South Whidbey Yacht Club

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Commodore's Message

It has been two years since I assumed the SWYC Commodore’s responsibilities from Jim Rogers.  That was in November of 2021 as we were starting to see the light at the end of the Covid tunnel.  Notice that the picture from the “Change of Watch” ceremony was a hybrid Zoom, Commodores Ball event without the dancing but with an engaging songfest of sea shanties led by the Shifty Sailors group.

I was fortunate to come into the role just as the pandemic lock down was ending and we were again able to gather together in person and in large groups.  2022 became a coming out of isolation celebration for the SWYC.  Jim and other past SWYC board members were there to help mentor and guide me as we reengaged with each other and began to build back the variety of water activities that we all enjoy in common.   Our successes over the past few years are a tribute to those whose advice and efforts make this club special and vibrant.

Just to mention a few notable milestones that we’ve achieved since emerging from Covid:

  • Cruising has started up again with 4 club organized sailings this year
  • The kayak interest group has grown to over 40
  • Our racing interest group has grown to over 20 – you can see the Lasers racing on Tuesdays in Holmes Harbor and the Pelicans on Lone Lake early in the summer or later up on Penn Cove
  • Event participation has been robust – for example over 100 people attended Crabfest

So, as I pass the flag to incoming Commodore Bruce Morris, I wish him similar good fortune as I have experienced since Jim passed the Commodores flag over to me in 2021.  It has been a very enjoyable two years for me.  I look forward to seeing what the future has in store under our new leadership.

Thank you to all who have made my time as Commodore special.  I will be seeing you out on the water in my ongoing support role as “kayak boy” for the kayak group or in other capacities as is helpful.

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.  

Mary Stewarat photo

Mary Stewart and Dean Enell

Dean and Mary moved to Whidbey Island in 1990 and raised 3 daughters here.  Mary is  a retired nurse practitioner and  Dean retired from a career in mechanical engineering and computing.  Mary started boating at a young age in a  family of boaters.  She survived the Mountaineers kayak course about 10 years ago but has not been sea kayaking in recent years and is  hoping to give it a try in the future.  Dean and Mary currently have a recreational kayak, a paddleboard and a canoe which we use on Goss lake where we lived for 10 years. 

In 2020, Mary finished training as a Sound Water Steward which gave her a much greater appreciation of life in and around our Salish Sea.  Dean has always been active in community activities and is currently focused on an active response to climate change.  They both look forward to member relationships within the water related social activities of the yacht club.

New Member Social/Orientation

Sunday, Oct 8 we had a fun gathering of new club members and a few current board members.  Socializing, a light supper and mostly, an opportunity for new members to meet other newbies, learn about club programs and activities and how to connect up with people of similar interests.  We were so lucky to be out on the deck and to take advantage of that last bit of summer!

There will not be a Membership Meeting in either November or December. The Commodore's Ball takes the place of the November meeting and the Holiday Party takes the place of the December meeting.

Our next General Membership Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 17, 2024.

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

SWYC 20th Anniversary Artwork Raffle - Last Chance!

The 20th Anniversary Committee is wrapping up our year long celebration with the raffle of this beautiful print of an oil done by our own club member Kathy Parks.  Raffle tickets are $10 ea. or 3 for $20.  Funds will be donated to the safety boat fund for Youth Sailing Assn.  The winning ticket will be drawn at the Commodore’s Ball next Saturday. Contact Emily McArthur if you haven’t purchased your ticket yet.  There’s still a few days left.   Winner need not be present, but we hope you will be there to help us wind up the 20th Anniversary of SWYC.

20th Annual Commodore's Ball

We’re looking forward to seeing those of you who have registered for the Commodore’s Ball next Saturday.  Although it’s past the deadline to register, if your plans have changed and you’d like to see if there’s any room left, contact immediately.  No promises, but we’ll see if there’s any way to get you out on the floor with us! 

20TH Annual Commodore’s Ball

Dinner, Awards and Dancing to “Outta Control”
Saturday, November 11 at 5:30 p.m.
Useless Bay Golf & Country Club
 Attire:  “Nicer” 

SWYC Holiday Party

We need some Holiday Helpers to set up and manage the SEAson’s Greeting Party Wednesday Dec. 13th.  Click here and scroll down for more party details:  Season’s Greeting Party

2 or 3 Set up and take down elves. 

A popcorn elf to run the old school popcorn maker.

A couple of elves to help decorate.

An elf to oversee the jingle bell distribution.  More on that later! 

Help us make this a party a Whale of a Good Time!

Contact Diane Lagerstedt. Her contact info is in the Membership Directory

Or reach out to if you can help.

RE [EXTERNAL] November newsletter - anything from you about Holiday Party

Community Support


Each year our Club selects a worthy South Whidbey Island nonprofit organization to support throughout the year.  That group will be supported through both private donations and by volunteering.  The 2023  organization is Whidbey Island Nourishes.  They have joined us at our events throughout the year.  We will be hearing more about their good works from their speaker at our holiday party in December.  Click here for more about WIN  

We are now seeking nominations for the nonprofit organization SWYC will support in 2024.  Members , please send your suggestions to by Saturday, December 2 to be considered.  A decision will be made at the December board meeting.  Organizations must be a registered nonprofit, must be Whidbey Island based and aid individuals living in the South Whidbey Island Community.  Please indicate your reason for nominating the organization.  

Let’s be sure to continue this rich tradition of reaching out to our greater South Whidbey Community and supporting our neighbors. 



The kayaking group wrapped up an active season of events with a pot luck party at the Grimlund’s in early October.  In addition to sharing cheer,  our topics included a review of ’23 activities, the start of a wish list for ’24 activities, and training to consider and possible paddles  over the winter months.  Keep an eye on the calendar and our Group Me app for these winter activities.  

A special thank you and recognition was given to Katy Shaner who launched the SWYC kayaking group back in 2018 with six people and who has lead it over the years to now over 40+ participants.  Katy will continue to be active in the group and is now passing on the lead role to Barb Grimlund.   THANK YOU KATY! Your leadership is so appreciated.  

And because early October presented us with such great weather, Dan and Julia Mooney sponsored a pick-up paddle on Mutiny Bay on October 7.  Wow!  What a perfect afternoon to spend on the water with good friends.  



Baker Lake Camping Trip –  2024 – SAVE THE DATE

For those of you planning ahead for 2024, we have again reserved the two group sites at Swift Creek Campground on Baker Lake for two nights – Sunday, June 16  and Monday, June 17, checking out on Tuesday.  

 Mark your calendars and let Barb G know so that we can be sure  you’re on the event communications list.  Link to the event is here:  2024 Baker Lake Camping

Orcas Island West Beach Resort –  2024 – SAVE THE DATE

We’ve reserved The Farmhouse at West Beach Resort for Thursday, Sept 19 – Sunday, Sept 22, 2024. 

Mark your calendars and let Barb Grimlund know so that we can be sure  you’re on the event communications list.  Link to the event is here:  Orcas Island- West Beach Resort Kayaking Trip 2024


There are three rooms available in the shared Farmhouse.  Let Barb Grimlund know if you’d like to reserve one of these. Click here for more reservation information:   West Beach Resort


Laser and Pelican racing are on winter hiatus.  Planning continues behind the scenes as our racing leads start to think about 2024.  If you have ideas or wish to participate in the planning, reach out to Zak Malbin or Carol Dean for lasers or Bill Brown for Pelicans.   


 If anyone is interested in any off-season cruising, reach out to our Group Me Cruising Group to find fellow cruisers.  Questions about Cruising?  Contact Bruce Morris.  

Watch for 2024 Cruise Planning meetings in early 2024.  

Bainbridge Island

Windward Women



The wayward Windward Women met on Thursday, October 26 for individual tours of the Langley Whale Center followed by a wonderful lunch at the Langley Kitchen. Stories of whales, wild fires and boats were shared. A fun, satisfying time with women who love the water!

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.

We thank Patty Maxfield for leading the Windward Women group these last years, especially keeping us together on Zoom and on backyard decks during the Covid years.  Katy Shaner will step into the role of Windward Women leader once again.  Thank you Katy!  We’re looking forward to more fun and interesting events for our SWYC women members.  Be sure to reach out to Katy if you’d like to be on the Windward Women email distribution list.  

The next Windward Women event is scheduled for Thursday, December 7. Watch the website calendar for updates.  

Social Events


Be sure these dates are on you 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!

SWYC Holiday Party Wednesday, December 13

2024 dates – coming soon!

Keep track of all the club events and updates at:

Safety Matters!

SAFETY MATTERS #7: "Sinking!!

By Barb Grimlund, since Safety Officer Clay Canfield’s laptop is on the fritz. Yikes!

Question: Will a kayak sink if filled with water?

Kayaks come in all sorts of styles and materials.  Because of its low center of gravity, it is also more stable and safer compared to some other types of vessels.  BUT, kayaks are not sink-proof.  The vessel can sink depending on the type of kayak, on-boarding load, unsealed hatches or bulkheads with no water removing system.  In cold Pacific Northwest waters, this knowledge can be critical to survival if you capsize. 

A kayak can sink when filled with water, particularly if you exceed the weight limit. If a kayak accumulates more water inside, it gains more weight, causing more of the vessel to submerge in the water. If you don’t drain the water out or the kayak has unsealed hatches, the weight of the hull increases, and it eventually sinks.

Stay under your kayak’s load-bearing capacity.  Every kayak has a maximum weight. To minimize the chances of water getting inside, abide by the recommended weight limit for your kayak. Ideally, ensure you don’t exceed 75 percent of your kayak’s weight to have a safety allowance should water get in. Remember to regularly inspect and maintain your kayak to ensure its safety and performance.

Equip your kayak with bulkheads.  Making sure your kayak is equipped with bulkheads increases the overall stability and safety of the vessel. It even provides useful storage space during your adventure.  You should also make sure you properly seal the bulkheads to prevent them from accidentally opening during an emergency. Float bags should always be used unless you need the storage space for gear.

Keep your hatches watertight. Keeping your kayak’s hatches watertight prevents seepage of water. To minimize the extra weight on the kayak’s hull, avoid overloading the hatches. Ensure you equally fill the hatches with air to boost buoyancy and keep the vessel afloat.

Have the proper water removal and rescue equipment.  Should you capsize, know how to get back into your kayak and immediately use your bilge pump to remove excess water in the cockpit. 

Although this Safety Tip is about kayaks, all boaters should understand their vessel’s ‘sinkability’ and consider proper pre-trip precautions and safety measures to follow should their vessel take on too much water while underway. 

Safety Equipment:  Float Bag, Placement of Float Bags, and Bilge Pump.

Members’ Tech Tips and Training



It’s been such a pleasure being your Bilgerat these past two years.  The club has grown in so many ways and taken on fresh ideas from newer members, yet retained it’s cultural roots and heritage programs, thanks to our long term members who have carried the torch these many years.  I’ve so enjoyed learning about all aspects of the club and meeting so many talented, warm and caring people.    Whew!  It’s hard to keep up with you all.  Thank you  for your guidance, patience and friendship as the Bilgerat has communicated all the club happenings in various ways.   

Mark Conover, our Membership Chair, has graciously volunteered to pick up the communications responsibilities in addition to his Membership Chair duties going into 2024.  I’m sure he’ll welcome your thoughts, feedback and support as he continues to enhance our technologies.  There will be more from him coming in the December newsletter.  In the meantime, THANK YOU Mark for taking this new role on. 

Oh, and I’ll continue to keep our club website calendar updated, at least for now, so I’ll still be poking around at you all for accurate event information  going into 2024.  🙂  

Questions? email  That’s Mark now.  

*** 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.

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

Click here: Land’s End Store


Savage Screen Printing & Embroidery in Clinton now has our burgee logo on file  (Only the burgee.  Not our other logos).  SWYC members can stop in to Savage and have the logo applied to their own personal item, or select a hat from Savage’s selection.  Stop by next time you’re in Clinton to better understand this alternative to Land’s End.  

Land’s End still offers the greater variety of merchandise, more logo configurations and the ease of shopping from your  home, but it’s nice to have a local alternative as well.  

Visors from Savage Screen Printing and Embroidery

These are examples of some of the products that Savage Screen Printing and Embroidery, in Clinton, is able to create for you locally.

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South Whidbey Yacht Club

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