Dear Mates,

The year 2023 wanes, its days numbered like the leaves fallen from the trees around our lovely island home. I sit, reflecting on the events passed, their memories like the sea’s waves, unceasing and relentless in their passage. Our fun and interesting dinner meetings, the jubilant Opening Day weekend events, the splendor and variety of our memorable cruise season, and the grandeur of Christmas Dinner. Each a moment, a fragment of our experience as Lopez Island Yacht Club members where I have often stood as Commodore. A role more an odyssey than duty, marked by self-discovery and camaraderie, leaving behind memories as lasting as the stars in our island’s night sky.

From Rear Commodore to Vice, then Commodore, each step was a journey across uncharted waters. A path of learning, shaping not just a leader but a man; another member of this community. Volunteering – a word too meager for the task, was a crucible of service, joy, and impact. Each challenge an opportunity to grow, to adapt, to emerge not unscathed but stronger, like driftwood shaped by the sea.

The camaraderie here, it is like no other. Aboard sailboats and powerboats alike, our shared love for the water forges bonds deeper than the ocean. Amongst you all, I’ve found a sense of belonging as steadfast as the tides. Your support, a constant current pushing me onward, filling the sails of my tenure as Commodore.

This club is an island in a world torn by divisive currents. It’s a refuge where our shared passion for the sea rises above the stormy waters of politics and religion. Here, humanity and understanding are the anchors that hold us firm, our unity a beacon in the fog of turbulence and disagreement. In a world upset by polarization, our club stands as a symbol of friendship and acceptance, prevailing over individual differences. This profound sense of belonging and unity is the club’s greatest gift.

I remember my first LIYC meeting, a stranger drawn to the call of the sea and its guardians. The acceptance was immediate, as enveloping as the sea’s embrace. Time has seen board members come and go, each leaving their mark, shaping the club with dedication and commitment.

Every past Commodore, particularly those who were close friends, stood as an inspiration, their stories and achievements illuminating the path I would eventually follow.

Walking in their footsteps has been both humbling and elevating, much like the protagonist in a novel experiencing a journey of self-discovery and growth. Each leadership moment has been an homage to those who preceded me, teaching me the value of legacy and mentorship.

In this role, I’ve relished the joy and importance of giving back. It has been gratifying to watch our club thrive and its membership grow. This role has underscored the timeless truth that giving enriches us with growth, fulfillment, and the satisfaction of seeing our community flourish.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to every current LIYC board member for your exceptional dedication and tireless efforts. With deep appreciation, I give special acknowledgment to Bj and Lane for adeptly filling in during my winter absences, especially for their exemplary management of this year’s Christmas Dinner. The support from the entire board during my times in Mexico and Africa this past year has been
essential, and I greatly appreciate your assistance.

Writing the monthly Commodore’s Corner has been a journey filled with privilege and joy. It has allowed me to forge deeper connections with each of you, share our collective wisdom, celebrate our triumphs, and navigate our shared experiences. This wouldn’t have been possible without the steadfast support and encouragement of Belinda, my beloved wife and skilled editor, whose grace and wisdom have been my constant guide.

And so, as I lay my pen down – my final act as Commodore, I offer my deepest gratitude for the trust, support, and friendship you have generously given me. This voyage has been more that just a journey; it has been a rich tapestry woven from many experiences, lessons learned, and from memories that will forever be a part of our shared history.

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