some rum it might make an awesome frozen daiquiri. (Could we build a raft up around this? I mean the gelato of course!) Soursop may be on my mind because it is another one of those things we discover, while out enjoying life and friends, that implants itself in our memories - just like mom's baking or an Arizona sunset. I for one am looking forward to the next Soursop memory - whatever it may be!
See you at the Lake,
A few years ago I met a young physical therapist who's parents had just moved to Kawaii. They thought about taking up sailing but felt the learning curve was to great for people in there fifties. I’ve always felt that sailing is all about the learning process, so I'd like to share a little of what I've learned just this summer…
I know there is a lot more to be learned, so let the sailing continue!
See you at the lake,
I wanted to keep these articles light-hearted but there has been something going on for a while at Lake Pleasant Sailing Club that I find rather concerning. It seems to be spreading, almost contagious, and I think this is the time and place to address it.
A number of members have lost track of some thing important and, before this becomes an epidemic, I would like to offer some advice. First, never loose track of your end; and secondly, always protect your end. It is of utmost importance to know where your end is at all times, not only for personal reasons but also as a mater of safety. In an emergency not knowing where your end is could have disastrous results - not just personal embarrassment (not to mention monetary cost). Once you know where your end is it becomes easier to protect. The trick is to always leave your end exposed at all times, for if you cover it, it will become easy to lose track of. If your end is exposed it will be available and easy to get hold of or grab. That will make protecting it seem of more importance. The best way I can recommend exposing your end is to leave it hanging out while you put the rest of your junk in its container. Now that your end is out there it is time to protect it. While there are a number of ways to protect your end, I suggest you do it yourself and not depend on anyone who is not fully engaged with its protection. Do this by strapping it to something (like a 2x4) or tying it off somewhere secure. While in storage, leave your end secured to the outside of your container so you can grab it fast and get it re-tied before dragging out the rest of your junk. This should keep your end aboard at all times and therefore protected.
By now I’m sure you all know the “end” I am concerned with is the bitter end of your ground tackle. Tie it off before you pay out your rode - or attach a float of some kind to it. This could save you not only in an emergency but also from the expense of replacement and Fruitcake!
See you at the lake,
Some legends start from small coincidences, like a seed dropped from a flying bird onto a hill side. The seed is washed down stream by summer rains, it's husk being scrubbed away by sand and gravel. It comes to rest at the base of a rock, caught up in the dry leaves and twigs that make up fertile soil in the Southwestern desert. With spring rains and warm sunshine the seed sprouts and starts to take root. It survives the insects, birds, and other creatures that feast upon small seedlings. As the years pass and the seedling roots grow deep, it’s main stem grows into a stout trunk. A tree has emerged to service it’s harsh environment. As the tree grows strong and proud over the next 40 or 50 years of life, it becomes a haven for birds and shade for the many animals in the surrounding area. It is happy with it’s place in the landscape. Then one day some giant insects appear in the valley below the tree and, with their minions, the insects begin to dig and push the earth to make a great pile of dirt and rock which blocks the path of the water that flows in the spring and fall. The water slowly rises across the valley and the tree's life is good. There is now an abundance of water, more birds and animals, and even fish. Then a new type of aquatic insect arrives. Some nosily drag their minions across the water, others ply the shore pulling up fish, yet others glide upon the water pushed by the wind. But life is still good for the tree. The seasons pass and the tree grows stronger and remains happy. Many years pass and then the giant insects return. This time there are more of them and they are larger. Again with their minions they begin to dig and pile earth across the valley, this time higher - much higher - than the tree's upper limbs. The water begins to rise again higher and higher until it starts to choke the tree's roots. It rises past the tree's trunk to the top of it's highest branches. As the tree's leaves begin to drown and the sunlight fades away in the murky water, the tree vows to seek it's revenge upon the insects and their minions.
Some say this tree lies in one cove or another in Lake Pleasant, snatching up ground tackle and fishing lures. I say beware "The Lake Snag!”. It lies just below the surface, out of sight, waiting to seek it's revenge on you!
See you at the lake,
It's a short sail, about a mile. The wind is light when you set out. Other boats are moving across the water as you move away from shore. Then it happens. You sail into dead air – doldrums. There you sit, bobbing on the water in the bright sun, watching others move effortlessly as glass forms on the surface of the water around you. You furl the headsail and tidy up before starting your motor. First you feel it on your neck. You look out and see small ripples on the water near you, then the dark patches moving toward you. It is out with the jib and ready about. The wind is now coming from near your destination and you must first sail away from it in order to get there. As the wind arrives the sails fill and the boat starts to move. You pickup speed as you move further away from your goal. Then comes the gust. The rigging whines and the boat heals. You ease the sheet to the right of the boat. And then the wind dies. Moments later a wind shifts directly from were you want to be. You head up as close as you can and then sail and tack and sail and tack, clawing your way ahead until finally you arrive back to the ramp. You've just spent two and a half hours to go a mile (which you could have motored in fifteen minutes). But that is the point – you didn't motor. You met the challenge and you arrived with that satisfaction that only a day of sailing on Lake Pleasant can give you.
See you at the lake, George
A while back one of the Staff Commodores told me that "new Commodores needed to memorize the names of all the boats in the LPSC fleet”. While diligently trying to perform this duty it occurred to me — what's in a boat name anyway?
Some seem to be named for family members like Melissa Kay, Elena Lis, Holly Anne and Lil’ JJ. Others tell us who they are — Pirate's Lady, Desert Sailor and Spontaneous, or perhaps what their boat looks like — Desert Gator. Some tell us why they might not be seen often like it's Knot Workin, it's a Can-O-Worms, or maybe because they're a Frequent Flyer. Some tell us what they're going to do — Slip Aweigh and go Sailynn. Some where they are they are headed — Westerly, True North, or to the Blue Horizon. How they will get there — on a Desert Wind, by Zig-Zag, or by Rudder Chaos. Who will take them there — a Grand Cru. They tell us how they will go — with Godspeed or on Island Time. What they might enjoy along the way — a Wind Song, a Red Stripe, a Scotch Mist, some Cool Jazz, a little Mary Jane (oh, or is that a family name?), or maybe Cool Aid. Oops, that's Ku' U Lea, and a C—View II. Where they will stay after their Odyssey — at the Beach House of course. What they seek — Got Rum? What they may find — a Close Embrace, a Gypsea Pedaler, or two deer - no that's a Peridot. What they will feel — Pau Hana, Serendipity, maybe a little Tip-Sea and Windswept, or just plain Bliss! And what they may have — a Hungarian gastrointestinal ailment known as Gypsy Wind. Hopefully Panacea is the cure!
I know a few have been missed but Mon Ami as they say, No Worries, Sail La Vie, and it's La Dolce Vita! And there is always the one that sums it up completely — Life is Beautiful!
See you at the Lake,
In the seventeenth century some new world entrepreneurs turned a sticky dark fluid, that other wise would have been dumped into the sea as industrial wast, into a palatable liquid. That liquid became the life blood the most powerful navy during that time. Some even say it fueled the revolution that brought about the birth of America. That liquid is call Rum.
Today the rum industry is made up of numerous distilleries producing hundreds of rum products. These products range from crystal clear to black strap. They are blended, spiced and flavored with fruit. Some are sweet, some are course and one even comes with a viper in the bottle. Each one has a different flavor, though sometimes the differences can be quite subtle. They can be sampled neat, on the rocks, or in a vast array of cocktails and blender drinks. While some are straight forward while others can take multiple teasings in order to appreciate their complex flavors.
What does all this rum and drinking have to do with Lake Pleasant Sailing Club? Well, I believe it is an analogy for our members. Each one a special recipe of skill, talent and knowledge blended and distilled in his or her own set of life circumstances to produce a unique personality. Some are straight forward, some mixed with wit and or humor, some more serious and other more reserved. Each should be sampled (some a little more then others!) to understand who they are. I have found a very palatable group of individuals in the LPSC - all brought together by a sticky dark fluid we call sailing. Please take the time to make your own sampling.It will be well worth it.
See you at the lake!
Happy New Year!
The New Year is not only a time to look toward the future but also a time to reflect on the past year the Lake Pleasant Sailing Club had. It started with a New Year’s raft up and ended with a prime rib dinner at the Christmas Party! Under the direction of Commodore Rhonda Brewer, the 2015 Board brought us two cruises each month including the Sweethearts Cruise, two Surf and Turf events (one with bratwurst, the other with ribs and chicken), a Sunflower raft up at Cinco de Mayo, and many other on the water get-togethers. There were six Sunday Sails which brought us several new members, a great Beat the Heat weekend at Watson Lake in Prescott, and a fun time at the Octoberfest picnic with grillables supplied by the Club. Wow! The board was able to purchase a rather pricey bulb for the projector (among other things) and establish a contingency fund to replace or get equipment the club may need in the future. Thank you Rhonda and 2015 Board!
This year we hope to keep the momentum going. Our new Cruise Directors have some fun and exciting ideas, we have retained our excellent Social Director, and our Education Director is looking for speakers of interest for the General Membership meetings. There will be a third and final increase in dues, which we hope will keep LPSC solvent for the next 30 years, and will allow us the opportunity to put on more interesting programs for our members. Remember, this is OUR club and it is what WE make of it. So get involved, offer suggestions, and let make 2016 another fantastic year!
See you at the Lake!
Lake Pleasant Sailing Club
sailing, friendship and education