Spring has finally sprung and sailing season has begun! After a long winter many of us have
managed to get our boats in the water again. It’s been great to see everyone clearing their schedules to help each other out and heave those masts back in the air! Have you noticed the excited chatter and involvement? It amounts to the vibrancy of the social side of the club. It’s here for you – join in! Membership continues to grow as the Board approved several new members including Walter Fedczuk, Rebecca Heller, Robert Hosko, George Kizer, Karl Noraas, Marsha Sager-Kurzweil, Frank Sykes, Lauren Whymeyer, and Rodger Zan Ichelli. Please introduce yourself if you have not already met them. How about our “overactive” Commodore? In addition to her personal activities and teaching, Kristen has found time to manage the club and keep the PSC crew in line! And how about the job Tom did with the Marina? Following our extended winter, and rising lake waters the McDonough boys got the docks in and grounds cleared and ready for another season of exciting activities! Great Job! Thank you again for your support, as always.
Our annual winter dinner meeting at the Willowtree Inn in Stroudsburg was a great success! The PSC family gathered on March 24 th with a wonderful turnout of past and new members. We enjoyed catching up with old friends, introducing new ones, and enjoying the delicious food, before getting down to business. Board positions were filled by appointment as permitted in the bylaws. Those at-large members are Commodore: Kristen Schmidt, Vice Commodore: Matt McDonough, Secretary: Renee McDonough, Treasurer: Judy McCoy, Statistician: Steff Seuween, Assistant Statistician: Art Werner, Events Committee: Alicia Esser, Education Committee: Kevin Detrick, Communications Committee: John Schramm, Membership Committee: Don Sproul, Ship’s Store: Matt and Renee McDonough, and Bylaws: Donna De Vita. Judy announced that we continue to meet our financial goals as outlined in the club’s bylaws and remain financially sound. Donna covered changes to the club’s bylaws. Several racing rule changes were also covered by Matt to help alleviate confusion and ensure fairness. Final orders were made to the ships store for our new Paupack Sail Club merchandise which we are all looking forward to.
Over the winter several club members made the trip to the British Virgin Islands! Namely John Schramm and his wife. As did Kevin Detrick and Alicia Esser. The British Virgin Islands, part of a volcanic archipelago in the Caribbean, is a British overseas territory. Comprising 4 main islands and many smaller ones, it's known for its reef-lined beaches and as a sailing destination. When the BVI took the full force of Hurricane Irma on 6 September, it was the most powerful Atlantic hurricane ever recorded, with winds that averaged 185mph, gusting to 215mph. Less than two weeks later, the islands were hit for a second time by Hurricane Maria. According to John’s experience what struck him the most was “The PEOPLE”. “They are rugged individuals. You heard very little complaining from the folks while there. Many were without power for months. Water for weeks. We debated not going. Others encouraged us to go... if operations were up, the thoughts were it was important to spend the money, to help rebuild by reinvesting. It was worth it and was appreciated.
Winds were up while we were there... never less than 20 knots, except 1 day (our last). We made the trip to Anegada, in winds 20-22 knots, gusts to 28. Swells were 5-7 feet. Our trip back was slightly higher winds and waves 2 days later, 22-24 knots, gusts to 29, swells 6-8 feet. It was entertaining on a 35-foot boat. To see the horizon disappear before a wave is always going to give your heart a little flutter for sure, or 12,000lbs of boat dropping off a wave into a huge shudder, of fiberglass and rigging.
The BVI’s might be a few years away from being its old self, but it’s still one of the greatest sailing
venues on earth. Proof can be seen in the crystal clear blue waters, the tropical flowers and trees, the great Anegada Lobster, but mostly in the people who lived through hell, and are bringing back paradise by hand. The trip was awesome and bittersweet. I’d go again just for the people.” – John Schramm
Race number one is in the books! On Sunday May 20 th seven boats participated and enjoyed good sailing conditions. The winds averaged three and half knots out of the north. The One Design boats kept well clear while the Race Fleet got started with my very own Enduring Freedom across the line first. Our callsign changed to True Lies in honor of our temporary skipper Tommy Mowatt who was at the helm for this race. With his expert experience handling her, we managed to hold off the fleet. The One Design boats passed us halfway around course 2. Some of us (myself included) need to spend more time reviewing the course map before the race to ensure a better tactical rounding. Following us around the pin was Vanquish while the other boats took the shorter route around the committee boat. This resulted in both fleets quickly making up lost ground. Keith’s J24 Anthem quickly took the lead, along with Doug’s B-25 Flip Turn overtaking Vanquish, Tom and Matt’s J80. The Oday 26 African Queen was quickly off my stern with Don Snyder and Donna De Vita in hot pursuit. The Oday 26’s would battle it out the last lap
while the Catalina 22s chased after us. The second lap saw Anthem first across the line followed by Flip Turn and Vandquish. Enduring freedom crossed first for the race fleet followed closely by the African Queen, Ecstacy, and 100%! Stef calculated the results finding after handicap adjustments there was just 15 seconds between The Enduring Freedom and African Queen, and 17 seconds separating Flip Turn and Vanquish! Overall Anthem takes first, Enduring Freedom in second, and the African Queen with a close third. What a great race! The second race in the series is scheduled Sunday June 3 rd . Please check to see whether you are scheduled for Race Committee remembering that the race prior to that event you are expected to assist with Picnic duty.
As we seize life, it slips away for others. Ours is more than a club, it is a family. We come together to cherish the many happy memories of those who’ve left the shores of this life to sail the skies before us. Sadly, we mourn the loss of our dear friends and sailing mates Ray Salapka, and Stan Moldawski. Ray was an avid sailor and close friend to many of our members. He was a very special person and a name I often hear spoken of very fondly. We also lost Stan Moldawsky. Stan was a very accomplished man and sailing mate who will be missed by all. Our club members have already come together making plans to honor them and remember their legacy. “I really don't know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it's because in addition to the fact that the sea changes, and the light changes, and ships change, it's because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea - whether it is to sail or to watch it - we are going back from whence we came.”
[Remarks at the Dinner for the America's Cup Crews, September 14 1962]
― John F. Kennedy