COMMODORE’S LET TER TO THE MEMBERSHIP June 2020

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Leigh ChapmanWhile I don’t exactly consider my beloved father a philosopher, he did share a true gem many years ago as I was shopping for my first real car that wasn’t a hand-me-down. It was 1998, and I had my eye on a ’97 Candy Apple Red convertible Mustang. He had test driven it with me that day and I asked him at dinner if he thought I should go ahead and buy it. He carefully stated, “Honey, sometimes you do something with your heart, and sometimes you do it with your head. Which is this?” Obviously, being a red convertible, it was a “heart-inspired” purchase. I bought the car, installed a tow hitch, latched on my Hampton One-Design and headed up the road. In retrospect, I’m not sure what Dad was really advising, but luckily the car treated me well for many years.

I have thought about his advice often in the past week or so as we begin to get into the weeds on reopening various aspects of the club. Is the answer I’m giving based on how I feel, or is it based on what I know to be true? My head says we have to honor the State and local rules, but my heart says we are duty-bound to protect our members and staff with policies and procedures that might go beyond those minimums. My head looks at the numbers and the declining revenues, but my heart pushes those to the side a bit as we take tender, tentative first steps toward our new normal and our new numbers. My heart wants all the sailing, racing, cruising and parties to resume ASAP, but my head knows that could be risky and so we, your leaders, gather our collective heads and hearts and painstakingly hammer out our answers, one by one.

Only one thing is certain; we are sure to get some of it wrong. It is my constant hope and worry that, in our errors, we do not bring illness or financial ache to our members or the club. I also sincerely hope that, in our victories, we find a way forward that honors our collective love of the Bay and all the joy that being on or near the water brings us as it has the HYC members who came before and those who will come after.

I hope that each of you can find a way to enjoy the Bay this summer, to languish in the long sunny days and sense the sun warming your skin, to absorb every moment of a beautiful sunset on the horizon, to anchor out on a peaceful night and watch the skimmers do their dance, to experience the rush of water beneath the hull as the wind quickens, to see the phosphorescence in your wake at night, to feel the pole bend and catch against your tug when that fish hooks, to taste a fresh crab cake from that day’s chicken-neckin’, or to smell the fresh “boat coffee” after a long night on watch. These are the life experiences that allow the heavy heart and the busy head to align and to know that, while all is definitely not right in the world, all can most certainly be right for a few fleeting moments on the water!