I hope that you have had an enjoyable, if slightly unusual, summer on the water. I remember thinking back in June that thanks to COVID-19, the summer would probably feel never-ending. Well, I could not have been more wrong about that. In fact, I have heard anecdotally that many of you spent more time on the water this summer than in recent memory. What a great silver-lining to an otherwise difficult few months! Many, many thanks to Mark and Bev Lenci who, along with Anne Kolker and Nancy Cook and a cast of other contributors, published a magnificent weekly newsletter containing all sorts of information on destinations, happenings, curiosities and trivia along the coast of Maine. I am told that anchorages throughout Maine from Casco Bay to Eastport were teeming with CCA burgees and there were plentiful opportunities for friendly hellos from a distance. Those of us who were not able to make it down east this summer were certainly grateful to live vicariously through the experiences of those who did. Thanks also to Station Member and CCA Fleet Surgeon Jeff Wisch who has provided invaluable guidance to all the Station Rear Commodores on handling this unusual situation.
I know that some of us have been affected harder by this pandemic than others, and for those of you personally touched, we offer our sincere sympathies and hopes for better times to come. Whether you have come down with the disease yourself or have family members or friends afflicted, the experience can be a very lonely one, and I hope you will reach out to other Station members to reconnect. The beauty of our great group is that we are all linked by our common interests, and as a result, no one is ever a stranger.
As you all know, the Club has sponsored no in-person social events since March, and we will not do so again until we are able to safely confront the COVID-19 virus. As such, our postponed dinner at the New York Yacht Club will be postponed again, probably until next spring at the earliest. Plans for the Newfoundland cruise next summer are still very much alive, although we will monitor the situation during the winter. Likewise, your Station Summer Cruise Committee is holding out hope that we will be able to reschedule this year’s Station Cruise to New Hampshire and Maine for some time next summer.
We have two opportunities to “get together while staying apart” this fall as part of our Fall Gam. As you all will recall, Sailing Committee co-chairs Joe McDonough and Ray Cullum were hard at work on an in-person visit and dinner at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) this fall when COVID-19 came along. While we will be unable to visit in person until next Spring at the earliest, the group at WHOI has graciously volunteered two of their scientists for a virtual presentation on the Gulf Stream. This wonderful offer means that our members will have the opportunity to hear from two of the world’s most renowned experts on the latest research on the Stream, how it is changing and what that means for us as New Englanders. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements regarding date and time.
Also, in lieu of a formal Fall Gam, we have put a date on the calendar for Station members to convene at Cuttyhunk as a sort of cruise-in-company. As mentioned previously, we will have no formal events, but we will certainly take advantage of the opportunity (weather depending, of course) for greeting from afar – perhaps alongside by dinghy or during a shared (but distanced) walk ashore. I hope that those of you who feel inclined will join us Saturday October 3rd.
And, of course, our Station and Posts have been active in finding other ways to stay connected. All three Posts sponsored virtual gatherings during the spring and early summer featuring speakers and presentations on topics of great interest to us all. I am hopeful these great gatherings will resume once we all settle into our fall routines. As we did in the spring, the Station will be hosting another virtual cocktail party sometime in October (stay tuned for details).
In other news, I am very pleased that our Station was able to award three Trans-Oceanic pennants this spring to Howard Hodgson, Bill Jacobson and the husband-and-wife team of John Bell and Jil Westcott. While we were unable to celebrate these accomplishments in person, I hope you will congratulate all of them at the next opportunity you have.
I hope that all of you are well. As always, I extend my hearty appreciation to the Post Captains and Station Officers for all of the great work they do. If any of you ever have an idea or suggestion to share, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
Boston Station Safety Officer Brian Guck had a recent experience that may be a good lesson for all of us. Here's what happened.
One morning, a week ago I was heading down the Warren River out into Narragansett Bay when I saw a small flash of white along the shore of Rumstick Point to starboard. I grabbed my binoculars and saw a rowing shell moving along the shore. Except for that one flash of white the boat and its rowers were all but invisible.
We are in unprecedented times. Our normal way of life has been disrupted by a set of circumstances I don't believe any of us ever thought we'd see in our lifetimes. I have no doubt that many of our Station members have been personally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to you I say that we are thinking of you and wish you a speedy recovery. For those of you who have lost loved ones, I am truly sorry.