Corinthian Yacht Club of Bellingham, Washington
Home Port Newsletter

122º 30' 06" W 48º44' 55"N

October 2020

Volume 36 Number 10

October 2020 issue:

Download this issue as a PDF.

The next CYC Zoom meeting is Tuesday October 13th!


Commodore's Corner

The Italians

I was cooking up a favorite the other night Fettuccini Vongole (pasta and clams) and reflected on my introduction to this recipe.

My years in the wine trade has allowed for many trips to the Italian peninsula. I have never known a country where the traditions in wine (more than 1000 grape varieties) and the cuisine more diverse, where the distances were so small but mattered so greatly. I quickly learned that one must never, ever, compliment the food or wine of another region. You will quickly receive the Italian finger wag (index finger only) and sternly admonished: “No, no, no, the very best wines, the very best cuisine is right here!”(finger now pointing at the ground beneath you)! “We just cannot be certain about those people over there.” Meaning their neighbors in the adjacent hill town 25 miles away.

That said, I have discovered one constant of Italian cuisine. It is true from Piedmont in the north, the Island of Sardegna to the toe of Apulia. If a pasta dish incorporates shellfish or any seafood, THERE WILL BE NO CHEESE!

David, a friend of mine, hired by an Italian wine importing company was on his first Winebow junket in Tuscany and happened to be seated next to Leonardo (the owner) at dinner. The pasta course was Fettuccini Vongole, and he absently reached for the dish of grated Parmesan and ladled some over the clams. Leonardo (who hails from Sicily) leaned over to him and quietly said: ”If you ever do that again, you’re fired!”
Welcome to the company!

A few years later, I met an Italian winemaker, Urs Vetter, who represented the wines of Alois Lageder. Blond and blue-eyed native of the Alto-Adige, Vetter hardly sounds Italian. It is the confused region closest to Austria. If you face north, the road signs read: Alto-Adige. If you turn south they might read: Sud-Tyrol. Urs was on what we lovingly called “The Winebow Death March.” Fourteen American cities in 21 days, glad-handing retail supporters during the day and wine dinners every night promoting the wines of his region.

He was at Noble Wines to make a presentation to our sales staff and afterwards, he and I began to chat. Well, one cannot talk about Italian wine without talking food, and next thing I knew, we were talking boats. It turns out Urs is an avid sailor. When the conversation ended, I had invited him sailing. He said to me: “I have a couple days off before heading for San Francisco. I’ll bring the wine and I’ll cook for you!” He was so excited, I just couldn’t say no.

The next morning I got a call from David (yep, still employed by Leonardo). “ So Laurent, were you aware that Urs is expecting an overnight cruise in the San Juans?” Oops! I immediately called Vic, my wine buyer at our downtown Co-op. If you are playing hooky on a Monday and the boss calls, you’d better have a good excuse.

The Italian flag was flying from my masthead when the three of us set out that afternoon. It was a perfect day for sailing, 70+ sunny degrees and a solid westerly. We raised all canvas, main, mizzen and fore sail, comfortably healed over doing 6 knots. The smoked salmon with capers and red onion was on the cockpit table well lubricated by Lageder’s crisp, dry, Pinot Bianco. The conversation lively, we were livin’ large!

Headed for Eagle Harbor, I looked over to Vendovi off our port side, then over to Sinclair on our starboard…. double take… but the knot meter read 5 ½ knots?! I pulled out my cell phone and checked Nav-X…SOG- 0.0 knots!!! The incoming tide completely negated our forward progress. We were going nowhere very, very fast! It took me a few minutes to overcome my embarrassment, (next time idiot, check the tide charts), but I knew I would have to fess up before my crew noticed something was amiss:

“Gentlemen,” I began, and then outlined our options, one of which meant pulling in the sails and starting the “iron Jenny”.

There was silence as Urs and Vic looked around and took stock of our position. Finally, Urs grabbed the bottle: ” Here”, he said:” have another glass of wine.” Sometimes, it is more important to simply enjoy the moment.

We continued going nowhere (and having a fine time of it) until eventually the tide slacked, and we began making forward progress. After grabbing a buoy and a long walk on Cypress, Urs went to work in my galley. What’s for dinner? Fettucini Vongole of course (see recipe below). Dinner served up, wine was poured, I just had to ask: “So Urs, how about a bit of grated parmesan on our clams?” The response was immediate and definitive: “ I would never allow such an abomination!” Ha! I chortled, its true!

I am convinced that the Italian prohibition on cheese added to seafood pasta is the only custom that keeps that peninsula united!

Recipe below at the end of the newsletter

Your Commy,

2020 CYC Officers
and Board Members

Commodore - Laurent Martel
Vice-Commodore - Kathy Sheehan
Secretary - Mary Durbrow
Treasurer - Jon Martin
Education - Andreas Weinrich
Membership - Ken Russell
Race - Sean Jones
Cruise - Greg Hartgraves
Reciprocity - Greg Hartgraves
Past-Commodore - Steve Clevenger
Newsletter - Mike Reed
Webmaster - Chuck Dingée
(Email Title at

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Dear members,

Fall arrived with fanfare right after equinox, bringing high winds and rain. It seems to me that summer has zoomed by way too fast but I’m enjoying the cooler temps and the last week has been just beautiful for cruising the islands.

Our October zoom potluck meeting is just 10 days away, on Tuesday, October 13 at 7 PM. Please tune in, we will be discussing our CYC 2021 budget and welcome your input.

For this months potluck presentation, we will have members sharing their recent cruising adventures, including Delayne Brink who will talk about his Columbia Gorge trip.

Looking forward to seeing you all virtually on October 13,

Andreas Weinrich, Executive Officer & Education

Here's the login information for our zoom meeting:

Topic: CYC's Monthly Potluck Meeting (temporary on Zoom)

Time: November 10, 2020 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Please note that this is a recurring meeting and the same meeting ID and Password will apply to all our future potluck meetings (starting with this meeting).

Zoom Meeting by using a browser:

Simply click on this link (or copy and paste it into the address area at the top of your browser window):
then follow the directions to join with video and sound.

Join Zoom Meeting by using the Zoom App:

  • Start up the app and enter the following when prompted:
    Meeting ID: 847 6790 5855 
Password: 586637

Join Zoom Meeting by calling-in on your smartphone:

  • One tap mobile:
+12532158782,,#,84767905855,1#,586637# US (Tacoma)

  • Dial by your location:
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
  • In both cases use:
    Meeting ID: 84767905855
    Password: 586637

Editor’s Notes

As Andreas pointed out in his message above Fall has arrive with October right with it.

Fall is an important time for CYC Bellingham as we not only gather, albeit via zoom, to share summer boating experiences but Fall brings with it the time to plan a budget for the next year and along with it election of Board Officers for the next year.

The Board is, as I write this, preparing a budget for 2021 that we should be voting on at the upcoming October Meeting. Watch for the proposed Budget to be arriving in your email in box soon.

Our By-Laws state that we will vote on a proposed slate of Board Officers at the November meeting. Hopefully Commodore Laurent will give us a heads up at the October meeting on the progress being made towards that election.

Sunrise Moonrise
With You At Last

Fall has always been an important time for Karen and I to go cruising. In a normal year you would find us north of here, usually in the Gulf Islands. But this year we stayed closer to home in the San Juans. Saturday brought us home from six lovely days at Sucia Island. While fog and to some extent smoke, colored our days the trip was both relaxing and enjoyable. While there we manage to run into Neil Bittner soloing Salish Song and Delayne and Vicki Brink on With You At Last. Both encounters provided opportunities for properly socially distance meetings on the beach in Echo Bay. We were all provided the opportunity to practice using radar for navigation in reduced visibility. Happily we all made it to our destinations safely though with a few more gray hairs.

We did encounter one mystery while at Sucia. While tied to a buoy in Ewing cove we watched the San Juan Sailing charter boat Breeze exit with a CYC Burgee flying. After trying to raise them on channel 16 without any luck we spent close to an hour trying to guess who that might have been. Was it you Bill and Nancy?

October Draft
October Draft

While wandering around the Colony Wharf boatyard I was fortunate to find Fletcher and Callie putting the bottom paint on Pluto prior to being launched. Fletcher’s wood working skills can be realized by comparing the photo of Pluto in last month’s edition of Home Port to the photo here. And while you are comparing photos, note that the hole in the Henniger’s Mental Floss has been filled with a bow thruster. Good on both of you.

Andy Hansen reports that he recently encountered a new way in which eel grass gets its revenge. Andy managed to get a basketball sized wad completely encapsulating Tsirku’s prop. And when that happens your engine will get you nowhere as he found out. Fortunately his sailing skills saved the day as he brought his boat safely back into its slip under sail.

I heard by the coconut telegraph that several other members have enjoyed some local fall cruising. How about sharing your adventures at Cypress Denny & Sylvia Holmstrom (Last Dance), Dave & Deb Jones (Tarn)? Speaking of solo adventures and Cypress Island, I heard that Greg Hartgraves (Blue Skies) was wandering around seeking the flora and fauna of Cypress Island. And what about our members to the north, Ken and Deb, care to share what it was like cruising without your neighbors to the south?

Be sure to tune into the zoom meeting on October 13 to hear about Delayne and Vicky’s adventures on the Columbia river.

And until then,...

Fair Winds and calm seas,
Mike Reed, Editor

Cruising Recipes

Urs Vetter’s Fettuccini Vongole


2 lbs.- manila clams are preferred, (littleneck clams get tough)
10 oz. fettuccini or linguini
1 T olive oil
2 T butter
1 cup – diced red onion (yellow is fine too)
3 cloves- minced garlic
¼ cup- white wine
¼ cup- fish stock or clam juice (or mix with chicken stock)
¼ tsp. ted pepper flakes (I like to use a dollop of Dijon mustard)
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 TBS- chopped parsley

Remember: senza formaggio !! (without cheese)

  1. Place clams in large bowl, fill with seawater (or salt the water). Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. The little bi-valves will flush any remaining sand thus saving your dentures come dinnertime.
  2. Get the water to boil for the pasta. When pasta goes in- 3 minutes for fresh, 8-10 minutes for dried.
  3. Sauté the diced onion in the olive oil until translucent, add garlic (not too soon, to avoid burning) add the wine, then the stock. Bring to a simmer, and then add the clams. You want to cook them only until they open and release their juices. Then remove clams and set aside so as not to over cook them.
  4. Add the red pepper flakes (or mustard) and lemon zest and a little parsley. The pasta should be simmering in the water at this juncture.
  5. Adjust the seasoning of the sauce, a little salt or pepper? And add the butter. When the pasta is “al dente” to your liking, drain the pasta (save ½ cup pasta water in case you need to beef up the sauce).…And now for the real secret….
  6. Add the pasta to the simmering sauce because, as that wise Italian said: “If they don’t dance together, how will they ever fall in love”.
  7. Now reintroduce the clams, toss and serve. Sprinkle the remaining parsley on top.

Not to be redundant….NO CHEESE

CYC Board Minutes

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Apr 20 Special #2

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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 Mike Reed at

6 OCT 2020
Mike Reed, Laurent Martel, Chuck Dingée, Andreas Weinrich.

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