~ from Perth, Western Australia
As Stan would say: Whelp, its been quite a year! Lots of fun at SPSC board meetings at folks houses with wonderful food and drinks (Fraperol anyone?), very successful events including some incredible figure 8 slalom racing at the Smith Regatta (Thanks Perry!), more silly games at the weather-threatened Rum & Rootbeer (Thanks Rose!), and the rebirth of freestyle at the Endless Summer regatta. I even got to introduce the sacred procession of Swami and the Festoons at the Wind Ceremony! According to erudite reports from out Purser, SPSC membership over the past year has been pushing 100 and since many of those are family memberships, we have been very successful in event participation. The membership success is a direct result of our lessons program and our dedicated instructors led by Bob Graves. Thank you all!
As I warned after being tapped for Commodore, I was off to Italy for most of Sept-Oct. and but then on to Australia for December and part of January to chase Windsurfer class events. Vice Commodore Kristin Korinko has had to pick up my slack and she very capably ran the Endless Summer Regatta as well as the recent Christmas Party! Well Done Kristin!
As VP of the US Windsurfer Class Association and soon (hopefully) as the North American rep to the International Windsurfer Class Association, I am getting involved in the reemergence of the original windsurfer. While here in Perth, I’ve met a lot of folks who had not windsurfed in 30 or more years, and were just getting back into it. They were very enthusiastic about how their middle age weight gains were literally falling off while they were having so much fun sailing with their mates. Others talked about changing their lives fighting to prevent debilitating diseases like diabetes, or as a healthy activity to combat work stress. Windsurfing is an incredible and challenging sport. Here in Perth I am gradually pushing the edge of my comfort zone, trying to sail in stronger winds and chop. I still have a ways to go but am enjoying the journey. Sailing is one thing, but racing, maneuvering on the start line and successfully finishing a race, is quite another. If I can finish a race in winds up to 25 kts, I will be very happy.
Here’s wishing all of the Shell Point Sailboard Club a most happy holiday season. Thanks for allowing me to serve as your part-time Commodore this past year!
Old Shell Point
Photo entitled “Shell Point and Live Oak Island”, posted by SPSC member Bob Strauss to Apalachee Bay Nextdoor on Saturday, December 2, 2023. Thanks, Bob, for providing this classic photo. This photo is probably from the late 50s / early 60s.
The “Crack House” (formerly the US Coast Guard Auxiliary Station, and before that a private home) is the second house from the left with the red roof. All of the exposed pipes and tree roots poking out of the sand on the sailboard beach are from the houses and trees on the far East end of the beach (far right in the photo).
What a week for some of us, getting there on Sunday November 12 and leaving Sunday November 19th. For those that came later in the week, the got some great wind, great company, and great food,
The weather was all over the place, with Wednesday being very blustery and drizzly, though I don’t recall any hard rains, so martinis and supper were moved to the clubhouse on Tuesday and Wednesday. All the other days were pleasant with our last day, Saturday, being in the mid-seventies, beautiful clear skies, and a steady wind from the northwest.
The food many of the people go together to plan was over the top, with white chili, tacos, soup and sliders, a low country boil, spaghetti, more chili, breakfast in a bag, and a waffle breakfast (you’ll never guess who made that!). And that just names the main dishes as there were too many sides to count!
Windsurfing was great! Joe, Chris, and I rigged 7.5s and sailed our old longboards with short fins every day. Chris had taken a regular fin and cut it down which worked well because it was still wide. With a northeast wind, it was very gusty, but we managed to find a good spot where we could get great wind. Wednesday it was gusting to 35 from the northwest, with lulls in the 10mph range. Joe started rigging his 6.5 so Bob decided to join him, and we both headed out to challenge the conditions. We fought the wind and the wind won! When you are sailing along on a 12mph breeze and a 35mph gust shows up, you dump air and try to get going again. It was too much work! Saturday was the best sailing day yet. The tide at 3pm was good enough to go out and the winds were steady between 13 and 16mph. With winds like that, Julie, Ryne, Bob, Joe, Chris, Danielle, and Brent were all on the water. What a great sailing day to end the week, though my body on Sunday reminded me of how old I am.
We have some great spots at the campground with a nice grassy area behind site 23 and 24 where we can leave our gear rigged up. To keep our spots, many of us have already made reservations for next year from November 17-24 (Thanksgiving is November 28th). St. Joe Bay only has one tidal change a day, and the water we sail in are very shallow which is why a short find is ideal. The water this time was very clear, and while I was sailing, I saw two sea turtles and Chris and seen some as well. When Sandy and I were Kayaking, I looked down in the two feet of water I was in only to see a catfish. Though the hot tub was not yet open, I was told it was just waiting for inspection, so hopefully that will have taken place by next year! The campground has also built a new pier that you can fish off.
Most of us, at one point or another, drove over to Cape San Blas to see what has changed in the state park and I can report that the state has done a great job in restoring it. The sand dunes are impressive with their height and the plant growth on them. There is a new public parking area with a boardwalk to the beautiful beach and there is a new campground with about 30 to 40 sites and is no longer under trees.
SPSC Club Minutes, Tuesday, 10/10/2023
Place: District 850
General Meeting notes 11/14/23 by Jack May edited heavily by Bob G
The meeting called to order at 7:19 pm
With so many people at Presnell’s, it was heartening to see 15 to 20 members at the meeting.
Commodore Mark: Meeting notes approved. He mentioned they were put on the Website 15 minutes prior to the meeting. "A motion was put forth to replace the Scribe with an AI; it fell through because no one was comfortable working the projector, let alone some more software."
Kristen XMAS party Budget: $1300 for Xmas party approved. Also, Wright mentioned monetary donations were preferred and could be handled by check or cash. Christmas Party is December 9th
Wright: Endless Summer wrap-up. "They're spending like there's no tomorrow!" "Wright was handed a Xanax and told to sit down." We made money and spent money.
Discussion of who will be a second for Mark Powell for Festivus since he will be in Australia preserving the honor of our club! The discussion went nowhere.
Training trailer update - $ 350 dollars to fix the trailer tongue. Wright went under the training trailer with Stan and declared no rust under the trailer!
Mark had two sets of harnesses to give away in a raffle and one pair was won by incoming board member Rick Upson and the other by Bob Andrews.
The highlight of the evening was Mark Powell's presentation on his trip to Italy. With the lovely Sylvia at his side, he was able to subdue the projector and present a nice travelogue of his trip!
Meeting Adjourned - 8:07 Pm.