From the Pilothouse: the SWYC newsletter

August 2019 Newsletter

Commodore’s Message

More than a Club

More than ever, I am so thankful for the privilege of being part of the SWYC. Thanks to my husband Russ, I was introduced to this wonderful community and group of people that have been such an important part of our lives since we moved to Whidbey Island 15 years ago. Since the day that we became involved, we have benefited from meeting a wonderful group of interesting, fun, dedicated, and amazing group of people that have enriched our lives immensely.
I have been so thankful to have the caring and support that everyone has given me since Russ’s passing. It reinforces what I have always felt. When people ask: what do I get for my membership dues? I am here to tell you that you get a community of caring friends who are by your side through fair and stormy times, which means more than anything to me.
Thanks to you all for your condolences and support,
Debra Richardson, Commodore SWYC

Rear Commodore’s Message

AUGUST GENERAL MEETING-  Wednesday, August 21

In lieu of our regular meeting in August, we will be having a SWYC Social on our regularly scheduled meeting day of Wednesday, August 21.The venue is Bloom’s Winery and 5511 Bistro in Freeland, and I am currently working out menu choices and a time with Bloom’s. I will get all of the details out to the club by the beginning of August, so save the date on your calendar now.
Jim Rogers, Rear Commodore


The next Wet Hen Social is Monday, August 26. It will be a combination lunch and tour. The tour will be of Nichols Brothers Boat Building facility in Freeland. Katy has been in contact with Matt Nichols to finalize the details of the tour. Please mark your calendars now and be on the lookout for a follow up email with the details and time of the tour.

What’s in a Name?
There may be a name change for the gal’s group of the South Whidbey Yacht Club presently known as the Wet Hens! Commodore Debra has asked Patty Maxfield who agreed to find out if there was an interest in exploring possible options for renaming the Wet Hens. And so, a request went out for suggestions.
Patty received possible names from six different women. Karen Miller and Patty reviewed all the names that were submitted. They decided one parameter for the new name would be that you could tell it was a group of women. Think about your preference and consider which one you would like to vote on. Watch for Patty Maxfield’s email before our next social for your chance to vote. All gals, in person at our next social or by absentee will be able to place their vote. The names they would like to submit to the larger group, in alphabetical order, are:

Lady Mariners
Salty Girls
Wet Hens
Windward Women
Yes Maams


Karen Miller and Patty Maxfield have agreed to organized and be the contact persons for kayaking outings. That makes three of us organizing paddles, which will be at a variety of locations, days and times. Anyone interested in SWYC kayaking, please contact Katy at

Here are the dates with details to follow:

Karen Miller

Friday, August 16 & Friday, September 6

Patty Maxfield
Tuesday, August 6 (Mutiny Bay with Holmes Harbor as a back-up) & Wednesday, September 4

Katy Shaner
Monday, August 19 & Monday, September 9

NEW MEMBERS – Welcome!

Peter and Barb Grimlund
Buck Stockhausen and Victoria Farrington
Todd Chapman and Carol Dean
Sabine Wilma
Barbara Bennett


SWYC featured on!

Check out our video!


July 2019 Newsletter

No July 2019 Newsletter – Enjoy Summer and go boating!!!


Check out the feature Whidbey Telecom did on us for WhidbeyTV!

June 2019 Newsletter



When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills. ~Chinese Proverb

Thanks to the hard work of Erin Masterson the South Whidbey Yacht Club has a brand-new website! I hope that you all have taken some time to check it out and to update your profiles. One of the many benefits of this new site is that it gives each member to opportunity to control their own information and to provide an online bio as a way for members to get to know more about one another. The website calendar will also be your go to source for update information regarding club meetings and events.

I know that changes in technology can sometimes be challenging, (trust me I know), so don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions or need help in any way. Also please be sure to come to the June General Membership for more help and information.

I can’t thank Erin enough for all the many hours of time and hard work they donated to make this happen.

Sincerely, Debra Richardson

Commodore SWYC,


Wednesday, June 19, 2019


1651 Main St, Freeland

6:30 Sips & Chips 7:00 Business Meeting

7:15 Presentation on new SWYC website

7:30 Program

Don’t miss this Presentation:

“THE 2016 Race to Alaska”

SWYC member Jenny Goff will talk about her experiences in the Race to Alaska.

Jenny Goff has sailed over 35,000 nautical miles over the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and the Caribbean Sea. When she was twenty five she sailed with her partner from San Diego, CA to New York City via the Panama Canal on their 32’ Kendall sloop. She subsequently worked on mega-yachts and sailboats up and down the eastern seaboard and Caribbean, including three wonderful years on Walter Cronkite’s ketch Wyntje. Jenny now lives with her husband Kevin Dunham and their small daughter in Bayview. They raise goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, pigs and a variety of vegetables and fruit on their six-acre farm.

Guests are always welcome!

Please bring your own dishware to support our stewardship of the environment


Crab Feast Sunday, July 14th

Honeymoon Lake Community Club House.

A great festive event with Dungeness crab, burgers, and dogs.

Guests are welcome

Please ring a dish to share:

A To G – Salad; H to P – Dessert; Q to Z – Appetizers

3:00 – Cocktail Hour

4:00 – The Feast begins. Don’t be late

If you are interested in helping to catch, clean or cook the Crab please contact Bruce Morris at We also need Volunteers for the Following Please get back to Bob Eichenberger at

6 to 8 People to help set up need to arrive at 1:00

6 to 8 People to help take down tables and clean up

1 to 2 people to cook hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill (they will need to be there by 2:00)

1 person with a pickup to take trash and recycling -, very important

4 to 5 large coolers dropped off by 1:00 so we can use them to haul ice.

5 large trash cans for trash and recycling


South Whidbey Yacht Club will be once again presenting a float in the Annual Maxwelton 4th July Parade.

As in previous years, we will tow Lisa Irwin’s brightly colored Pelican “Crayola” behind one of our vehicles, suitably decorated with SWYC banners, and all are welcome to come along and support the effort, ride in the back of the truck, throw candy, hand out leaflets and so on. Just show up in the assembly area and look for Mike Scott, or Brad Rice. Thanks.


Ahoy, It’s once again time for your favorite volunteer activity – sitting on the shore of a beautiful lake and occasionally assisting the young, wet or frightened sailing students. We call ourselves the Beach Nannies or Shore volunteers. The Beginner Sailing Camps this year take place Monday through Friday from July 8 – July 26, at Deer Lake in Clinton (in the Deer Lake Haven Community Park).

We will have two 3-hour shifts each day (8:45-11:45 and 11:4-2:45) and aim to have two volunteers for each time slot, with at least one a female. This is particularly useful to the young girls since most of our boating volunteers are men. Our beginner kids are mostly in the 10-12yr old range, with a few younger teens.

Please email or text if you can join us.

Lisa Irwin, Beginner Sailing Program Manager

(206) 214-7456


Wet Hen Social

The next Wet Hen Social “Bring a Friend” theme is Monday, June 24. Do you have a friend who might be interested in learning more about the SWYC and would like to get to know us better before getting involved? Well, here’s a chance for us to share a part of who we are. The social is from 3 – 5:00 at Commodore Debra’s home. 3486 Camano Vista, Greenbank. 360-331-1434.

Please let Katy or Deb know if you are able to make it so we can plan accordingly.

Full Moon Paddle

SWYC kayakers participated in a Full Moon Paddle Saturday June 15 on Useless Bay. It was organized by Joel Shrut and WISK (Whidbey Island Sea Kayakers). We all met at John and Coyla Shepard’s home on Sunlight Beach Rd starting around 7:00 and once launched, headed towards Double Bluff and Deer Lagoon. The moon was bright, the weather mild, wind was about 7mph. It was an easy to moderate paddle.

Kayaking Safety Class

The Kayaking Safety class with Whidbey Island Kayaking is being held again this year. Six kayakers have signed up to take this class which is from 2:30 – 4:30 Monday, June 17 – Thursday June 20. The first three days will be on Goss Lake finishing up at the Langley Marina.

The Safety Class will cover:

Self-rescue – assisted rescue (Greater emphasis on assisted rescue since Krista encourages a buddy system while kayaking)
Safety equipment
Towing techniques
Communication plan
Tides, currents, navigation
Kayaking Dates

Mark your calendars for upcoming SWYC kayaking outings. As we get closer to the dates, details as to where and when we will meet will be shared. They are all on Fridays. 6/28, 7/26, 8/9, 8/23 and 9/6. If anyone has interest in other days and would like to organize outings, please let us know. More the merrier. Contact Katy or Karen Miller


This year’s FALL LAND CRUISE will is scheduled for October 1-9. It will take place in Ashland Oregon, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Salem, OR.

Activities in Ashland are centered around the Shakespeare Festival on Wednesday – Saturday night. We will also visit some wineries, a local chocolate factory, perhaps a Friday night Art Walk in Ashland, etc. RV’ers and tenters will lodge at Emigrant County Park, with RV’s in the RV section and tent campers in the dry camping area. For those without an RV or tent there are many reasonable hotels in the Ashland area. Those in hotels are welcome to join the RV’ers for meals.

Shakespeare Theatre Plays: Hairspray: The Broadway Musical All’s Well That Ends Well

Macbeth As You Like It

Cambodian Rock Band How to Catch Creation

Between Two Knees Mother Road

Alice in Wonderland La Comedia of Errors


Notes: 1. Penny Harger and Bob Boehm have seen Cambodian Rock Band, Mother Road and As You Like It and found the performances outstanding. Cambodian Rock Band was our favorite

2. Tickets for Oct 2-5 are selling out fast. Many 1:30 performances have only the most expensive tickets available.

In Salem the RV’s will stay at Premier RV Resort on Route 22 just west of downtown Salem. For those without RV’s there are a number of reasonable hotels in Salem.

Activities planned for Salem include: the Willamette Valley Cheese Company, Oregon Garden, Mission Mill Museum and wineries.

For further information contact Bob Boehm at


The U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) ROAM app is a free mobile application that provides an option for pleasure boaters to report their U.S. entry to CBP via their personal smart device or a tablet to satisfy the entry reporting requirements.

U.S. Customs& Border Protection The CBPROAM app also qualifies as an Alternative Inspection System that satisfies the boat operator’s legal requirement to report for face-to-face inspection with some exceptions:

– Travelers who require an I-94;

– Travelers who wish to obtain a cruising license;

– Travelers who must pay duties on imported goods; and

– Other circumstances as applicable.

To use the CBP ROAM app, travelers input their biographic, conveyance, and trip details and submit their trip for CBP Officer (CBPO) review. The CBPO may initiate a video chat to further interview travelers. Once the CBPO reviews the trip, travelers will receive a push notification and an email with their admissibility decision and next steps, if applicable. Travelers using the CBP ROAM app may use the app to apply to become Verified Travelers (which includes existing LBO, SVRS, and I-68 numbers) and receive expedited processing on future arrivals.

Travelers should download the CBP ROAM app from the GooglePlay Store or AppleApp Store on their web-enabled smart device. Note that a free account is required to use the CBP ROAM app. After opening the CBPROAM app, tap ‘Sign In’.

Travelers who do not have a account should ‘Create an account’ and follow the instructions.

Travelers who already have a account should sign into their existing account, and will be redirected backto the CBP ROAM app.

After signing in to the CBP ROAM app, users can create and save traveler and conveyance profiles. These profiles can be reused for repeat entry into the United States.

For more details email cbproam@cbp.dhs or go to

May 2019 Newsletter

Opening Day is a centuries-old tradition of the yachting community which persists wherever there are sailors and thanks to Bob and Kathy Rodgers this tradition was carried on and enjoyed by all this past weekend.

From what I have read, Opening Day has involved all kinds of rituals from: cannon shots over the water to break the ice, to hoisting a rubber chicken and a Jack Daniels bottle up the mast. For the past two years it has been my honor to carry on SWYC founder Ken Sasson’s Rock and Sword ceremony. Like all traditions it gives us cause to commemorate and celebrate the passage of time.

So, I would officially like to say let the season begin. I hope to see you all at one of the many wonderful events that we have planned for the coming season.


Debra Richardson, Commodore


The 2019 SWYC kayaking season, now in its second year, has begun. On Wednesday May 29th, Sue Ellen White will speak to our group about her experiences kayaking Whidbey Island. She has circumnavigated the island and is very involved with Whidbey Island Sea Kayaking (WISK).

For those who are interested in taking the kayaking safety class being offered to SWYC members through Whidbey Island Kayaking, the 2019 days are June 17-20 from 2:30-4:30. Monday – Wednesday at Goss Lake and Thursday at the Langley Marina.

Questions? Contact Katy Shaner (


John Crane was approved as a new member. He has a Laser and has had 60 years of kayaking in North and Central America. Welcome to the club John!

March 2019 — Gratitude and Celebration

Russ and I have been members of the Yacht Club for almost 13 years, and one of the things that has impressed us are the connections and friendships that develop.  I know that new members sometimes feel that it’s hard to make friends, but the reality is that the club provides the perfect opportunity to meet like-minded people and develop new friendships – friends like Leonard and Linda Good and Gordon and Karen Labuhn, who have been a big part of the SWYC community over the years.   Friendships like these have been the most rewarding part of being members of SWYC and the opportunity to meet a group of pretty fantastic people. One of the best ways to get to know other members is to volunteer to work with Club projects and social events.
I know that it is sometimes daunting for new members to feel as if they are a part of the group at General Membership meetings and other functions.  Kathy Rodgers and the rest of the SWYC Board continue to work on making all members feel welcomed and included.   I encourage anyone to let me know if you have suggestions on how we can help everyone feel welcomed and a part of this wonderful community called The South Whidbey Yacht Club.
Debra Richardson, Commodore SWYC

Continue reading “March 2019 — Gratitude and Celebration”

February 2019 – Mark Your Calendars

The 2019 calendar is set and ready, with lots of exciting activities planned for the upcoming year.  We are still looking for someone or some bodies to captain the spring cruise.   Don’t be shy, just pick a place and let the party begin.  Speaking of cruises and parties be sure to read the announcement regarding the Orcas Island Kayak and Club Cruise later in this newsletter.
The Board has already begun thinking about next year and planning for the next Change of Watch. We will also be looking for possible candidates for next year’s Board. Please let us know if you have any interest. By the way, Club members are always invited to join us on the 2nd Wednesday of the month.  Feel free to let me know.
Finally, I am sad to announce the death of our dear friend Gordon Labuan.  Gordon and Karen have been members of the club since 2011 and there was never a reason that would keep him from attending our meetings. We will all miss his smiling face and positive attitude.
Debra Richardson, Commodore SWYC

Continue reading “February 2019 – Mark Your Calendars”

January 2019 — Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you all! 2018 was a great year and ended perfectly with a fun holiday party.
2019 is sure to bring more amazing opportunities, beginning with three exciting General Member programs that you don’t want to miss. Thanks to Bruce Morris and Jim Rogers for planning the programs. Katy Shaner continues to make plans for growing the newly developed kayaking program with both on the water as well as off water events, including a “cruise” weekend on Orcas. In addition, there will be the “regular” club activities like; Opening Day, the annual fishing trip, Crab Fest, Land Cruise, and Commodore’s Ball, not to mention the cruises and all of the on the water activities sponsored by the YSA.
I truly believe the best days are still to come and with all of your help we can make it happen.
Debra Richardson, Commodore SWYC
“What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t even happened yet.” –Anne Frank

Continue reading “January 2019 — Happy New Year!”