Flag Commodore

Commodore's Corner: March 2018

Sailor or Yachtsman?

One of the benefits of having a can on the outer wall at Monroe Harbor is that when you are sitting in the cockpit, looking out to sea, the wall and the harbor itself are invisible. You are treated to an azure view of expansive water dotted, at times, with sailboats gliding across the blue, white caped waves. I know it is the lake, not the sea. The downsides of those mooring are often daunting. Yet, there is wonderful vista to be experienced there.

I often have difficulty-spotting Illuminator on the tender trips but am guided by an expansive American flag on the sizable yacht on the neighboring can. I have always admired his flag, posted high on the backstay, not only for its majesty but also as a signpost for where Illuminator is resting. Without it, I can barely pick out my boat from the crowd at that row of the harbor.

When I became Yeoman I was given a burgee to fly, signifying my noble position. I was in a quandary as to just where to fly this flag and how to position it among the other flags I now wished to display. I then consulted a number of books and, of course, the Internet, for guidance. In one of the articles they presented a complete rundown on proper etiquette for displaying flags. Among the comments was the warning that adherence to proper etiquette was one of the factors distinguishing the mere sailor from the true yachtsman.

What with all the work involved in swabbing my own deck, making repairs, and getting to about half of the needed work to keep my boat afloat the thought of raising and lowering flags every time I wanted to go sailing seemed an overwhelming task. On the other hand, it might be nice to be regarded as a Yachtsman. Maybe I could even sail in a blue blazer with a white captains cap! These are serious decisions for the captain to make.

Reed TornYeomanFlag 2in72ppiWell, friends, if any of you saw the yeoman’s burgee I returned to the club you can see that I opted for the easy way out on that aspect of etiquette. My burgee was so battle worn it had to be replaced for the new yeoman!

I still try to maintain as much of the proper etiquette as reasonably possible because I think there is value in tradition. This season I will work toward moving forward on the sailor-yachtsman continuum. I have a new burgee to protect!

 Summer is the time for leisure reading for the landlubber! Now is when we of the sea have opportunities to look at books.

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I want to recommend two book that I found inspiring. The first is “Sailing Grace” by John Otterbacher. 

It is a true story about a man and his family who are confronted with the need of a heart transplant and the desire to take a sailing adventure.

The second is Nick Ward’s “Left for Dead” which tells of his experience on a small sloop in the infamous Fastnet Race in 1979.Book LeftForDead 72ppi It is a powerful story that I have enjoyed. I will leave a copy of each of these books in our library for loan at our March general meeting.


Best wishes to all and welcome aboard to all our new members
Richard Reed

Commodore's Corner: February 2018

Hello Sailors!

Well, with winter in full form our thoughts must turn to spring for comfort. Given the enthusiastic sign-up at Strictly Sail, we can hope for a fresh new crop of sailors in our organization. We send out a special thanks to all those who helped in that endeavor.

We are excited about developing our sailing schedule for the coming season. We have the captains meeting on Saturday, February 17th to get fresh ideas from those who we need to supply the boats for our sails. We will take some time at out general meeting on February 19th to hear from all of the members regarding the 2018 sailing schedule.

In that vein, I would like to hear from the members what they most enjoyed about their favorite NWSA sail last season. We really want to know what works on our sails.

I hope to expand the ladies sailing program we initiated last season. We want to include more women and have already recruited other skippers to provide experiences on other types of boats in a variety of marinas. Please share your interest in this program by joining the group or becoming one of the skippers.

This is the time of year when boat repairs are also on our minds. We would like to help those who need work on their boats by pairing them up with members who have repair skills. With that in mind, if you are a member who has boat repair or maintanance skills and are willing to help other members with their boats please send me an email listing your skills and possible times you would be available. If you are a boat owner who would like help with your boat, send me an email detailing the type of work you need done and times you might be available.

I think this is a great idea and hope it gains traction. It might prove helpful, especially to trailer boaters, in getting more boats on the water this season. I wish I could take credit for the idea but in fact it was Marc Holdwick and John Morris who reached out to me with their idea. Let’s get behind this idea and get ‘em back on the water!

I want to send a shout out to my sailing buddies at Monroe, Belmont, and Montrose harbors! I hope we can get more sails going at our end of the lake this season.

Time to work on the knots and other skills for the 2018 season! I hope to see everyone at the February meeting.

Fair Winds and Trailing Seas!
Richard Reed


Commodore's Corner: January 2018

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Happy New Year Sailors!HappyNewYears2018 2in

I am very pleased to continue as a NWSA officer by taking over as Commodore for 2018. I have served the past two years as Yeoman and it is exciting to continue to serve this wonderful organization. I ask for your support in making this the best sailing club in the Chicagoland area.

I particularly solicit the contributions of the boat owners in terms of their input and greater participation in all of our activities. I hope this year will bring an expansion of our efforts in sailing education and crew training. You old salts have much to share and we all look forward to learning from your experiences.

Please share all your ideas and suggestions for developing our club to me or through Lorraine Klabunde, our Member-at-large. Make an effort to communicate with all of our officers, as we need your support and guidance. Thank you for your continued service. It is what makes our organization a success.

At our annual banquet we selected our new officers for 2018. We welcome the following new members to the board: Wayne Smith, Vice-Commodore, Steve Welton, Yeoman, Mark Blodgett, Membership, and Dave Hutchings as Technology.

Strictly Sail runs from January 10 until January 14th this year. It will be at McCormick Place again and we are looking for sailors to staff our booth and share their experiences with potential new members. It is through Strictly Sail that we have first contact with many of our new members. Your participation in this event is greatly appreciated. We thank Bill and Peggy Draver for coordinating this event. You can sign up on the NWSA website.

As winter begins to set in, in the Mid-West, we look forward to our annual I Wish I Were Sailing party, which will be hosted again by Bill and Peggy Draver. Our thanks to them for this opportunity to escape the blues and fanaticize about the coming sailing season.

Our first general meeting will be held on January 15th at the Arlington Heights Historical Society from 7:30 P.M. to 9:30 P.M. We look forward to meeting the new board and sharing your thoughts about how we can best enjoy the coming sailing season. Please plan to attend and bring your best tells of boat improvements to share. —Richard Reed, Commodore

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Commodore's Corner: Nov/Dec 2017

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December 1, 2017

 Ahoy Sailors.

This month we had our banquet on November 11, 2017. Thanks again to the 2017 board and officers who made our 42nd year extremely successful. We have all of the 2018 board positions filled!!

STRICTLY SAIL IS COMING UP IN JANUARY. We have the event on the web site so you can sign for any day and times detailed.

I hope those who attended the banquet enjoyed the new venue as much as Peggy and I did. The resort at Illinois State Beach was by far, the best banquet venue since I have been a member.

There will not be a club meeting in December due to the holidays. Our next scheduled meeting will be held on Monday, January 15, 2018. We will be having the turn-over of the Board dinner on Friday, December 8th at Francesca's Tavola in Arlington Heights at 6:30 pm. The next Board Meeting will be held on Monday, January 8, 2016.

Peggy and I will host again the "Wish I Were Sailing" party in March 2018 at our clubhouse so check the upcoming emails for dates and times of the winter events.

See you at the January Meeting!

Fair winds and smooth sailing,

Bill Draver
2016 and 2017 Commodore
2018 Past Commodore and Member Emeritus





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