From the Pilothouse: the SWYC newsletter

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

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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

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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

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