South Whidbey Yacht Club

SWYC Heading

Commodore's Message


 Greetings from the helm of Sun Dancer, our Boston Whaler 305 Conquest.  Barb and I have just returned from a five-day cruise with overnight stops at Deer Harbor on Orcas, Victoria, CAN and Fisherman’s Bay on Lopez as a part of the SWYC Victoria cruise.

We have touched down long enough to refresh our clothes, restock the larder, take care of some SWYC business (my Commodores Msg being one of them) before heading out again with the kayaking group for the camping trip to Baker Lake.  By the time you read this, we will have returned from Baker Lake and will be getting ready to hop back on the boat to head out into the San Juan’s to our cabin for the 4th of July weekend.

Looking around there are so many choices of activities to participate in that it is difficult to choose from among them.  This is the peak of our club’s activities and our calendar shows it.

I share this only because I imagine ours isn’t the only calendar stuffed with exciting SWYC activities with our fellow club members.  If you are new to the club, please do not hesitate to jump in and join in the fun.  It is a wonderful and rapid way to make new friends and feel the camaraderie among our water loving members.

Sun Dancer and Sea Salt at Deer Harbor

New Member Social and Orientation
We want to thank Debra Richardson for hosting our second 2023 New Member Social and Orientation in early June.  We all enjoyed a light dinner, socializing, and learning about our various interest groups and how to quickly find others in the club with similar interests.   Thank you, Debra. 

SWYC Board Elections
Tis the season to begin recruitment for new board members to replace anticipated vacancies in the coming year.  Elections are held in October with the election results announced at the Commodores Ball in November, which will include the election of a new Commodore.  We are seeking candidates for four positions: 

  • Rear Commodore
  • Secretary
  • Member at Large (Bilgerat/Communications)
  • Member at Large

Candidate recruitment is overseen by a Nominating Committee.  The Nominating Committee chair this year is Spence Byrum.  

Once the slate of candidates is set, the Nominating Committee passes the slate of candidates to the Elections Officer who oversees the election.  We need a member to volunteer for this role.  It is not time consuming as the voting is done electronically.   Please contact the Commodore if you would be willing to serve in this capacity.

SWYC New Safety Policy
The SWYC has formally adopted a new Safety Policy.  As the level of activity intensifies and our membership grows, it was felt that we needed to formalize our policies so that both new and seasoned members could clearly understand our safety policy governing participation in activities.  It has been in the making for several months under the leadership of Clay Canfield with assistance from members representing Cruising, Kayaking, Racing and Sailing interest groups.  It will be posted on our website in the coming weeks.  Please take the time to review it.

SWYC Updated Website
Welcome to our updated SWYACHTCLUB.ORG website.  Bilgerat Barb will provide more information about the new site in the Technical Tips section towards the end of the newsletter.  

Lastly, I would love to hear from you about how your club adventures are coming along.  I hear summaries at the board meeting but it would be fun to hear from those of you in the thick of the adventure.  Send an email to the Commodore.  Or invite me to meet for coffee.  Anything works and is welcomed.

Calm seas, fair winds and smooth sailing to you.
Pete Grimlund
South Whidbey Yacht Club

Welcome New Members!

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



Jordi and Amy Cabre

Jordi and family moved to Whidbey from the East Coast in 2020. For a number of years they cruised the Eastern seaboard and lived aboard AllezCat, a PDQ 36 catamaran. Jordi is a life long sailor looking forward to being on the water again and participating in upcoming Laser races.

Eric and Sarah Gross

Eric started sailing at summer camp when he was 7 and it has been his favorite sport since.  He’s looking forward to buying a boat.   Until then, he’s using the club’s boats.  The pandemic gave Eric and Sarah the opportunity to move from Manhattan to Whidbey.  While back east, they were active in a sailing club.  


Herb Acken

Herb  is  a  local sailor with a small boat accumulation problem.  The current yard fleet is a Shamrock, a Sunfish, a Minifish, 3 kayaks, and an old Laser with scars and more character than it deserves.  He’s enjoying getting involved with the boating community on South Whidbey and is looking forward to meeting you all.  

There are no monthly membership meetings in July or August. The Crab Fest in July and the August Social in August take the place of these meetings.

Crab Fest!


Our Crab Feast is fast approaching! The band is set, the volunteers have stepped up and plans are well under way. We need just a couple more helping jobs to pull this off… we would love to get a specific name on these helping jobs…

  1. A team of BBQ grillers to arrive early to fire up the BBQ and get the burgers and dogs going.
  2. You might have thought we were kidding before about the lemon slicer…but if someone could arrive half an hour early (2:30p) to get our lemons ready, we would be grateful.
  3. We also need a butter melting team to arrive at 2:30p to melt and serve the butter for all that lovely crab that’s coming! (Could also slice the lemons mentioned above – a 2-fer!)
  4. We could also use a small portable burner to melt the butter.
  5. We could use a couple more folks for tear down or clean up at the end. Many hands make the work light…and more fun!

If these are tasks you can help us tackle, reach out to Jim and Melody Carney. Our info is on our wonderful website in the Member Directory as are all the details about the  Crab Fest.  Click on these links to get the info. 

If you have extra portable tables or you own shade canopy, bring them and remember to BYOE (“bring your own everything” – plate, glass, tableware… in our efforts to be more green!)  Remember to bring two (2) extra bags for your group’s garbage and recycling – we are trying a leave no trace approach this year of pack your own in, pack your own out which goes along with our “Green” policy. We look forward to seeing everyone who can make it to Crab Feast on Sunday July 23, 3p!


August Social

Save the Date
Wednesday, August 16

Details coming soon!  Watch the event calendar on our website.  



Summer has arrived!!! And that means, ‘Let’s get on the water’.

Kayak safety skills , specifically how to do a wet exit, a self-rescue and an assisted rescue, have always been important with the SWYC kayaking group.  On Saturday, June 17, new members to the club with years of experience kayaking, Jack and Ann Holton, led a wet exit rescue practice on Goss Lake. It was an intensive practice learning various options and techniques for responding to possible emergencies that may occur while kayaking. Those who participated expressed that it was a great class, good practice and were impressed with the excellent instruction they received from Jack and Ann. Thanks to this generous offer from you, Jack and Ann!

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

NEWLY ADDED – Saturday, July 8 –  Glendale Beach to Clinton Ferry Paddle.  9:00 AM Put-in.  Leaders: Diane Lagerstedt & Katy Shaner.  Click on link and scroll down for details.  RSVP on the Group Me app event.  Lots of interesting boating activities to see on this paddle!

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

Those of us who just returned from Baker Lake – 20 SWYC members  – agree that  this was a trip to be remembered and hopefully repeated next year.  Hoping more of you can join us!  Varied paddling conditions and places,  laser sailing, swimming, campfires, some hiking and excellent shared dinners (Taco Night and a ‘Sausage and Sides’ Night) all with friends we already knew and those we got to meet and learn more about on this trip.  


YSA Adult Sailing Classes


Thank you to all the instructors, boat transporters, safety boat operators and planners for another successful season of adult sailing classes.  Students sure benefitted from all the combined expertise, time and patience helping students learn under not the most perfect winds this year on Lone Lake.  But new sailors are now ready to go!   How lucky we are to have members willing to sponsor these classes.  Check with Bob Rodgers or Clyde Jenkins if you are interested in helping our with Adult Classes next year.  


Instructor Clyde Jenkins teaching the basics.

YSA – Youth Sailing Classes


The classes are coming up quickly and we still need to find more Shore Support Volunteers.  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:

  • Morning: 9 am – noon
  • Afternoon: noon – 2pm

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.




The Laser Fleet has had amazing  turnout for all races in June averaging 10 to 13 boats on each Tuesday night with 19 boats out this past week!!!   If you aren’t already racing, get down to Holmes Harbor at 4:30 to see these races in person.  It’s quite a show for us boat people.  

Shifty variable winds, waves, warm and cold conditions make for interesting starts, races and close finishes.  Certainly challenging to the sailors out there!

The laser fleet racers, friends and families also took time to kick back and relax at Freeland Park this last Tuesday after the races.  

Race results are posted on the SWYC website. Race Results



Pelican Racers

The SWYC summer Pelican series continued on Wednesday evenings at Lone Lake. Special thanks to Race Committee Clyde Jenkins for conducting four great races on June 14  including a couple of two lap contests. The longer races had three windward legs and saw plenty of position changes. Starke Scott sailed single handed due to his Crayola teammate being on the Committee boat. Team Crayola held onto the series lead, but the first three positions are now within four points.   

Races continued on June 28. Watch for updates on those races in the Race Results.  

Results can be found  on the SWYC website:  Race Results 

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 Dave Davis and Barb Hardman for planning a great cruise to Deer Harbor, Victoria and Lopez Island  in June. Still plenty of opportunity for summer cruising. If you are planning a short cruise, download the GroupMe app and link to our cruising group to let all the cruisers know where you are going, report current conditions, and post pictures.  

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.  

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.


Port Browning Marina – Upcoming Gulf Islands Cruise

Windward Women



A hardy group of Windward Women met with Naturalists Jeanie and PaulBen McElwain the morning of June 19th to explore the beach and bluff geology at Libby Beach Park.  We learned about the formation of the island beaches and the current challenges of beach erosion and effects on beach communities and bluff stability.    Our view of the beach was certainly changed, when we discovered the many hidden creatures residing on and around the rocks and substrate of the intertidal zone and the challenges they face with our current climate changes, sea star wasting disease, and toxins.  We also learned about types of seaweed, harvesting guidelines and the permitting process.  The walk was followed by a delightful lunch at Toby’s  Tavern  in Coupeville.  The group thought Toby’s was the perfect spot for a group of wayward women.  Thank you Eileen Owen-Williams for planning and leading this outing!

Who are the Windward Women?   All women in the SWYC are members of the Windward Women interest group.   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.  Our next event is an Ebey’s Landing walk followed by a luncheon at Ciao in Coupeville on Tuesday, August 8 led by Patty Linehan and Pat Matthews.  Mark your calendar. 

NEEDED:  Windward Women Coordinator
Will one of you, or even two of you for a ‘job share’, volunteer to be the WW Coordinator?  Responsibilities include keeping an email list current, planning or delegating the planning for six activities each year (lunch, tours, day trips, happy hours, walk abouts) and communicating that activity.  And since you are the Coordinator, you can change any or all of this up to best fit your schedule, interests and talents.  It’s a valuable way to help build community within the women of SWYC.  Please contact Patty Maxfield or

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:

Safety Matters!


Our safety officer, Clay Canfield,  took a couple weeks off this month to visit Italy.  Nice!!!   While there, he got to  experience the “safe” way to drive in Italy.    LOL.  His comment?  “We were checking out the “safety” aspects  of driving in Italy…. Italian drivers make us look like a bunch of highly risk-averse amateur ninnies!”  Yikes!

Clay will be back next month for an August boating safety tip.  


As Pete mentioned in his Commodore’s message, we want to thank Clay Canfield and a committee of SWYC members representing all of our interest groups for developing our new over-arching SWYC Safety Policy for all SWYC activities.  The group spent several months reviewing current practices, best practices elsewhere and legal/insurance considerations.  They then blended all this information for a comprehensive document.  This will be posted soon on our website.  If you are leading or participating in SWYC activities, you should be aware of the provisions in this document.  

Again, THANK YOU for your commitment to keeping all of us members and guests safe in all of our water activities.  

Members’ Tech Tips and Training



Take some time to check out our updated SWYC website. Click here:

Same content  with a newer updated look.  It also has an easier-to-mange back end, so once we figure out how to use and leverage the commands, we’ll be better able to keep it current and more relevant for our members.  

Your job?   Page through the various pages, try the links, see what you like and what isn’t working for you and let bilgerat know.  Also, there are still a few bugs in there so let us know about those too and we’ll try to figure them out.  

Please know that the membership directory with your contact information remains password protected. Your current password should work to allow you in to the directory so that you can find the contact info for other members you are  trying to reach.  
Questions about this or anything else in the newsletter? Email  That’s me, Barb.

*** 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 boating season?  Looking for SWYC clothing, hats or gifts?  

Click here: Land’s End Store

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