Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I Joined the Yacht Club

Regular readers of this blog will have come to know that I have a special affection for Massapoag Yacht Club in Sharon, Massachusetts and its sailing waters, Lake Massapoag.

I have been blogging about it off and on since at least 2006 when I wrote about Laser sailing with my son on Father's Day on Lake Massapoag using the pseudonym of Lake Whippersnapper. I know I often disguise the real names of the sailors I meet (to protect the guilty) but I can't for the life of me remember why I gave a lake a pseudonym.

And then there was that amazing day in 2008, actually the day before my 60th birthday, when I sailed my Laser in Massapoag YC's First Annual Laser/Sunfish Regatta, had a hell of a lot of fun, and actually won the regatta. I wrote about it with typical false modesty at Just One of Those Days.

And the day in 2012, which was so good that I summed up the experience at the end of the post with the words, "I don't know if last Saturday was the best day of my life so far, but it was pretty damn close." It was special not just because Lake Massapoag is such a beautiful spot but because it was the day that my son and I treated his two eldest kids to their first taste of Laser sailing.

The truth is that Massapoag YC is my kind of place. Ever since I started sailing in the early 1980s until I moved to Rhode Island in 2007, everywhere we have lived I have been a member of a lake sailing club. Often on very small lakes. Lake Massapoag at 350 acres is positively huge compared to a couple of the lakes where I sailed regularly. And the clubs I belonged to were all basically volunteer-run family-oriented dinghy-sailing-focused sailing clubs… just like Massapoag YC.

Don't get me wrong. I like sailing on the sea too and I appreciate the pleasures of sailing regattas at the grand old dames of the yacht club world like the New York Yacht Club. But being part of the community at a small lake-based sailing club had been part of my life for 25 years, and the truth is I have been missing it in the last few years. Also, even though the good folk at MYC had made it clear that I could sail there as a guest any time I wanted, I felt that if I was going to sail there more often I should do my part to support the operation of the club.

So a few weeks ago I sent in my application to join Massapoag Yacht Club and was quickly welcomed as a provisional member. Everyone has been very friendly and helpful and I raced my Laser there as a member for the first time on Sunday.

But that should be the topic of my next post…

1 comment:

Tweezerman said...

Ah! Lake Yacht Clubs! Nothing finer! Spent my late teenage years and some of my early 20's kicking around the Ohio lake clubs. Home club, Berlin Yacht Club. Pretty much a rectangular lake, maybe a mile long. Then there was the large Lake Pymatuning on the Ohio-Penn border, the Z-shaped Lake Atwood, The long and skinny Lake Hueston, the Hoover Reservoir, the small Cowan Lake and Chippewa Lake. Great times, great people. Nothing beats sitting under the shade of lakefront trees, feeling that cool lakefront breeze, sipping a drink after the racing. Unfortunately nothing like that near Annapolis.

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