South Whidbey Yacht Club

Commodore’s Message

Welcome to the PNW summer season.  Dry days (finally) and warmth.

Barb and I joined the SWYC in 2019 looking for others who shared our interests in water activities, principally Kayaking, with a beginner interest in Cruising since we had just purchased our retirement boat.

In the 4 years that we have been members, the Kayaking group has grown from 8 to over 40, all in spite of the pandemic years when activities were severely limited.  Cruising was mostly dormant. However, in 2023, we are now running at full throttle (sorry sailors and kayakers – don’t know the equivalent term).  From Opening Day, it has been nonstop opportunities to enjoy life in the PNW and adventure on the water.

I strongly urge you to browse the events calendar to see what activities you might want to join in on.  Barb and my calendar is almost booked solid – Adult Sailing lessons to teach this old sea dog some new tricks; Cruises to Victoria and Canadian Gulf Islands; Crabbing; Port Renfrew Fishing; Numerous paddles including overnights at Baker Lake and West Beach Resort; – to name just a few of the highlights.


We hope many of you, seasoned and new members alike, can join in on some of these outings where we can get to know each of you better.  The accompanying pictures were from the recently completed Shakedown cruise to Friday Harbor and Lopez Island plus Day 1 of Sailing Lessons.  Perfect days on the water!

Calm seas, fair winds and smooth sailing to you,

Pete Grimlund
South Whidbey Yacht Club

Vice Commodore’s Message
Notes from the Flying Bridge 

Our largest outdoor event is coming up next month – the CRABFEST!  This may come as a surprise to a few people – those wily crabs don’t catch, clean & cook themselves. We always need more volunteers to help out. You can take a boat ride and watch the crab wrestling, or help with cleaning or just cooking the monsters. Please send me a note letting me know how you can help.


Welcome New Members!!  

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

Matt and  Denise Brock

Matt and Denise moved to Whidbey two years ago.  They are both ASA 101 certified and have experience with J-29 and Capri 22/25 sailboats on Lake Union, the Columbia River and Lake Washington.  They are both interested in kayaking, planning to get some of their own soon (or maybe build their own), and are able bodied sailors on bigger boats who need crew.  Matt is also focused on learning to sail small boats, “like a real sailor,” having attended the SWYC Laser Clinic in April.  Matt is a Technical Program Manager at Amazon and Denise is a freelance  writer.

Heather and Carter McCoy

Heather and Carter moved to Whidbey during  the middle of the pandemic and have been wanting to join SWYC since that time.  Carter grew up sailing in Southern California and spent many years racing everything from Sabots to keelboats.  He is also an avid paddler, surfer and always wants to be on the water as much as possible.  Heather  grew up around the world as a Navy kid, but graduated from high school in the sailing town of Annapolis, MD.  Both of them are drawn to the ocean and are excited to meet other folks who love the ocean as much as they do.

Carter’s day job is teaching History to middle schoolers in Everett.  Heather is the Executive Director at Whidbey Conservation District.

Martin Andrews

About 5 years ago Martin took the sailing course and recently a refresher on lasers.  He’s hoping to participate in SWYC laser racing this summer as he is enthusiastic about sailboat racing.  Martin works remotely for Boeing.


June Membership Meeting

Wednesday, June 21
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 – Captain Olav Saboe

Remember to bring your own plates, silverware and glassware as part of SWYC’s goal to reduce waste in the environment.


Chief of Staff
Thirteenth Coast Guard District
U.S. Coast Guard

Captain Saboe is the Chief of Staff of the Coast Guard Thirteenth District headquartered in Seattle, where he directs more than 2,000 Coast Guard men and women responsible for executing Coast Guard missions within the Pacific Northwest, including the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

 Prior to reporting to the Coast Guard Thirteenth District Captain Olav M. Saboe served as Commander Coast Guard Sector North Bend where his area of responsibility encompassed 220 miles of Oregon coast, from the California border north to Pacific City.

 Prior to serving as Sector North Bend Commander, CAPT Saboe completed a year-long program earning a Masters of Arts Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. CAPT Saboe’s previous tours include Deputy Commander at Sector Humboldt Bay. As Deputy, he helped oversee multi-mission Coast Guard operations from the California-Oregon border to Point Arena, California. Prior to Humboldt Bay he served at the Coast Guard’s Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina where he was the Short-Range Recovery Product Line Manager overseeing maintenance, logistical and upgrade support for 100 H-65 helicopters across 18 operational air stations as well as scheduled depot overhauls of fleet aircraft. While assigned to the Aviation Logistics Center, he was also responsible for production of the redesigned MH- 65D model aircraft and development of the MH-65E helicopter.

Previous field assignments for CAPT Saboe include Engineering Officer at Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans, Louisiana where he responded to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii where he deployed to the Arabian Gulf on the Coast Guard Cutter BOUTWELL in 2003 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also served as the Damage Control Assistant aboard the Coast Guard Cutter ALERT, a medium endurance cutter home ported in Astoria, Oregon.

CAPT Saboe is a 1996 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He earned a Master of Science Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

CAPT Saboe hails from Coon Rapids, Minnesota. His military awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Meritorious Service Medals, and two Air Medals. He is married to his wife Sirkka from Glastonbury, Connecticut. They have a daughter, Maiken, and son, Rorik.

Greenbank Progressive Club

or Join Zoom Meeting:

or go to, ‘Join Meeting’ and enter:
Meeting ID: 878 3733 4843
Passcode: 918076

Our next general meeting will be in September.  In July, the Crab Fest takes the place of the July general meeting and in August, the August Social takes the place of the August general meeting.

For future programs, see the event calendar on the SWYC website.

New Member Social/Orientation

The next New Member Social/Orientation will be next Sunday, June 11 at 4:00 pm at former Commodore Deb Richardson’s home.  Any new member who has not yet attended a New Member Social/Orientation  is invited to come meet other newbies and a few of us longer time members, ask questions, learn more about the different groups and activities within the club and how you can connect easily to people of mutual interest.

Email if you will be joining us (if you haven’t already done so).

Crab Fest!


The planning is rolling along well and Crab Fest Chairs Jim and Melody Carney are grateful for the many willing volunteers. They are excited to work with Lance and Andi Sweeney as the co-chairs of this year’s Crab Fest event!

For all the pertinent information, click here  ’23  Crab Fest.   New this year, just like when hiking or camping, we are asking participants to bring 2 extra bags (one for your groups’ garbage and one for your recycling) to pack it in and pack it out.

See you there with your crab crackers in hand!

20 Years of SWYC – Commodore’s Ball
By Emily McArthur

The twentieth anniversary committee wants to thank all those members who attended Opening Day. I hope you all picked up your anniversary decals at the “Cornbread Table”.    A few aprons and bags remain for sale and will be available again at the Crabfest.


The Commodore’s Ball  is held each year in the fall as a celebration of the previous boating season and is the time when members are recognized for their contributions.  It is also the time new flag officers and board members are introduced.   Most recently it has been held at the Useless Bay Country Club in November.

As we look back over the past 20 years, I remember so many different venues for our Commodore’s Ball.  The Progressive Hall at Greenbank, Freeland Hall and Saint Peters Episcopal Church all grace the list.

Our first Commodore’s Ball was held at the restaurant at Holmes Harbor Golf Course.  Pictured here is our first Commodore Kenny Sasson presenting the Commodore’s flag to the newly elected Commodore, Peter Cassale.   Be sure to hold the date of November 11 for this year’s Commodore’s Ball as we continue this club tradition.

We look forward to this new year as we help our club to thrive within this community and the hopes and dreams of our founding fathers continue to flourish in this club.



June is busting out all over. And with the SWYC kayaking group that means paddling the waters of Whidbey and beyond.

On Saturday, May 20 the Yellow Kayak Brigade, consisting of 4 hardy women and 1 hardy man took off from Saratoga Beach Community boat launch with the intent of paddling around Baby Island and lunching at a friend’s Bells Beach waterfront property. By the time they got to Fox Spit the water swells signaled to them to turn around before the swells turned into full-fledged white caps.  The return trip was fantastic:  Fighting the swells was adventurous.  The lowering tide greatly enlarged Baby Island to a magical size as we navigated through the eel grass and counted the harbor seals as they popped up to check us out.  Floating gently on the water from Baby Island to the boat launch as the swells gently pushed them toward our landing.

Then there was the Sunset Paddle followed by Sips ‘n Dips on the beach at Robinson Beach on Mutiny Bay.  Perfect  weather evening.  Brisk wind but not too bad and the return trip was fast and easy.


Kayaking with the club offers many opportunities to be on the water with both planned paddles and last-minute spontaneous paddles planned by members of the group. As new kayaking events are organized, they will appear on the SWYC website.

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

2023 Paddle Schedule

NEW – Saturday, June 17 –  Wet Exit and Rescue Practice.  Goss Lake  Park.  Lead by Jack and Ann Holton.  Details coming soon.  Watch for it.

Sunday – Tuesday, June 25-27, Baker Lake Kayak/Camping trip (see separate article)

Tuesday, August 15, 9:00 am. Glenwood Launch. Glendale to Kelp Beds at Possession Point. Leaders: Gayle Austin and Bob Kuehn

Saturday, September 9, 7:30 pm. Sunset at Cultus Bay – Bioluminescent paddle. Paddle leaders: Dave Davis and Barb Hardman

Stay tuned for more details about our West Beach Resort Orcas Island trip September 21 – September 24.  Remember to schedule the ferry reservations to Orcas Island. Contact Katy Shaner or Barb Grimlund,, for more information and to RSVP.

Baker Lake Camping & Kayaking

Planning is well underway for our Baker Lake Camping trip planned for later this month June 25-27. All SWYC members are welcome whether you are a kayaker or not.  Bring your boat, kayak, canoe, paddle board, hiking boots or just a lounge chair where you can sit and watch  the lake and all the activities.  Come for a day, two days or all three days — or extend either way on your own.  Bring the family.

Group dinners are being planned on Sunday and Monday night. As of the writing of this, we have 25 participants with more room in our group campsite for more or you can reserve your own campsite.  Click here for more detail:

Baker Lake Camping Trip
Let Barb Grimlund know if you’d like to join the adventure so that you can receive all the planning details.  bilgerat@swyachtclub.or

YSA Adult Sailing Classes



As of the writing of this, there are still 2 spots left in the June 10 & 11 weekend class.  Classes run from  10 am – 4:30 pm and are  held at Lone Lake.


Class details are on our website.    For more information, contact YSA Director Bob Rodgers.

SWYC  Members Jack and Ann Holton learning to sail on ‘Crayola’

YSA – Youth Sailing Classes


The Youth Learn to Sail Program uses club members to help keep our program safe and sound.  No training or special skills are required – YOU are qualified.

This year YSA is teaching for 4 weeks.   First week’s class starts on Monday, July 10 with the subsequent classes running through Friday, August 4th, weekdays only, no weekend days.  Shore Support shifts are either:

Over the four weeks, there are 30 shifts to cover.  Sign up for one or several shifts.  Volunteers work alone mostly, but can bring a friend along too.  Tasks are few and simple but having you there is very important to keep our students safe.  It’s also a beautiful spot to watch kids learn a new skill and have fun.

A full description, directions and to sign up for a shift, send an email to the  and put the words Shore Support early in the message.  The Bilgerat or Sarah Dore or Bob Rodgers will make contact with you shortly.

Thank you! Your help will be greatly appreciated.

Shore Support Volunteers get to enjoy this peaceful scene.




Amazing turnout for our first night of SWYC laser racing!! We completed 3 windy races- modified Windward/Leeward courses with a nice long first upwind leg that left the abs and legs nice and shaky and exhausted in a good way 🙂

We had 10 Lasers out (new record for a first race of the season), with many other members helping behind the scenes prepping club boats, and the race committee who did a great job in the challenging conditions.

Wind was NNE 14-18 knots the first 2 races, then dropped to 10-13 knots the last race. There were pretty decent sized waves that made tricky upwind sailing working around the large waves, and fun downwind legs trying to surf nonstop and not flip over! There were a few capsizes, but everyone did a good job of getting back upright pretty quickly.

Overall a really great night – happy to see so many new people out sailing/learning/racing in these challenging conditions!!!

And for our second night just this last Tuesday, another perfect evening.  Sunny and a shifty/  7-13 knots from the North with 13 boats on the start line!  Very fun and close racing had by all!

Race results are posted on the SWYC website. Race Results

Laser Racing Schedule


The Pelicans are back!  The SWYC Pelican fleet returned in force to racing action last  Wednesday. Seven boats took to the waters of Lone Lake and completed 4 races under typically variable wind conditions. Results can be viewed at Race Results

The highlight of the evening was the after race pot-luck party hosted by Ken and Kathy Evans at their newly constructed home overlooking Admiralty Inlet. These traditionally popular social events were discontinued during the pandemic. Wednesday evening saw a spectacular resumption of the tradition. The racers plus many of the club general membership enjoyed burgers and ‘dogs’ plus many salads and desserts. Emily McArthur, the designated parking marshal, reported a final count of 19 guest cars. Many thanks to Ken and Kathy.

The next Pelican races will be on June 7th back at Lone Lake. Starting time will be a little later than the usual 4:30 as the Youth Sailing Association adult sailing classes will not conclude until that time. Due to the later start, and therefore  later end, we will not have an after race party on the 7th, but anyone interested in hosting one later in the season should contact Bill Brown to work out the details. Same for anyone willing to act as race committee in a Club supplied motor boat.
 Pelican Racing  Schedule
Contact Bill Brown for Pelican emails and to sign up to be crew or race committee or after race party hosts. He will  add you to the appropriate list.




Thanks to Jim & Melody Carney for planning a great Shakedown Cruise to the San Juan Islands in May. Wonderful spring weather for cruising and no crowds in the marinas at Friday Harbor, Fisherman’s Bay, and Orcas Island Yacht Club. All are places where we have reciprocity, so it was great to see what is available there. Also, Rick Paine & Lynnaea Lumbard went on a shakedown cruise to Port Ludlow and checked out the 80′ reciprocal dock at that marina.

Upcoming Cruises:

If you are joining any of these cruises, contact the  cruise director directly to get the marina information for slip reservations and to let them know you are coming.  

June 4th – June 12th Princess Louisa Inlet, Canada Cruise – Bruce Morris and Barbara Bergmann are cruise directors. Please contact them if you are interested in this cruise. See details on our webpage. Princess Louisa Inlet, Canada Cruise

June 17th – June 20th Victoria, Canada Cruise:  Dave Davis and Barb Hardman are cruise directors. See details on our webpage. Victoria, Canada Cruise

July 25th – July 31st Gulf Islands Cruise. Bruce Morris and Barbara Bergmann will be the cruise directors. We will be visiting a number of reciprocal yacht clubs during this cruise. See details on our webpage. Gulf Islands Cruise

We are still looking for a cruise director to plan a South Sound cruise in September.

Princess Louisa Inlet

Windward Women


Libbey Beach Walk with Naturalists Jeanie and PaulBen McElwain

The next Windward Women gathering will be on Monday, June 19th at Libbey Beach Park at 10:00. We will have an exceptional opportunity to do a beach walk led by Jeanie and PaulBen McElwain. They are Sound Water Stewards and very active in shoreline training! After our guided beach walk we’ll gather at Toby’s in Coupeville for some post walk libations. Let Patty Maxfield know you’re coming.  For more details, click here and scroll down the page:  Libbey Beach Walk  Thank you to Eileen Owen-Williams for planning this learning/social Windward Women opportunity.

All women in the SWYC are members of the Windward Women’s group and are welcome to join in all of our social and exploring gatherings.  We usually meet every other month on the first Thursday of that month, but that can vary depending on the planned activity.

Watch for our upcoming events on our SWYC website calendar or reach out to Patty Maxfield to ensure you’re on the email distribution list.

Social Events


You’ll want to get these dates  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!

Crab Fest ’23 – Sunday, July 23 

August Social – Wednesday, August 16

Commodore’s Ball – Saturday, November 11 

SWYC Holiday Party Wednesday, December 13NEEDED – CO-CHAIRS

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

Safety Matters! 

SAFETY MATTERS #4: Recovering the Victim 

By Clay Canfield, Safety Officer

Question: When was the last time you practiced lifting a person out of the water onto your boat?

A worst-case scenario is when the victim cannot help with the process, so that should be the focus of any practice scenarios. Most of the following is a direct excerpt from Sailing World Magazine, as they are cognizant of most Crew Overboard situations that occur.

Getting the COB alongside the boat is half the battle. The water-sodden, most likely exhausted, and most probably panicked victim still must be brought aboard. Remember Archimedes principle, which in effect says it is easy to lift a person who is completely immersed, but once out of the water, lifting becomes much more difficult. If the victim has been in the water more than a few minutes, it is imperative that a tried and true rescue plan be implemented, rather than a scramble to cobble together some sort of last minute scheme to lift them out of the water. This often results in much more time than is really needed to get them onboard, in which case they are more likely to become hypothermic.

To lift them to the deck with a mechanical aid is helpful. A simple technique is the Elevator Method, in which an end of a sheet or other long line is led forward and cleated. The line is then lowered into the water in a bight that extends from near the boat’s bow back to a winch. The COB steps or sits on the shallow bight and holds on tight to a stanchion or short piece of rope. A crew member grinds the line in with the winch, slowly raising the victim out of the water.

Weak victims will have trouble with this technique, as it requires a fair bit of upper body strength, so a LifeSling 3:1 Tackle is a good addition (~$125). The Tackle attaches to a halyard, and using two blocks and 65 feet of braided line, gives a 3-to-1 purchase. A fiddle block attaches to a halyard and the bottom block’s carabineer is attached to the victim. The victim can be retrieved manually or the line led back to a winch. Remember to use a downhaul on the halyard so it doesn’t get pulled up the rig.

LifeSling 3:1

It is important that the crew understand that they are not to go into the water to “save” the victim, unless there are calm seas and relatively warm water, as this introduces considerable more risk, including that of the second person becoming hypothermic and/or drowning.

Here is a link to one method of recovering a crew overboard.

There are many variations, so make sure whatever procedure you use is appropriate for your boat and crew.Regardless, it is critical that the crew already know how to use them and have the correct equipment handy. I recommend researching the concept in authoritative publications and deciding what procedure will work best for you and your boat.

Members’ Tech Tips and Training


Group Me App

Over the last few months, the kayaking group has been piloting a new app – the Group  Me  App – to improve immediate, short, interactive communications to a specific group.  It’s like texting but to a pre-arranged group.  For example, we have a group set  up for all kayakers in the club and then we set up smaller groups of just the participants in each paddling event.  We can then drop in invitations to events with RSVP capabilities, ask quick polls, and add or remove members from each group as is needed.  We can send quick updates on weather, meeting times, changes in plans, sharing of photos and other short real-time chatter,  Again, just like texting except the groups are all set up and you don’t have to redo the groups each time you want to send a message.  You can also direct-message an individual (like texting to just one person).

Results so far?  Seems to be working.  People are still getting used to it and some are more tech savvy with social media than others, but it is definitely beneficial as our kayaking group continues to grow.   We’re still using email for much longer communications to the group.

Other Club Usage: On our recently completed shakedown cruise, our three boats/crew all set up a Group Me group for the cruise so that we could communicate during the cruise, both while docked and while cruising.  It worked really well to help everyone know where each boat was, when we were coming into dock, when and where cocktails were being served, dinner plans and all those quick messages that make it much easier to ensure everyone gets the same message.

Groups could be set up for say, your event planning group, all the racing participants (Pelican or Laser), interest groups (both everyone in the interest group and subgroups), task groups and more.  To be successful, it does require that the members in the defined  group all agree to participate.

If you think your SWYC group can benefit from using this app or if you just want to learn more about it, reach out to

SWYC Website RE-DO!!!!!

Woo Hoo!! COMING SOON – Our SWYC Website is getting a makeover!  Same great content but with an updated look (and easier to use back end, for  versatility).   Stay tuned….
Questions? email  That’s me, Barb.

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Click here: Land’s End Store

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South Whidbey Yacht Club

PO Box 316

Greenbank, WA 98253