Yes, it has been a long winter although spring is almost here! Days are longer and soon will be warmer. For me that translates into more time on the water!
I begin writing this month’s newsletter from the bank of the Nile River in Uganda. I have thought about the meaning – and indeed had the feeling – of true grit and realized that I am probably just too old to still be doing this! I spent two weeks getting here – following the Nile through South Sudan on washed-out jeep tracks averaging a forward speed of about 5mph, tent camping in 100-110 degree F temps in very primitive conditions. This is my sixth trip to Africa. Each time I have come here I feel a connection stronger than before. I was in So Sudan visiting very remote indigenous tribal villages. Why? I have a strong passion and drive, and what some would say is a crazy desire to witness and interact with people in tribal cultures that have not yet been irrevocably altered from “outside” contact. Experiencing indigenous social organization along with their art and culture gives me a deeper understanding of what it means to be human and a feeling of connection to my humanity. I am at a lodge here on the Nile in Uganda with Belinda. The tribal life of So Sudan is now behind me (and the A/C is on!) Indulging a passion for using a camera to create well-composed or artistic images, we try to get out on the river primarily during the “golden” hours of early morning and early evening. To be on the boat, suspended between the water and the sky, is to be part of a grander narrative that stretches all the way to Lopez Island. Something about being on the water speaks to us on a fundamental level. The gentle rock of the waves, the steady hum of the engine, the spray of water on skin – these sensations anchor me to the present moment while inviting me to explore the infinite expanse that surrounds me. Whether floating on the Nile River or cruising the San Juans or sailing across the Caribbean, being on a boat in the water gives a person a sense of connection to everything and everyone. You feel a sense of being a part of it all.
The water beneath you is a living thing, teeming with life and energy. The banks of the Nile teem with exotic wildlife and vegetation. There is energy everywhere – bloats of hippos play in the shallows, elephants swim the river and clamber clumsily onto land, exotic birds are everywhere like Christmas decorations, and gaping crocs toothily display sinister smiles. It’s a part of the grand ecosystem, connected to every creature that calls the water home. All along the Nile, in South Sudan, Uganda and as we finish our trip in Rwanda, we see people going about their lives and depending on the river – fishermen casting their nets, women washing clothes, children swimming. Here they speak different languages, wear different clothes, and practice different customs. However, they are all part of the same story that we live on Lopez Island. To be here is to accept an invitation to feel a kinship with them and a sense of shared humanity that transcends fundamental differences. Being on a boat on the water reminds us that we are all part of something much greater than ourselves. It is a call to adventure, an invitation to explore, an affirmation of our common humanity.
As this trip ends, the sense of connection that it has brought will stay with us and remind us of the infinite possibilities that await us in this vast, beautiful and interconnected world.
Our March 16 membership potluck dinner is next Thursday! See you there! Happy hour is 5:30pm and dinner at 6pm. It has been quite awhile since we’ve done a potluck! I believe that a Lopezian potluck is special and better than just about anywhere! We have a theme for this potluck – “Best of taste” so bring it on! Remember that there is no sign up for this dinner – just come.
Bj has lined up Matt Marriett from IMC to be presenter for the evening. His topic: “Getting Your Boat Ready For Summer” could not be better timed!
Melissa has planned a wonderful and unique North Cruise for this summer. Have you checked it out yet? I am amazed at how well it has been planned out and how easy it was for Belinda and me to look at the information and figure out how all or part of the cruise could work out with our schedule.
Welcome to new members Sue Meinzinger and Mark Bunje! I hope that we get to see them out on their North Sea 34 on one of our LIYC cruises this summer!
Barbara Carver extends a hearty thank you to the membership for getting the 2023 renewals done promptly!
Don’t forget about the first ever Ling Cod Derby on May 27. There will be a dinner following the derby and there are many ways people can participate in the event. Dusty has all of the info about it on our LIYC website. Please login, check it out, and stay tuned for exciting news and information about upcoming fishing events! John Zaborsky is also working on the Catch “n” Feed event to be at either Blakely Island or Friday Harbor…details to follow.
The Sailing Committee is working on the sailing program. More about that will be coming soon so keep an eye on the website for details.
Everyone keep ship-shape! I’ll meet you here again at Commodore’s Corner next month!