Savages no more! On March 20, as the sun crept over the Equator bringing a warm spectacular summer to Lake Champlain, the club’s board of directors gathered to choose a new name for our club. I’m pleased to report that we are now the Diamond Island Yacht Club.
As we discussed at great length, this decision is both a good thing—to stop denigrating indigenous Americans—and an opportunity to communicate through our name who and where we are.
To that opportunity, we are hoping some among you will have an artistic or literary bent and can help us design a new logo and/or tagline for our name. The current logo is a picture of a gunship; any ideas for a new one? A tagline is an opportunity to express our personality. For instance, if we used the Kenneth Grahame quote from our website as a tagline it would be: “Diamond Island Yacht Club … simply messing about in boats.”
Once we have the new brand identity we will update our website and plan a big press announcement and celebratory event, probably for Memorial Day weekend.
We are posting the 2021 calendar this week on our website so that we can all plan our summer. Many of these events can be done safely like they were last year, such as Fast Sails and Cruise Week. But rest assured that no event will happen unless it can be done within the rigorous guidelines in place at that time. Safety will be priority one.
In this crazy new reality, boating is one of the safest forms of recreation. Let’s hope that vaccinations and safety procedures will allow us to share our love of boats and our lake this summer.
— Will Patten
Looking Ahead to the 2021 Boating Season …
“Nice? It’s the only thing,” said the Water Rat solemnly as he leant forward for his stroke. “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing—absolutely nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. … In or out of ’em, it doesn’t matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that’s the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don’t; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you’re always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you’ve done it there’s always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you’d much better not.”
— Kenneth Grahame, Wind in the Willows
Boating is one of the safest forms of outdoor recreation available. We all find refuge and restoration on the water. But that is probably the only thing we can know for certain about the summer of 2021.
Last summer many of our on-water events like Fast Sails and Cruises were still held with pretty good attendance but on-shore activities were mostly cancelled. In hopes that we’ll know more about what will be possible next summer, we’re going to wait until February to lay out our 2021 calendar. The rigor with which Vermont has complied with COVID-19 guidance is wonderful and we are hopeful that we will be able to have more in-person fun next year.
Safety will be our number one priority.
At the Change-of-Watch event and Annual Meeting on November 7, the Board of Directors decided to ask for greater membership participation in the management of our club’s activities. (We’ve spelled that out in our newly adopted bylaws, found here.) Specifically, we are requiring that when you renew your membership online you choose one of seven work groups to volunteer for. LCYC and Mallets Bay Boat Club have similar expectations. Here are the work groups:
- Facilities Team – Take care of the physical assets of the club including the tent, shed, A-frame kitchen and moorings. Arrange and help at spring and fall workdays.
- Membership Team – Promote the benefits of membership to the Lake Champlain boating community with social events like “open boats,” signage, club directories and with personal interaction.
- Race Team – Assist with the sailboat races including Fast Sails, Diamond Island Regatta and Cidertini. Serve as race committee for a race, help with scoring, set and maintain marks.
- Cruise Team – Organize events for members to travel together to various destinations on the lake, from a week long Cruise Week to weekend meet-ups around the lake.
- Events Team – Organize and help out at the signature club events (if we can have them) including the Chicken BBQ, Diamond Island Regatta breakfast and dinner, Change of Watch and Mid-Winter Raft up.
- Activities Team – Organize and assist at the recurring social events like morning Coffees, evening Desserts, Burger Burns, Pub Crawls, Skiing and more.
- Education Team – Provide opportunities for the members to expand their knowledge of boating, boating safety and the environmental issues and policies affecting our lake. Manage the intra-club communications such as Tell Tales.
We understand that there will be members who want to retain their membership for a year but cannot sign up for a team because of overriding circumstances. That will be an eighth option for people who cannot help in 2021.
Also, new this year, we have changed the date of membership renewal from October 1 to March 1, when our thoughts will be more focused on spring and the boatyard. Our membership fee was raised to $70 if paid before the end of February. Still the best deal on the lake!
Enjoy the holidays. Stay safe! 2021 will be a much, much better year!
— Will Patten