South Whidbey Yacht Club

Commodore’s Message

The SWYC is beginning to wake from its winter doldrums as planning for the coming on-water season picks up speed.  This past week, Barb and I have participated in a Cruisers planning meeting -yay, Canada here we come.  And, the Kayaking group gathered at our house to discuss future paddles.  While I am not a kayaker, I have to admit that plans for a night time bioluminescent paddle sounded pretty special!

Our Laser folks are off to an exciting start. Carol Dean and Zak Malbin have enthusiastically taken the reins from longtime organizer Michael Scott.  Thank you Michael for your years of diligent service and  enthusiasm for all things sail.  We look forward to seeing you enjoying more time on the water.

The YSA is in full planning mode for the upcoming season of sailing lessons.  Your Commodore has even been persuaded by the tireless effort of his spouse Barb, aka Bilgerat, to learn to sail with the Adult Sailing Class.  It is a little embarrassing to admit to only having been on a sail boat, of any kind, once in my life.  I guess it’s time to see and experience the thrill of wind driven boats as opposed to motorized boats.  I am sure compromising pictures will be taken and shown in future editions of the newsletter, especially if the safety boat has to tow us to shore because we can’t master how to properly set the sail.

This past month, we were disappointed to learn that both John Gibson and Myra Gustafson tendered their resignation from the board.  John, after several years of service, felt other priorities calling and needing his attention.  Thank you, John for your board contributions of the past several years.  Also, we were looking forward to hearing a fresh perspective from Myra in our board discussions but the particulars of her work schedule made it difficult to contribute.  Thank you Myra for giving it a chance.  Should circumstances change in the future we would gladly welcome both Myra and John back.

On announcement of these two vacancies, we were pleased to learn that Melody Carney has volunteered to join the SWYC Board.  Welcome Melody.  We look forward to your participation.  There still remains a need for one more person to join us as a Member at Large. Let me know if you have an interest.
And on that note, read on.  There is a LOT of good information to read in the pages to follow.

Calm seas, fair winds, and clear skies to you,
Pete Grimlund
South Whidbey Yacht Club

Vice Commodore’s Message
Notes from the Flying Bridge 

Reciprocal Moorage

Some things to keep in mind about using Reciprocal Moorage at other Clubs:


Welcome New Members!!  

Please welcome this month’s newest members to the yacht club.  We look forward to meeting them at our upcoming events.

John Knowlton

We welcome John Knowlton to the club.   Owner of both a Ranger Tug and an Alumaweld fishing boat, John enjoys cruising and fishing.  And it appears we will likely have an enthusiastic and deeply experienced participant at our Crab Fest in July.

After a long career in journalism at dailies along the West Coast, John transitioned to an academic career at the University of Oregon (his alma mater) and Green River College, where he headed the Journalism department before his recent retirement.

John was familiar with Whidbey Island from his many visits here over a couple of decades.  He finally moved to the island last spring.  He learned about the club from his friends Rick Paine and Lynnaea Lumbard.

Andy and Dawn Mark

Andy and Dawn Mark moved to the island one year ago.  Their primary interest is in kayaking.  However, they have many years of experience sailing (including racing) and cruising around Puget Sound.

Andrew grew up around boats on Chesapeake Bay, spending a lot of time crabbing.   He met Dawn at a sailing camp at which they both instructed.  Over the years, they have owned a Seaward and a Ranger Tug.

As they near retirement from their careers in public school administration, they look forward to many more years on the water.


Sean Cruz

Sean Cruz has decided to finally learn how to sail.   Something about living on an island will have that effect.  He, along with spouse Rachel, and son Zander, moved to South Whidbey in 2020.  Sean says that as he gains some experience sailing, he intends to introduce his family to the sport.  Ultimately, the goal is to buy a sailboat.   To that end, Sean is signing up for ASA courses offered up in Anacortes.    He also wants to try out Lasers.

Professionally, Sean is a computer programmer who works from home.  One of his non-marine passions is World War II, including participating in re-enactments.  Hopefully, he roots for the Allies.


March Membership Meeting

Wednesday, March 15

Greenbank Progressive Club and Zoom

3090 S Firehouse Rd.
Greenbank, WA 98253


      • 6:30 Socializing/Sips & Dips to Share/ Zoom Opens
      • 7:00 Announcements
      • 7:15  Program

Guest Speaker – Dr. Michael Sieracki

*Remember to bring your own plates, silverware and glassware as part of SWYC’s goal to a cleaner environment by reducing waste.

Dr. Mike Sieracki

Horn Point Laboratory Director

University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences

Dr. Michael Sieracki holds a Ph.D in biological oceanography, an M.S. in Microbiology and a B. A. in biological sciences. He is the Director of the University of Maryland’s Horn Point Lab located on the banks of the Choptank River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  Prior to that, Dr. Sieracki was the lead program director for the biological oceanography program at the National Science Foundation and a senior research scientist at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in Maine.

He will be speaking to us about his most recent research activity on board the sailing schooner Tara  for the Tara Oceans expedition.  The expedition was focused on determining the biodiversity of  plankton in the world’s oceans using the latest DNA sequencing methods. Please join us to learn what that means for those of us here on Whidbey Island.

Although Mike will be presenting from the East coast via Zoom, we encourage those of you on Whidbey to gather and socialize at the Greenbank Progressive Club as we usually do and view his Zoom presentation from there.

Zoom Link:

Meeting ID: 889 8524 1523
Passcode: 478850

For future programs, see the event calendar:

SWYC Monthly Meetings. 


2023 Opening Day Celebration

Ahoy Mates and Mateys! It’s time to get ready for our Opening Day celebration.

When: May 6 – 3:00 pm
Where: Honeymoon Bay Club
What: SWYC Activities + Chili Contest + Party!

This year we will celebrate Opening Day at the Honeymoon Bay Club. Come and see all the activities planned for this year’s SWYC interest groups, including representatives from Kayaking, Cruising, Racing, Youth Sailing, and Windward Women. We will also have a Chili Contest, where each activity group will present delicious chili for you to taste. Vote for your favorite chili and the winners get a prize. You are welcome to come in your favorite pirate costume. Arrrg!

This event is for sailors and landlubbers, so everyone is welcome. Look forward to an afternoon of eating & drinking & visiting with friends as well as discovering what activities are being planned for this year.





Spring is here. Well, almost. And that means kayaking with the SWYC. We have started the year with a social and planning meeting where 18 met in person and 2 via Zoom. Out of that meeting came volunteers ready to plan and lead additional paddles.

For the full list of planned 2023 paddles (so far, with more to come), click here and scroll down the page:

2023 Paddle Schedule 

Three NEW paddles just added to the list are:

And don’t forget our Baker Lake Swift Creek Campground trip  June 25 – June 27 and our West Beach Resort Orcas Island trip September 21 – September 24.  Both of these events are open to All SWYC members, as well as our kayakers.  Contact Katy Shaner or Barb Grimlund,, for more information and to RSVP.



There’s such a variety of ways for club members to enjoy sailing merriment on our Whidbey Island (and beyond) waters!  And yes, racing too. Read on for ways to enjoy the experience of the waters and the wind.

Laser Fleet

Let’s introduce Zak Malbin and Carol Dean who will be leading the SWYC Laser fleet for 2023 as our esteemed colleague Mike Scott takes some time off to travel the world.

The Laser fleet’s goals include bringing in new interested sailors, and continue to have fun!

Zak and Carol are starting the year off with a Laser Sailing Clinic the last two Sundays in April, April 16th and 23rd. The first day will be at Lone Lake.  If you’re a sailor interested in trying out a Laser, or just want to get warmed up for the season,  this is the place to be.  Rigging, tacking and even an introduction to racing will be on the agenda.  For a more detailed description of the Laser clinics, click here:

Laser Clinic

Pelican Fleet

Also on Sunday, April 16th, there will be a fun Club sponsored Pelican Sail/Clinic at Lone Lake.

This will be a chance for the more experienced Pelican sailors to share tips on rigging and sailing these fun little boats. If there is interest, we will conduct some racing oriented low stress practice.  All Pelican owners are encouraged to bring their boats and regular crews. Prospective crew should also attend, get some under way time and meet skippers who may need crew. Dress according to the weather and wear boots for shallow wading.

Since the Club Laser fleet will be at Lone Lake too, it’s a great time for additional sailor camaraderie.  Reach out to Bill Brown for questions.

The Gotta Regatta

And of course, the Gotta Regatta, on Saturday, May 13 will be another good time for fun on the water.  Mark your calendars!


Laser Racing

The SWYC Laser fleet – who we are:  We are the dinghy sailors racing on Holmes Harbor on Tuesday afternoons in Lasers.  This season, racing will start at 4:30 pm.  We usually meet by 3:30 at the boat launch at Freeland Park.  We encourage anyone with any small sailboat to come join us!  The full race calendar is up to date on the SWYC website calendar.  Series I races start May 16.  Reach out to Zak Malbin or Carol Dean for more information and to be included in the laser sailing roster.

Check out the schedule here:  Laser racing 

Pelican Racing

Ahoy Pelican Sailors (and the Pelican Curious)

There will be Pelican Club activities this year based on the level of interest and likely participation. To start with, Pelican Viking Fleet 3 has already begun their Winter/Spring racing season, and SWYC Pelicaneers are welcome and encouraged to join their Fleet and their races. Here is a schedule of their Winter/Spring events:

2/25 Lake Campbell (Potluck at Boat Launch)
3/11 Big Lake (Potluck at Steve Ruhl’s Lakeside)
3/25 Lake Goodwin (Potluck at Boat Launch)
4/22 Lake Ballinger (Potluck at Boat Launch)
5/6 Angle Lake (Potluck at Boat Launch)
5/20 Fleet Championships – Location TBD

Skipper’s Meeting at noon and 1 pm start (may be adjusted after day light savings switch)

Cruising: Pelican Beach Mother’s Day Cruise 5/14 – 19. Depart at 11am.

We are working on a SWYC Pelican summer racing series schedule, and suggestions for that plus any questions on the above should be sent to Bill Brown.

Starke and Randy at Lake Campbell 2/25/23



SWYC Cruising Activities for 2023

We are off to a good start with our first cruising planning session in February. We have some great ideas for cruising:

Starting with a Shakedown Cruise: Monday, May 22 – Thursday, May 25
Jim and Melody Carney will be the cruise directors. Itinerary: San Juan Islands – possible Sucia, circumnavigate Orcas, and a stop on Lopez. Stay tuned for more details.

Early June – Bruce Morris and Barbara Bergmann are headed to Princess Louisa Inlet, Canada  – Please contact them if you are interested in this cruise.

Possible Gulf Island /Victoria, BC Cruise:  Thursday June 15 – Tuesday June 20.

Late July, after Crab Fest – Monday July 24 – August 4, possibly another cruise to Gulf Islands.

September???  Puget Sound Cruise

Contact Bruce Morris if you would like to be a cruise director or would like to participate in cruising with SWYC.


SWYC Youth Sailing Association

Thinking of learning to sail?  Or do you know of kids or grandkids interested in the sailing classes offered by SWYC in July?

Our Youth Sailing Association has confirmed dates for our adult sailing classes and for youth sailing classes for the summer of 2023.  Enrollment is through the South Whidbey Parks and Rec Department. Registration won’t be available until mid-April.  In the meantime, mark your calendars, talk to the kids and start dreaming of summer sailing.

The dates of the 2023 classes can be found here:

Summer Sailing Classes

Also, our YSA team will need SWYC members to help with a number of activities related to our classes.  Shuttling boats to class location, helping with on shore support and just coming out to see how fun these classes are for our kids and adults students.  Start thinking about how you might help out.  More information to come in the spring.


Windward Women

The Next Windward Women Gathering is in April

Windward, and “Wayward,” Women gather every other month, usually on the first Thursday of the month.  The next get together will be on Thursday, April 6.  Join Us!

Email to get on the mailing list!

New Members Social & Orientation

Sunday, April 2
4:00 pm

2350 Discovery Pl
Langley 98260

Commodore Pete, Bilgerat Barb and Membership Chair Mark Conover invite our newer members to come spend a Sunday Happy Hour with other new SWYC members and additional club members representing our club’s interest groups – sailing, cruising, kayaking, Windward Women and events.  Get to know others in a relaxed setting.  Learn about each of the interest groups – what they are, who does what, when they gather and have events, where to get club information & swag, and how to engage.  There’s plenty of time for questions.  These are always fun and informative gatherings.

All members who have joined since Jan, 2022 and who have not attended one of these gatherings are welcome and encouraged to attend.  Watch for an invitation or just RSVP now.

Light appetizers and beverages will be provided.

RSVP to Barb –

We hope to see you there!

If you can’t make this one, future New Member Socials/Orientation are scheduled for:
Sunday, June 11, 4:00 PM
Sunday, October 8, 4:00 PM

Social Events

Save the Dates!

You might want to get these on your 2023 calendar.  Please let Mark Conover,,  know if you will volunteer to help with any of these events.  It’s a great way to meet other members – and you get to plan the party!

Boating Opening Day – Saturday, May 6

Gotta Regatta – Saturday, May 13

Crab Fest ’23 – Sunday, July 23

August Social – Wednesday, August 16

Commodore’s Ball – Saturday, November 11

SWYC Holiday Party – Wednesday, December 13

Keep track of all the club events and updates at:!calendar


Member Opportunity – USCG Auxiliary Boat Safety Checks

Getting your boat ready for the boating season?  One of our own, Patty Maxfield, belongs to the US Coast Guard Auxiliary and is qualified to provide boat safety checks. These safety checks are for all types of boats – sail, power, paddle – and are recommended to have completed annually. Contact Patty via email if you are interested. She will try to group the member safety checks together for fun and convenience!

There is no charge for this service.


NEW   Safety Matters!  NEW

By Clay Canfield

Boaters: When was the last time you practiced recovering someone who had fallen overboard? Do you always wear your PFD when you are on deck and underway?
Kayakers: When was the last time you practiced a self-rescue?

Even though crew overboard and an onboard fire are by far the most feared emergencies, I have never seen any cruisers practice recovering a crew overboard! And I am amazed at the number of experienced boaters I observe who do not don their PFD every time they go up on deck while underway!

Greetings! As the Safety Officer for South Whidbey Yacht Club and the Youth Sailing Association, I’m starting  a monthly safety reminder to keep our club members safe on and around the water.  Although I am not a safety expert, I am a student of safety, have sailed for thirty years, skippered a Sea Scout Ship for ten years, and have sailed from Hawaii to Seattle and from Seattle to San Francisco. I was also a Marine Corps helicopter pilot. All of these experiences have instilled in me the need to include safety in all of my activities and a desire to share safety measures with fellow SWYC members.

Safety is like the layers of an onion. Layers such as situational awareness, boat maintenance, equipment preparation, education, and practice. The last layer, particularly in the Pacific Northwest, is how your body responds to cold water.

Puget Sound water temperature is usually about 47 – 50 degrees F. At this temperature, the first thing that occurs is “cold water shock”, which triggers hyperventilation. This can cause inhaling water and drowning. Sudden immersion in cold water reduces your ability to hold your breath, from about a minute to as low as ten seconds. Read more here:

Cold Water Safety

The second thing that occurs is physical incapacitation. Yes, you’re afloat in a PFD, but you can lose your ability to control your hands within 60 seconds, and arms, legs, and feet within ten minutes, and now you’re helpless.  I encourage everyone to review this article as you prepare for this year’s boating season.

I wish everyone a safe boating season.
Clay Canfield

Jibing the Spinnaker with no PFD.  Literally the worst time to be without a PFD.

Members’ Tips and Training

Website Tip for March

Actually, there are TWO techy tips for our SWYC website for March…

How do I use the information on the Reciprocity page?

How do I find and print out my new SWYC Membership Card?  

Reciprocity page links:

To reserve our reciprocal slip on Orcas Island, click on this link:

This link is on our Reciprocity Page.  Select the date(s) on the calendar that you want to reserve the slip.  Two days maximum.  Click on that specific date on the calendar.  A ‘New Reservation’ box will pop up.  Complete the *’d blanks.  Click on ‘Create Reservation’.  The system will then ask you for your payment information via credit card.  This then goes through our payment systems just like reservations for our Commodore’s Ball or membership renewals.  All secured.  You will receive a confirmation.

To find reciprocal slips at other clubs, click on this link:
Yacht Destinations Website

On this site, you will see four tabs at the top of the page – Home, Destinations, Details and Contact.  The Destinations tab will give you a map view of all the reciprocal slip sites.  If you click on each pin, the details of that site will pop up.   On the Details tab, you will see an alphabetical listing of all the clubs.  Here you can click on the map icon, the Info icon, print it and ‘chat’ on a Forum.  Specific instructions on reserving any of these slips can be found in the “info” section.

It is highly recommended that you Create an Account on Yacht Destinations if you are considering using reciprocal slips at other clubs.
Questions?   Reach out to Vice Commodore Bruce Morris for clarification or help.  And to be a part of our Cruising Interest Group to participate in our club cruises.

Your SWYC Membership Card – NEW

Most of the reciprocal yacht clubs require both a burgee to be flown on your boat AND a club membership card.  You can now print out your own SWYC Membership Card right from our SWYC Website.  Thank you, Mark Conover, for setting this up!

On the SWYC website, click on the “Current Members” tab on the top banner.  If you are using your phone, click on “Menu” and then on “Current Members.”
Under “Current Members”, click on “Manage My Account.”

Here you will have to put in your username and password, as this is your personal private information.
Once you have successfully signed in, scroll down to the middle of the page where you will find three boxes – ‘Account’, ‘Profile’, ‘Sign Out.’

Click on the ‘Profile’ box.

On this Profile page, scroll down toward the bottom of the page.  You will see the ‘Membership Card.

Click on the “print” button and YES! You will have your personal Membership Card to carry with you.  You can laminate it, put it in a plastic sleeve or have it stored someplace where you can easily access it, if needed.

While you are in this site, scroll down to the Business Card and add a photo, if there isn’t one already or if you don’t like the one that is there.  The Business Card is what shows in our Membership Directory.  We like to see your smiling faces.

Questions on any of these tips, email  That’s me, Barb.

New Membership Card

*** If you know of any club member who is not receiving these newsletters or other club communications, please email  We’ll help them get connected.

Getting outfitted for the upcoming boating season?  Looking for SWYC clothing, hats or gifts?  

Click here: Land’s End Store

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South Whidbey Yacht Club

PO Box 316

Greenbank, WA 98253