On December 16th, 2016, I was elected by a majority of the Marina Sunday Sailing Club’s membership to the office of the commodore. For that honor and for the rest of 2017, you can call me Commodore Lucky — lucky because I’ve been given the privilege of associating with the finest bunch of people I’ve ever known.
The club is comprised of a variety of different people, people who work in a variety of different jobs and hail from a variety of different backgrounds. But the one thing they all have in common is a love for sailing. A good number of them are skippers, a handful are highly thought of as first mates, and all of the rest are deckhands — crew.
Twice a month, we come together as a club, enjoy a great brunch, and then go sailing. We see what you’d expect to see out on the water: sea lions, dolphins, and, when the season is right, whales. We stand in awe of incredible sunsets, we sail under a full moon during the occasional dinner cruises. We bend the wind to our will and sail to islands and other ports of call. But, as cool as those sights might be, as cool as a weekend on Catalina or the Channel Islands might be, the reason we continue to get together is because of the people — the best people I’ve ever known.
Let me tell you about a few of them:
Jim is an old salt. He’s been sailing for more than sixty-years. He’s sailed to and from Hawaii on multiple occasions and he once hailed a Royal Australian Destroyer while on maneuvers — when they should have been on radio silence — because he needed medical attention for an infected knee. He’s got more stories of his experiences than any other fifty sailors combined.
Mitchell, pictured above, has been sailing the same Soling for thirty years. Under his control, his boat hums. Mitchell has the rare ability to unconsciously make slight adjustments to the trim of his sails in response to the slightest change in the wind’s direction. The man is a sailing phenom. He’s even sailed his boat backwards!
Mark is the club’s professor. Ask him a question about anything and he’s happy to tell you all about it. But, if you have a problem with your boat, he’s the guy who knows how to fix it. And if you ask for his help, he’s there until the job is done. And, like the rest of life, when it comes to sailing, Mark has the answer.
There are sixty other men and women in the club that I could write about. Each of them, I’m please to say, is a friend. And when we’re not sailing, we’re socializing.
What could be better?
Nothing. That’s why I’m so lucky. I found the greatest group of people I’ve ever known.