A yacht club’s opening day is a tradition that celebrates the opening of the boating season. A celebration of Spring, when the ice has melted from the harbor, and the boating season can begin again. Southern California doesn’t freeze, but we celebrate the tradition. The Commodore asks “is the harbor free of ice,” and the Port Captain replies “the only ice is in my glass.” Which he then pours out.
The day starts early. We took our boat from our dock behind our house to the yacht club dock. Twenty or so of our friends got aboard, with most everyone bringing an appetizer and a few bottles of champagne. We then take a little cruise around the harbor, joining other boats and salute our yacht club leaders. Then it’s back to the yacht club. The main ceremony doesn’t start until 1:00, but there’s always plenty of preparation.
Channel Islands Yacht Club (CIYC) is a self help club, which means that everyone volunteers in helping to run the club. Other clubs may have hired staff, but for us the time spent working with others is what gives us all a strong sense of belonging. I like helping with the cooking, so I went to help in the kitchen.
The ceremony is a combination of recognizing the people that make the club work, acknowledging other yacht clubs leaders, and a good dose of patriotism. The JoySea received the Bristol Boat Award for Power Boats over 34 feet.
Now the JoySea has won this award for the last two years in a row, but making it special this year was the fact that we actually had competition. The Ooh La La is a big beautiful yacht which has a pedigree of movie star owners. We won over the Ooh La La, because we have more equipment on the boat, and it all adds up for points. The good thing about the competition is that encourages boat owners to keep their boats in good repair and have proper safety equipment. At the left is the winner for sailboats, and I am on the right. In 2014 we won for both our electric boat and the power boat. So why the 2014 pictures. I accidentally dropped my camera in the water at the dock this last Saturday before I downloaded this years pictures. The wonderful thing about it is that I really needed a new camera and now I have no excuse not to get one. Yea!!!
After the Opening Day Ceremony, everyone eats again, alcohol flows, and everyone has a good time. Our festivities go on all day, and we finally get a ride home on our friend’s electric boat. Getting a ride home with someone else was always in the days plan. We leave the boat at the yacht club slip because tomorrow we will start varnishing the outside rail of the boat. It’s much easier to varnish when you are in a U shaped dock and can walk all the way around the boat. But that’s a story for another day….