Message from the Commodore June 9th, 2020

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Leigh ChapmanI was halfway through the 42 pages of Virginia’s Phase II guidance last week when I got word of Hampton’s curfew and the tropical storm threatening parts of the southeast. The old cliché about “rolling with the punches” just doesn’t do justice to 2020. I feel more like we’re rolling with the bulls. I’ve heard HYC member Don Gregory say that he is still awaiting the flying monkey invasion before it’s all over!

I write today with good news and not-so-good news. I’ve highlighted them below so you can choose in which order you prefer to take your medicine, but please make sure you read it all if you plan to join us for dining in the near future:


We are staying open later this Wednesday so that you can sail and dine, or dine and sail, or just dine! Patio only, but the weather looks beautiful. Patio service available Wednesday, 11:30-2 for lunch, and 5 – 9 for your enjoyment.

We are also reopening the interior of the club this week! Thursday lunch will be served in the downstairs lounge and on the patio from 11:30 to 2, and the lounge and patio will be open 5 to 9 for dinner. On Friday night, we are opening the Commodore’s Dining Room, as well, from 6 to 9. Saturday will be back to normal (pre-COVID) hours, with breakfast in the lounge from 9 to 11, lunch from 11:30 to 2, and dinner in the lounge from 5 to 9. Breakfast and lunch will also be available on Sunday. The Curbside to Go service will continue through Thursday of this week, but as always, our staff will do their best if you order takeout and need special accommodations.

Almost all of our employees are coming back. This has been such a relief and great news for all of us on the business end of this crisis. We are excited to welcome them back to HYC and to (figuratively) embrace them. This homecoming of sorts is much anticipated and I, for one, am so grateful for their loyalty and dependability. We are truly blessed.


With the reopening of the club’s interior, we are forced to make several important changes to protect the health of members, guests and staff. The interior capacity of the lounge is dramatically reduced, and tables are limited. Only table seating is available and no one can congregate at the bar or in between tables as we are accustomed. I know; the idea of HYC without a bar is somewhat jarring, but the drinks will still be cold! To reiterate, the bar is roped off and diners must remain seated and may not approach the bar. Upon your arrival in the lounge, table assignments will be made by waitstaff at the main (south) entrance. The interior north entrance to the lounge by the administrative building will be marked ’emergency exit only’ to accommodate the new host-managed seating system. Tables and chairs may not be moved around or moved together. Reservations are accepted and strongly recommended for all planned dining excursions.

The seating for the upstairs dining room is similarly restricted. Waiting by the host/hostess stand will be the only way to be seated. Again, members and guests may not approach the bar to order drinks and must remain seated with their party. Reservations are accepted and strongly recommended. Party sizes are limited.

You’ll need to wear masks when entering the building and when not specifically dining or drinking. The restrooms will be cleaned at regular intervals throughout each day, and we ask that you wear a mask while using those facilities.

While I know these limitations may be frustrating for some of you who are healthy as oxen, they are designed to keep all of us safe. Remember that these relatively simple measures required by the Governor and the Virginia Department of Health may be protecting the life of the asthmatic child of your fellow member, shielding your friend’s cancer-surviving spouse from becoming deathly ill, or comforting the employee who is cautiously returning to work despite a spouse with heart disease. Many of our members still want to enjoy the club WITH social distancing for their own reasons, and their comfort is of controlling importance. I hope everyone can conduct themselves in a manner that supports our entire club family so that we can keep COVID from our midst and get back to the enjoyable things in life!

I doubt this is my last epistle regarding the pandemic, but I am thankful for so many of you who have reached out to let me know you’ve enjoyed my writing as a means of communication with the membership. It’s been therapeutic for me to work through the problems that arise with pen and paper (and keyboard) and try to tackle the myriad issues, thoughts and snippets traipsing through my brain! I hope I’ve added some humor and been able to bring a bright spot to some rather dull days. Many thanks to Vice Commodore Tom Morehouse and Rear Commodore Doug Miller for helping me organize thoughts into writing, and then to Rich Ash and Anne Shortt for putting all those writings into action. It’s taken a village, I assure you!

Leigh Chapman, Commodore