September 2019 Commodore's Corner

The season is changing: the water at the lake is getting shallower and life at EYC is slowing down. We have the last Thursday series race this week and the Steak Bash on the 19th to bring the season to a close. Last weekend, I sailed in the Harvest Regatta. For those that participated, we had good wind and the weather— other than the last race on Sunday±—was perfect. This year we had 39 boats register to sail and again it was a great regatta, maybe even a perfect ending to the sailing season. 

Your EYC Board continues to work to improve our club. We approved the replacement of both propane heaters in the clubhouse. This past year they needed some maintenance done on them and, being over 30 years old, their efficiency is significantly lower than when they were new. The Board continues to look at alternatives for wave mitigation and protection of both boats and the docks. Board Member Matt Sprick has taken the lead of this.

I have requested funds from the Oregon Youth Sailing Foundation to replace expenditures EYC made for the building of the Youth Dock. The Youth Sailing Task Force met and have forward recommendations to the Board. One recommendation is for EYC try to develop fleets that are currently being sailed in the Pacific Northwest. That said, Opti’s, 420’s and FJ’s currently are the boats being used by other clubs, particularly at the high school and college level. The other recommendation was to start training or instruction at a younger age. For example, instead of 10 years old, Sail School would be open to EYC members at 6. The Board has decided to move forward on the Trial Dog Policy. After lengthy discussion, it was decided that the membership should vote on formalizing the dog policy, so this will be done at the annual meeting in October. The Board of Trustee’s  approved Honorary Membership for two families that have and continue to support EYC, Larry and Paula Bangs and Michael and Jolyn Merrifield

One of the questions that members continue to ask me this year, was how is it going?  I had a friend send me the following in an email that I feel describes my year so far. I know that if it has not been for all of the continue support from members, it could have been a long year. I hope you enjoy this story.

Charles Plumb was a US Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent six years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience.

One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, “You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down.” “How in the world did you know that?” asked Plumb. “ packed your parachute,'“ the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, '“ guess it worked!” Plumb assured him, “It sure did. If your chute hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here today.”

Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, “I kept wondering what he had looked like in a Navy uniform: a white hat; a bib in the back; and bell-bottom trousers. I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said 'Good morning, how are you?' or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor.” Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent at a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn't know. 

Now, Plumb asks his audience, “Who's packing your parachute?” Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. He also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory. He needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute. He called on all these supports before reaching safety. 

Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important. We may fail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason. As you go through this week, this month, this year, recognize people who pack your parachutes. 

I am sending you this as my way of thanking you for your part in packing my parachute. And I hope you will send it on to those who have helped pack yours! Sometimes, we wonder why friends keep forwarding jokes to us without writing a word. Maybe this could explain it!  When you are very busy, but still want to keep in touch, guess what you do, you forward jokes. 

To let you know that you are still remembered, you are still important, you are still loved, you are still cared for, guess what you get? A forwarded joke. So my friend, next time when you get a joke, don't think that you've been sent just another forwarded joke, but that you've been thought of today and your friend on the other end of your computer wanted to send you a smile. Just helping you pack your parachute.

I would like to thank everyone that took the time to check in with me, to see how I am doing this year. I thank those that love EYC enough to come to me with a concern, recommendation, or praise of something that was going on at EYC. As this year comes to a close, let us together finish strong. There are more things to do, accomplish, to build, to support as the season draws to a close.

Thanks for packing my parachute.