Corinthian Yacht Club of Bellingham, Washington
Home Port Newsletter

122º 30' 06" W 48º44' 55"N

July 2018

Volume 34 Number 7

July 2018 issue:

Download this issue as a PDF.

The Next Potluck Meeting is July 10th at 6:00 PM

Commodore's Corner

The Lifesling seminar was a great success. It was a full day event. We spent the morning in class. We saw “Cold Water Boot Camp with Professor Popsicle,” a video of man overboard drills, and listened to Mike scaring the bejesus out of us all with tales of overboard horrors.

We had six boats and thirty folks in the afternoon out on the bay going in circles as each person got a chance to try “single handing” a recovery at sea. Bob (our victim) was a weighted fender, and I am happy to report that on the Falcon, Bob would have survived at least four of the six attempts we made at retrieval. (Note to self: don’t fall overboard).

The greatest lesson I learned was that even if you know the Lifesling procedure backwards and forwards, each boat responds differently which might require a slightly altered procedure. This simply proves the point of this exercise: practice, practice, practice!!!

I’d like to thank Jon Martin for having the impulse to jump overboard, thus giving us the motivation (“Don’t jump!”) to organize this class. Special thanks to Mike Reed who did all the background and organizational work and performed as instructor/mentor and sage.


I shall also give a nod to “the patron saint of stupid sailors” who once again came to my aid in my ignorance. I have had a Lifesling, block and tackle on board and permanently installed, a dedicated halyard from my mizzen mast for the Block (5-to-1) and tackle for over ten years. So, I was feeling just a little “holier than thou” when Mike insisted that we spend an afternoon on his boat to mentor all the skippers who had volunteered their boats for the “on the water” demonstrations.

Afterwards, I decided to return to my boat and do a dry run just to make sure I had all the procedures down and could be a better mentor to the five hapless students that I would have onboard the following week. I’m going through the motions: deploy Lifesling, pull in the victim to your lifelines, attach block and tackle…. “What the…?” It appears that my lines were crossed, halyard and blocks were ass backwards. Thank the patron saint that I never had to use them in those ten years!

For those of you unfamiliar with “our patron saint of stupid sailors,” we do not know the patron saint’s identity or if a he, she or it. But it works this way: You may perform the most boneheaded, rookie, life-threatening maneuver on the water for years with no ill effects, provided that you don’t know this practice is dangerous. The patron saint is looking after you. The day you find out…if you ever do it again, you’re toast! The patron saint will simply look away as you go down for the third time.

Now, my rigging issue was not life threatening per se, however, the patron saint saved me from a colossal embarrassment the next week. The lesson was learned, even if you know it all, get out there and practice, practice, etc.

Laurent Martel
Your Commy

Reciprocal Moorage

Cruising season is coming into full swing and many of you have already enjoyed the CYC cruises to Matia, Fisherman Bay on Lopez Island, and Prevost Harbor on Stewart Island. As you are out and about don’t forget that CYC of Bellingham has reciprocity with over 100 yacht clubs. Consider taking advantage of reciprocity in some of your favorite destinations or try somewhere new. The list of CYC reciprocal yacht clubs can be found in the 2018 CYC roster, but for the most up-to-date list please visit Yacht Destinations has great information on each location. Be sure to call in advance to get any recent information. After your visit, please be sure and send the yacht club a note thanking them for their kind hospitality.

Recently, I was contacted by one of our members who wanted to let us know about their fabulous experience with reciprocity in Port Townsend. They were attending the start of the Race to Alaska and found reciprocity with the Port Townsend Yacht Club. They had great hospitality and highly recommended the location for a visit.

For those located in CYC reciprocal slips, please remember the following when making your slip available for reciprocity -

  1. Please fill out the Vacancy notice and place it in tube on dockbox.
  2. Place the AVAILABLE sign into its holder at entrance to your slip.
  3. You may want to remove and store docklines and power cords.
  4. It would be a good idea to inform your neighbor or another member when you expect to return.

Some reciprocal slips have damaged or missing sign holders at the end of the dock. I will be working on putting in new ones this summer. If you are in a CYC reciprocal slip and need a new AVAILABLE sign please contact me.

Where ever your cruising takes you this summer may it be a fun and safe adventure.

–Greg Hartgraves
CYC Reciprocity Chair
S/V Blue Skies

2018 CYC Officers
and Board Members

Commodore - Laurent Martel
Vice-Commodore - Kathy Sheehan
Secretary - Roni Lenore
Treasurer - Joe Bartlett
Administrative Officer - Lesli Beasley
Membership Chair - Dave Hewlett
Race Chair - Sean Jones
Cruise Chair - Ken Russell
Reciprocity - Greg Hartgraves
Past Commodore - Steve Clevenger
Newsletter - Linda Benafel

Please support our advertisers!

Northwest Rigging Bellingham Sails and Repair
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Boundary Bay Brewery


Ahoy Cruisers! The weather has been spectacular and the cruising is awesome! However, school is out, and the anchorages are getting crowded. Don't let that stop you; there is plenty of anchor room at Sucia Island and beyond!

Some of our club members made it out to Stuart Island for the Turn Point Cruise hosted by Pam Spencer. She has a report on the cruise below.

I have not had much of a chance to sail this spring as I have been spending all my time prepping my old boat for sale (it sold!) as well as outfitting my new boat for cruising this summer. I hope to have the new boat ship-shape soon and head north up the Georgia Strait to Desolation Sound by early July. If you plan to be up that way, please give me an “ahoy” and perhaps we can raft up in the warm waters there!

July's CYC cruise is scheduled for July 14-15 at Sucia Island.

Some Sucia history highlights:

Sucia Island sits within the traditional territory of several Coast Salish tribes, who occupied the area for several thousand years. In 1791, Spanish explorer, Captain Francisco de Eliza, labeled the island as “Isla Sucia” on his map in Spanish.

The first known Euro-American settler on the island was Charles Henry Wiggins who moved to the island in the 1880s with his wife, Mary Luzier, a Cowlitz Indian. The Wiggins family had lived previously on nearby Waldron Island, but they left for Sucia after government agents seized eight of their children and took them to Chemawa Indian School in Salem, Oregon. The couple had five more children on Sucia and established a farm with fruit trees, cows and sheep. Wiggins Head at the southwest end of the island is named for the family.

Washington State Parks acquired 115 acres of Sucia Island near Fossil Bay in 1952. Later, developers wanted to parcel up the remainder into vacation lots. Seattle yachtsman Everett (Ev) Henry spearheaded a drive to raise money, and the Interclub (now the Recreational Boaters Association of Washington) was formed. The club paid $25,000 to purchase the land which was donated to Washington State Parks in 1959. The agency acquired the remaining parcels of private property in 1972, and the entire island became a state marine park.

On April 10, 2012, part of a femur bone from a theropod dinosaur was discovered in a rock on the island. (Theropods are a group of meat-eating, two-legged dinosaurs, including T. rex and Velociraptor.) The fossil was spotted and excavated by paleontologists at the Burke Museum. The fossil is around 80 million years old, and the dinosaur lived south of today’s Washington state. The rocks that make up Sucia Island are believed to have been moved slowly north by geological processes.

Hope to see you on the water!

Turn Point Lighthouse Station Cruise Stuart Island 2018


What a beautiful day!  We all arrived at the County Dock Saturday June 23 promptly at 9 am to be transported to the lighthouse courtesy of Stuart Islanders, Jim and Linda Bergquist. (Thank you to those who towed some of us who did not have power!)  We were briefed quickly and set off to work in various parts of the lighthouse station: washing down the two museums, cleaning the 1st keepers’ quarters, taking up old flooring in the 2nd keepers’ quarters, measuring, cutting, and laying down plywood for the new flooring, and cleaning the docents trailer in preparation for the summer opening. It is amazing to see the progress and the amount of effort that has gone into preserving the lighthouse station, the keepers’ quarters, the period furniture they have obtained, and the history that has been put together and displayed.  Absolutely stunning!  If you haven't been there recently put it on your list of Islands to visit this summer.  There were no whales to be seen this trip, so we all have to go back next year!!

Erik and Erin Green on Miren
Karen and Mike Reed with Diaz on Islander
George and Cynthia Boggs on Trine
Greg Hartgraves and friend, Larry Sasser, on Blue Skies
Mike and July Kirkland with granddaughter, Grace, on Shockwave
Pam and Steve with Darwin on Telos 
Bruce and Cindy Henninger with friends on Mental Floss

Mike & Margaret Jonas, Chip & Wiley Clough, Marcia de Chadenedes, members of the Lighthouse Preservation Society, also joined us, and Warren flew in on his plane!

stuartfloor18 stuartclean18

With such a great turnout the evening potluck around a fire overlooking Prevost Harbour was spectacular!  Bruce Henninger did a great imitation of a whale communicating for one of the Trivial Pursuit questions! Next time we will ask him tell the whales to come by the lighthouse!

Thank you all for coming and helping out!  

Pam Spencer

Fair winds and calm seas!
Ken Russell



I want to thank Jon Martin for arranging to have the US Coast Guard come to our June Potluck. They discussed details about how to contact the Coast Guard when you are in trouble on your vessel.  The speakers were BM2 Alexander Franzese, ME3 Samuel Rankin, and Seaman Kristen Pruitt. They shared the following critical information. When you have a MAY DAY call, and you have a cell phone, call the Sector Puget Sound office first at (206) 217-6001 instead of our local Coast Guard office.  You will get help faster.  

Every one of our club members enjoyed going out to the break-water with the Coast Guard members and shooting off flares to see how they react.  Mike Reed was out in his boat a mile from shore firing off different types of flares so that we could see what they look like. Three boats came by Mike to see if he needed help during the drill. Wow, it actually works!!!!  It was a very educational evening for everyone.  

Be sure and save the date for our next Potluck Dinners in the summer on July 10th and August 14th.  We will not have speakers until September.  If anyone one has a great idea for a speaker, please call Lesli Beasley at (360) 201-1669.  I really appreciate any help and ideas for subjects that you are interested in hearing more about.  

Lesli Beasley

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Lifesling Clinic 2018

by Sabine Sloley


Did you know that…
… more than 1500 boaters fall overboard in the USA every year?
… more than 500 of them drown?

Ah, you say, those people weren’t wearing their life jackets.

You’re probably right. Of drowning fatalities, 90% weren’t wearing their life jackets. (Which means 1 in 10 was.) Do you wear your life jacket on deck? Religiously?

Ah, you say, for those times when I don’t, I’m probably still in the harbor. And anyway, I can swim.

Did you know that…
…43% of drowning victims were less than six feet from safety? SIX FEET!

No way.

Did you know that…
…when you fall into water colder than 59°F, the 1-10-1 principle applies? You have:

One minute to get control of your breathing (stop gasping – this is called the cold shock response)

Ten minutes, max, of meaningful movement (like swimming, making a call on the radio, setting off a flare) before the cold overcomes your nerves and muscles (cold incapacitation sets in). After that, if you’re not wearing a life jacket, your chance of survival plummets. In short, you drown.

One hour, max, before you actually become clinically hypothermic, and are at risk of dying from cold.

Did you know that…
…the surface temperature of Bellingham Bay, today, June 20, 2018, is 48°F?

What’s a boater to do? Well, for one thing, wear your life jacket. And for another, know how to get someone out of the water once they have fallen in.

On the principle that the best rescue equipment is worthless unless you know how to use it, on Saturday, June 9, Mike Reed presented a Lifesling class to thirty participants. Mike started us off with a video on cold water immersion. In it, several lunatic volunteers jump off boats–under carefully controlled conditions and the watchful eye of rescuers, of course–and their reactions are documented. It’s an eye-opener just how fast these able-bodied men and women fail. We were quickly convinced that learning how to perform a rescue was going to be time well spent.
(Catch it on YouTube: Cold Water Boot Camp, runtime 10:04, published by NASBLASafeBoating.)

A video and handout on the correct use of the Lifesling followed, as well as lively discussion of what-if scenarios.
(Catch the video on YouTube: LifeSling 2011 – The Sailing Foundation, runtime 11:11, published by pkcweir.)

We fortified ourselves with coffee, bagels, and fruit, and moved from the classroom to the harbor where Mike assigned the class participants to the boats volunteering for the practice drills.

Before we ever got underway, we practiced “deploying” the LifeSling and rigging the hoisting tackle. Everyone got an opportunity to winch a “person overboard” from lying on the dock to back onto their feet. It turns out that a human body is VERY HEAVY. Let me just say, I was extremely glad for the mechanical advantage of the hoisting tackle along with the boat’s winch to get this job done.

As an aside, if you’re the person overboard, being hoisted by the Lifesling is not a very comfortable experience. But considering the alternative… enough said.

(Hoisting tackle comes in 3:1 purchase, and 5:1 purchase. Think about the scenario where the heavier person goes overboard, and the weaker person has to get them back on the boat and make your purchasing decision accordingly.)

Then it was time to put all the pieces together. We headed out into the bay, cut the engines and put up the sails. The weather was perfect for practice–enough wind, not too much. Long-suffering Bob, the weighted buoy, obediently went overboard. One by one, everyone got a chance to respond to the emergency. To make the situation as realistic as possible, we practiced as if we were single-handing. One by one, we went through the steps:

  1. Head into the wind, throw out the Lifesling.
  2. Turn the boat (tack)–don’t touch the jib sheets! Let the sail backfill.
  3. Sail around the victim, dragging the sling into their reach, until they have hold of the rope.
  4. Stop the boat–furl or drop the sails–while the victim puts on the sling.
  5. Pull the victim to the windward side of the boat (they should be on their backs to avoid having their face immersed) and cleat the rescue line so the victim’s face is well above the water.
  6. Take a deep breath. The victim is no longer at risk of drowning. Remember, you have one hour before the victim will die of cold.
  7. Rig the tackle–attach it to a halyard (main, jib, or spare) and raise the halyard high enough that the Lifesling, when hoisted, will clear the lifelines. (Note: the end of the boom isn’t high enough.)
  8. Hook the Lifesling onto the tackle and uncleat the Lifesling line.
  9. Hoist the victim on board.

A couple of notes: We practiced the rescue using a circle rather than figure-eight pattern to get back to our COB. The circle is faster and, if you’re single-handing, you’re much less likely to lose sight of the COB. Also, steps 7 through 9 sound simple, but they encompass many individual actions, and adrenaline or high seas won’t make the job easier.

By the time everyone had performed a rescue and observed several more, we felt much more confident in our ability to handle a man overboard situation. As my husband said, taking the class might just make the difference between having a moderately bad day, and having a catastrophe.

If you were unable to attend, make a point of watching the videos, and practice with your own Lifesling. You never know when you might need to save a life.

Special thanks go to:

Mike Reed, for organizing and presenting the class
Laurent Martel, for providing classroom space
Delayne Brink and Ken Russel, for providing snacks and coffee
And for their mentoring and the use of their boats and equipment: Laurent & Amanda Martel (Falcon), Mike & Judy Kirkland (Shockwave), Kathy Sheehan & Karen Heckert (Runaway), Bob & Sherry Jenkins (Windshift), Neal & Kim Bittner (Bluefin), and Mike & Karen Reed (Islander). 
Delayne Brink, Dan Lefeldt, and Don Beasley supplied additional Lifeslings and lifting tackles.


–Lesli Beasley (360) 201-1669
CYC Administration Officer

Do you have a computer or mobile device to keep your appointments and weekly schedule? Do you want to add CYC events to that electronic calendar?

Cruising schedule and other CYC events are listed on the CYC Google Calendar, which is updated periodically. You can subscribe to the CYC Google Calendar on your computer or smart phone or see the Events & Cruises page.

Need help getting started? Talk to Chuck Dingée.

July 2018

July 10: CYC potluck, SYC Clubhouse

July 14-15: Sucia Cruise

August 2018

August 3-5: Anacortes Arts Festival Cruise, Hosts: Bruce and Cindy Henninger

August 14: CYC potluck, SYC Clubhouse

Cruising Recipes

I made this dish for last month’s Pot Luck, and folks seemed to like it. Several people requested the recipe, so here it is. For cruising, you can make the mayonnaise mixture and shred the cheese ahead of time, then you just need to grill your corn-on-the-cob.

Mexican Street Corn

Serves 4

  • 4 medium ears corn on the cob, husked, silk removed
  • Non-stick spray
  • ¼ cup light mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • ½ tsp grated lime zest
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp ancho chile powder + extra for garnish
  • ¼ tsp minced garlic
  • ¼ cup finely shredded Cotija cheese
  • Lime wedges optional
  1. Pre-heat grill to medium. Lightly coat corn with nonstick spray; grill corn, turning occasionally until tender and lightly charred, about 12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine mayonnaise, cilantro, yogurt, lime zest and juice, ½ tsp chile powder and garlic in a small bowl. Brush grilled corn with mayo mixture, then sprinkle each ear with 1 Tbsp cheese. Sprinkle with additional ancho chile powder and serve with lime wedges if desired.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Below is a short video about Matia Island showing what a lovely little jewel it is.
Boating in the San Juan Islands | Matia Island

CYC Board Minutes

Board minutes are in Adobe PDF format.

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Homeport News

Send us your comments about the online CYC newsletter. Do you want to volunteer to write an article or do some editing? Do you have pictures for the Home Port News? E-mail Linda Benafel at

5 JUL 2018
Linda Benafel, Laurent Martel, Chuck Dingée, Lesli Beasley, Pam Spencer, Ken Russell, Sabine Sloley, Greg Hartgraves.

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Our mailing address is P. O. Box 101, Bellingham, WA 98227

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