Welcome to the official Chesapeake Bay fall season! It brings to us cool temperatures and good breezes from the north west. This is one of the best and most beautiful times of year to be out on the water. Although gathering in large groups is not permitted, we can surely enjoy the Chesapeake fall on a smaller scale.
One of the traditional highlights of the fall is the Back Creek Yacht Club Annual Meeting where members gather and enjoy the comradery of others, while partaking of the complimentary food and beverage, and the opportunity to vote on a new slate of Officers for the upcoming year. However, like the many changes we have been experiencing this year, there are modifications to this event made necessary by the COVID-19 pandemic. I will explain these below.
The traditional Annual Meeting that is on the calendar for October 4th has been cancelled. Instead our Annual Meeting will have two stages. The first stage will be a Zoom event on Saturday, October 17, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. This event will be open to all members. It will include a review of the past year, a plan for 2021, and an explanation of how we may vote in the future for the incoming Officers and BOG members, and Bylaw changes. You will also be asked to give your approval for the slate of Officers and for a Bylaw change that enables electronic voting at future meetings.
The second stage will be an In Person Meeting to take place October 24, 2020 at a time and place to be determined. At this meeting, a quorum of members (10 to 12 or more members) will vote in person for the new Officers, BOG members, and the Bylaw change. This meeting will be open to all. However, your attendance is not required.
This two-step process is necessary because the Club’s current Bylaws only provide for in person voting for Officers, BOG members and Bylaw changes.
Because of the extremely limited number of Club activities this year, the Nomination Committee, with the BOG’s support, has decided to recommend that the Club keep the 2020 slate of Officers for another year. There are two exceptions to this. One is that John Yates has agreed to accept the Rear Commodore’s position which was temporarily filled by former Commodore Terry Bidnick. The second is that Chris Soucy has agreed to replace Patti Bartlett as the club’s Secretary. Here is the slate of officers for 2021 that will be submitted for your approval.
In view of the club’s recently improved technical capabilities, such as Zoom, and in a response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the BOG is recommending that the Club bylaws be changed to permit electronic meetings and electronic voting. The proposed changes make this possible and are shown below:
I am looking forward to seeing you at the Zoom Meeting and future events. I hope that you and your family are safe and well.
Tom Bernhart, Commodore
Back Creek Yacht Club
I certainly hope that all is well with you and your families during this oppressive heat wave that is hovering over the Chesapeake this month. August is here and hopefully it will bring us comfortable weather for boating. Pat and I are looking forward to spending some time sailing on S/V Magic. Magic needs a good run and time away from the dock where a collection of “lumber” continues to appear on deck weekly due to our persistent Osprey friends. So far, no home has been established.
As the “Best Virtual Yacht Club on The Bay” we have really been living up to our reputation by connecting with you through our virtual Zoom events! It all began with Vice Commodore Tim Feldman’s testing of the Zoom communication system with a few folks. Then on to a Virtual Happy Hour April 11, 2020, presented from his home to a small member group to introduce them to the concept. IT WAS A SUCCESS!!! He continued this protocol with more new groups providing them with these great Happy Hour events. On May 9, 2020, the Virtual Happy Hour was the first large event where all members received invites. It was absolutely wonderful to see everyone on the screen. And there is more. May 30, 2020, Captain Tim aired yet another “Happy Hour” from his cockpit on S/V Williwaw anchored on the Severn River. What a fantastic gift for all attending to see the bay waters via Zoom. Our new age events were made possible thanks to Tim, Jae and Zoom!
On July 18, 2020, Vern and Dorothy Penner’s Portuguese Wine Tasting Presentation took our Zoom adventures to another level with an extraordinary video of Portugal’s vineyards accompanied by beautiful music. Vern advised us what to bring to our virtual tables for the event. His knowledge and expertise of the Portuguese wines is phenomenal and he provided everyone with a sound understanding and plenty of fun. What a magnificent time we had on our visit across the pond, thank you Vern and Dorothy. And thanks to Bob Higginbotham for orchestrating the technical support.
Fireworks on July 4, 2020 while on schedule at Westbrook and Cindy Murphy’s Almshouse Creek neighborhood, members enjoyed them from a distance. A group of BCYC members anchored directly across the South River from Almshouse, on Crab Creek that afternoon. At fireworks viewing time, they observed the glorious rocket’s red glare from their dinghies at the mouth of Crab Creek. Molly Stone, who joined them was thrilled to return to the waters of the Bay especially for this Americana celebration. The fireworks burst of colors and designs were as brilliant as ever. Our thanks to Westbrook and Cindy Murphy.
I am pleased to announce that with our success in utilizing Zoom events to connect with Club members, the Club decided to purchase a Zoom license. Back Creek Yacht Club Zoom is fully on board! As this is a first for BCYC, we are putting events in place one by one. I am keenly interested in your suggestions for enjoying several more opportunities and innovative fun events with our new tool. I think that some of the following kind of events might be fun: Zoom training; watch a group movie; storytelling; picture contest; and games.
Please send your wishes to me, Rear Commodore Terry Bidnick, and Social Director Gail Higginbotham so that we may implement, with your help, some innovative and entertaining virtual events. We look forward to seeing your creative responses really soon.
In closing I would like for all of us to remember that the Chesapeake Bay is still there providing us with a safe and beautiful place to visit by land and sea. I hope to see you out there and be sure to wave.
Stay safe and well,
As I sit here writing this message, I am thinking about you as a member of the Back Creek Yacht Club. We come together to enjoy our passion of boating on the beautiful Chesapeake Bay from the Annapolis middle Bay to points north and south exploring her many glorious rivers and creeks. Whatever we do and wherever we go whether rafting up at anchorages or tying up at marinas, we have splendid times because to quote John Oberright, “It’s all about the people”. It’s about you – you are the Back Creek Yacht Club!
With the Corona Virus affecting us both as individuals and as a Club, we are making some necessary adjustments to our way forward. Effective today through July 2020 all scheduled club events are cancelled. As all of you surely know by now, the governors of the DMV states have requested the closings of all non- essential businesses. Further, meetings larger than 10 persons are prohibited and social distancing is the order of the day. Over the next four months we will monitor the health situation and hopefully before the summer’s end we can resume some of our scheduled club activities.
Meanwhile, Justin Tindale, our Fleet Captain, would like us to remember that we all have boats and we can still go places and get together on the water albeit at a distance. To this end, I am announcing that he would like to put together, over the next four months, a few weekend cruises to local destinations. Once there, we would anchor out and enjoy the scenery and your company. These events will be announced in the usual way on the website and by email. All members are invited to come along. If any of you Salty cruisers have some clever ideas along these lines, please contact Justin at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org and share them with him.
Now, if you have WEB feet, Bob Higginbotham, our Webmaster, is putting together a Communications Committee to help with website page design, publishing a newsletter, and other member focused communications. Then contact him about lending a hand, contributing ideas, pictures, etc. mailto:email@example.com
I would encourage you to keep in contact with your fellow club members via phone, email, or video conferencing to make sure all is well with them and to offer any assistance if needed.
In closing, I would like to share with you a picture that Molly Stone took several years ago around this time of year. When I look at this photo it always brings to me a feeling of Spring and the hope for wonderful days to come.
Until Pat and I seen you on the water, stay safe, keep well, and have some fun.
As your Commodore for year 2020, I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a very happy and safe New Year.
We enter our 19th year as the premier virtual yacht club on the Chesapeake Bay with our club continuing to flourish bringing fun and camaraderie to the membership through our many social land and on-the-water events held both in our home sailing port in the Annapolis area and in Stuart, Florida.
For 2020 we have a great team of Officers, Committee Chairs, Event Directors, Board of Governors and many Members working diligently to plan, organize and host more than 40 events this year! I would especially call your attention to the following members:
Be sure to check your emails and the club website regularly for all the exciting upcoming events planned for YOU this year! In addition to our bi-monthly events, we have four special events for which you should definitely mark your calendars. They are the highlights of the season!
Since we are a hands on club, I would also like to ask that if you plan to attend an event and would like to have some fun giving a hand, please contact the event Host or Director to see what you can do.
Pat and I are looking forward to sharing a splendid boating season of Fair Winds and Following Seas with you.
Best Wishes and Up the Creek!
Tom Bernhart, Commodore