Dear Fellow Yacht Club Members,

This will be my final Commodores Corner and wanted to reach out to you one last time and say goodbye as your Commodore. As I reflect on the events of the past year the line from the song Truckin’ by the Grateful Dead keeps rolling through my mind: “What a Long Strange Trip Its Been”.

Sometimes the lights all shining on me
Other times I can barely see
Lately it occurs to me
What a long strange trip it’s been

~ Truckin’ by the Grateful Dead

One of the strangest events is that I should not have even been in this position as Commodore to start with. That distinction belonged to Rob McNeil who died late last year due to cancer. It was a heartbreak for all of us. I have been humbled to serve as Commodore even though I could never replace him. Rob’s passing was followed a few months later by our dear, sweet, yacht club den mother, Shanley Lett. These were profound losses that will resonate for a long time.

Next shoe to drop was COVID 19 and a shutdown of our club activities. No more meetings, no more person to person interaction. Throughout all of these tragic events, the club, the members, and the board of directors have remained resilient. We have figured out how to meet on Zoom to continue board meetings, general membership meetings, a successful summer cruise to the South Sound, and a successful Lopez Cup Yacht Race.

The success of those events took a lot of us working together as a team and I am grateful to all of you for your contributions. We have kept the Yacht Club running and I am particularly grateful to Mike North for coaching me through my Commodore role,  to John Zaborsky for flawlessly arranging the Zoom meetings and keeping me on track, to Dusty Forster for putting the South Sound Cruise together under very trying circumstances, to Barbara Carver for keeping track of our new members, to Lane Langford for keeping the books and being the network information chief for the club members, to Judy Welker for her tireless work on putting our very successful Yacht Club website together, to Migael Scherer for her news line contributions, and to Dee Dee Lozier for her board meeting documentation. Without this team effort it would have been a very dismal year and I thank you all. 2021 will be better!

I look forward to our Zoom Christmas Party coming up on December 20th at 1800 hrs. You will shortly be getting a notice from John and Lane about the event. We will start out with the changing of the officer’s burgees. That will be followed by a reading from Migael of some of the more entertaining Dear Santa letters. Capping the nights entertainment will be a presentation by Audrey Bordvick about past Christmas events and other entertaining subjects that she has been very secretive about.   

Grab a cocktail and enjoy. 

Be well, stay safe. See you all on December 20th.

Your Commodore ~ Russ Johnson

Russ Johnson, Commodore

Russ Johnson, 2020 LIYC Commodore. He sailed 44 years as a master of towing vessels worldwide. Served as a Director of Safety, Training & Regulatory Compliance while at Dunlap Towing Company. Now utilizes his expertise in the field of maritime investigation and legal consulting.

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