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From the Commodore

posted Jan 6, 2016, 10:09 AM by Mark Butler
With winter finally settling into Everett and the first ice forming on the Marina, I got “surprise-invited” for a day cruise to Langley by Brad and the crew from Espresso.   We are dock buddies over on P-South so it is hard to escape notice from each other.  After we used BoB’s stove and tea kettle to heat up water used to melt the ice in Espresso’s outboard-motor mount hole, we got both boats out for a beautiful sunny day.  Doug Cooper was down getting Puffin ready for an overnight stay at Langley, so I waved and carved a path through the crumbly-light ice as I went past his boat.
 
The plan for the day was to get out on the water, look over the re-cut mainsail for Espresso, and grab pizza and beers in Langley.  With daytime temps barely cracking freezing, I made sure Brad and his crew knew that the furnace on BoB was working fine, and my auto-helm made the trip a breeze plus allowed me to go below to warm the fingers occasionally. 
 
After 25 years of racing in Everett, this was the first time I had ever been to the Langley Harbor.  I’ve been past “Fort Ticonderoga” many times as I delivered boats for out of town races (PITCH, Round Whidbey, Round the County, Northern Century, Swiftsure, Oak Harbor Challenge, T-Bird Regionals) as well as used the big floats off the marina as Race marks, as well as spent way too much time looking at Sandy Point and Langley on ‘Round Whidbey or Baby Island races.  But going into the Langley Harbor?!?!?  That is cruising stuff and I’m not too good at that.   But there is Brad in his “new” race boat, getting me to do a day cruise (plus that promise of hot pizza and cold beer.)
 
While we dined, we could see the wind building on the water and were looking forward to a downwind run back to Everett.  Espresso’s crew got just the right jump on BoB as they tested out their main and spinnaker set.  It took me a bit longer to set up for my spinnaker run, but with Otto as my friend, I was soon enjoying the breeze and the trip back home.  We both made home dock as night fell and wished each other Happy New Year as we headed home. 
 
My learning  from this story is that it is easy to get involved if you have someone to help.  I had Brad, Tom, Cheryl and Travis to show me how to cruise.   I thank them for the great day and introduction to the harbor at Langley.  One advantage of being part of Milltown is I have always found us to be friendly and inviting with our cruises and welcoming to our new and visiting race boats.  In 2016, I will give that “cruise stuff” a little more consideration, especially as Dave Motter, our Race Fleet Captain, has initiated “Pursuit” races that precede several Milltown cruises this year. 
 
P.S.  See you at the Awards Banquet on January 16.  We will recognize many of our members with celebration for race performances, dedication to the club and members, outstanding cruisers, a few “oops” awards and start our 2016 sailing adventures together! 
 
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