Thank you for making the Installation of Officers a very memorable evening. In particular the food prepared by Dave and Debbie Gonzalez with the help of Joanne Gonzalez, Georgene Smith and Laurie Von Ruden was simply outstanding. Thanks also to Paula Lewis, Susan LeBas, Nena Andrews and Bev Bruins for the cake, champagne and decorations. Thanks to the cleanup crew Dan Robinson, John Watson, Bruce Franklin, Chris Rowland, and Kris O'brien. PC Billings thanks for conducting the installation. Capt. Gonzalez you and BMC Vance Vaught USCG, Ret were superb as Officer of the Deck and piper respectively.
To Ex-Commodore Norton, I thank you for a wonderful two years under your tutelage. Your attention to detail, foresight, and meticulous planning will be hard to follow. I appreciate your sense of duty to the club, your sense of humor (you even laugh at my jokes) and your professional and gentlemanly demeanor. Mostly I appreciate your friendship and as I described in my incoming Commodore's speech I regard you as a shipmate. As I viewed the impending change of watch I was buoyed by the excitement of the challenges unique to the Commodore tour but also somewhat depressed as I knew you would not be by my side for the upcoming year. I can usually assemble words in a reasonably intelligent fashion to express my thoughts but I am somewhat at a loss to find the adequate phrasing to thank you in a manner worthy of what you meant to me during my Rear and Vice years. Ray, to you and Crystal, from Ruth and me, thank you so very, very much for such an enriching experience.
With the bridge officers of Vice Commodore Dan Saikkonen, Rear Commodore John Burwell, Secretary (and new member) Buzz Priestley, Treasurer Maralee Ormiston and Asst Treasurer Anita Albright I know I have exceptional talent and experience. The Executive Committee led by the well-known and skilled Captain Bill Harris I am confident the club is in good hands.
As far as the club is concerned I want to, using a coaching metaphor, get back to basics. We have had many significant challenges in the recent past, the formulation of a sound marina sustainment plan, completing the terrific remodeling of the club, and developing and approving solutions to the septic field issues and the fire suppression system are the major challenges. Thanks to the able and dedicated efforts of our own talented club members those challenges have been met and conquered. So what I mean by getting back to basics is the reason most of us are members of the yacht club. We have boats and we like to boat. So, with those challenges, which took so much of our energy and resources, behind us, it is time to rediscover the joy of boating. The joy of boating is a twofold winner as we not only get to enjoy the best cruising waters on the planet and enjoy it twelve months of the year but we may also rediscover the joy of boating with family and friends. Here is a phrase for you to think about, "more boating less by law changes, more recreation less regulation changes".
Stay tuned in to the calendar and study the club cruises. Note the Big Brother Cruise to the Queen City Yacht Club Outstation June 26-28 and the Dinghy Cruise to the Boat Shed restaurant July 19th. Don’t forget the Picnic in he Park June 17th.
Nautical Trivia: Port holes - The word "port hole" originated during the reign of Henry VI of England (1485.) King Henry insisted on mounting guns too large for his ship and the traditional methods of securing these weapons on the forecastle and aftcastle could not be used. A French shipbuilder named James Baker was commissioned to solve the problem. He put small doors in the side of the ship and mounted the cannon inside the ship. These doors protected the cannon from weather and were opened when the cannon were to be used. The French word for "door" is "porte" which was later Anglicized to "port" and later went on to mean any opening in the ship's side, whether for cannon or not.