BTS: August, 2019

Sail Chicago Newsletter for August, 2019
Sail Chicago Logo
By Steve VanderVoort, BTS Editor

Recently I've heard a few complaints about various aspects of how Sail Chicago functions.  Some examples include:  "Classes and Tiller Times are always full, or they're not offered at a convenient time for me."  "Why aren't there more Member Cruise Outings?"  "Why can't maintenance teams do a better job at keeping our boats in service?"   
If you find yourself becoming dissatisfied, it may help to review our mission statement: 
Sail Chicago is a not-for-profit community sailing program.  Its mission is to offer quality instruction in sailing and boating safety, and to provide affordable sailing opportunities to its members and others in the Chicago area.   
We fulfill this mission by being an all-volunteer organization, a group of people who love sailing and who are dedicated to passing on their passion for the sport.
Colgate 26
It takes volunteer effort to keep us afloat!
But being an all-volunteer organization can have its downside.  Occasionally things just slip through the cracks.  Our member-volunteers also have jobs and families and other obligations that sometimes must take priority over their volunteer efforts on behalf of Sail Chicago.
So, if you find an aspect of Sail Chicago that you're not happy with or that you feel needs improvement, what should you do?  Here are a couple of suggestions: 
  • Be patient with the people who are volunteering their time and energy to help make Sail Chicago function.  Don't harass them for not doing what you think should be done.
  • Volunteer to help in the area that you think needs improvement.  In most cases your help will be more than welcome.

If a volunteer organization like Sail Chicago is not really for you and you are willing to pay more for your sailing, there are several commercial sailing programs in the Chicago area that do not have the volunteer obligation that has been a longstanding part of the Sail Chicago tradition.

Rachel Granneman, Social Coordinator
We've got a couple of events coming up that you will want to consider attending: 
  • Hang-with-the-Board Happy Hour on Thursday, Sept. 19, at the Columbia Yacht Club.  Questions or suggestions for
     the Board?  Just want to
    Columbia Yacht Club
    hang out and get to know other sailors?  If so, join members of the Board and other members and students at our final happy hour of the season.
  • End-of-Season Dinner on Friday, Oct. 4, at Columbia Yacht Club.  Join old friends and meet new ones at this party celebrating another successful sailing season.
By Noel VanEynde

Our 2019 Friends & Family Picnic will be from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 10, at Columbia Yacht Club.  We are excited to bring the Sail Chicago
Last year's Friends and Family picnic
community together with friends and family for food, fun, and sailing!  Sail Chicago members, students, and guests are all welcome. This year, we want to keep costs low.  We are asking for a donation of $5 per person but it is not required for entry.  You can make a donation in cash or with a credit card upon arrival.  We'll also have Sail Chicago merchandise available!  If you plan to come, please register here.
Food will be provided (sandwiches, salad, and snacks).  Soda and water will also be provided.  (No alcohol, please!)  If you would like to bring a homemade dessert, please do!  Please indicate if it contains peanuts.
Skippers and first mates will be taking attendees on short sails.  If you plan to go sailing, please remember to wear closed-toed, light-soled shoes and bring sunscreen.  We will do our best to accommodate everyone who wants to go sailing, but we are an all-volunteer organization and so we will only be sailing from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Driving?  Parking instructions here.  Questions? Email me.
By John Lemon, Safety Coordinator 

High water:  Chicago Harbors has produced an excellent video to educate boaters about potential dangers lurking below the surface during the Lake's current high-water levels.  The video features great drone views of submerged breakwaters and piers.  (View the video here.)  Westrec has also placed warning buoys near some of the hazards, although they are not official aids to navigation.  Please share with your boating friends and take special precautions when sailing near breakwaters. 
Personal Safety Equipment:  We train skippers in proper techniques to recover a crew member who's fallen overboard.  But what if you are the person in the water?
  At US Sailing Safety at Sea Seminars, the comment is made that "you go in with what you have on you," meaning that you will not have time to grab anything as you go over the side.  So, what would you want with you?  We can recommend three simple and compact items that can fit in the pocket in your life jacket: a whistle, a light, and a sharp knife.
A simple whistle has been a lifesaver in two well-publicized incidents. In the 2011 race to Mackinac, the sailboat Wingnuts was hit by a strong gust of wind in the middle of the night and flipped over, throwing the crew in the water.  They had no lights, but the crew on Sociable, another boat sailing nearby, heard their whistles in the dark, stopped racing, and searched for the crew.  Four were recovered, although another two did not survive.  In the 2017 race to Mackinac, there was a better outcome.  A crew member fell overboard. His new light failed, so all he had was his whistle.  He was successfully recovered by his crew who heard his whistle after he spent an hour bobbing about in pitch darkness.  You can read the complete story here.
While there are several electronic rescue signal devices available, they are more appropriate for long voyages in waters far from shore.  The best option, of course, is to stay on the boat, but in a pinch, a whistle may be your best ally.
By Chris Faris, Tiller Tim Coordinator

We continue to get a variety of Tiller Time dates scheduled.  Compared to this time last year, we have conducted or scheduled 73 Tiller Times (through
Instruction (1)
An experienced skipper teaches. 
September) versus 81 (through September 2018).   We would like to be able to schedule more Tiller Times, so we continue to recruit experienced skippers who can lead additional Tiller Times.  And we are also striving to schedule across a greater variety of days and times.    
A big "thank you" to all our Tiller Time skippers who've volunteered this year! If you've got questions about Tiller Time or would like to volunteer, please contact me.
By Mark Pashan, Volunteer Coordinator

Maintenance volunteers learn about boats.
We still need volunteers in boat maintenance, especially on the Colgates.  We also need help in instruction.
As a reminder, first-year members are not expected to perform service time. Second-year members and beyond must sign up for a job to fulfill their service time duties for 2019.
As always, up-to-date information can be found at the Sail Chicago Organization chart.  If you have any questions or need more information, email me.

Who to Contact
Need information on an area in Sail Chicago, but don't know who to contact?  Find that person in the Sail Chicago Organization Chart.
Help our Community Outreach Programs
Please consider volunteering to skipper or crew on a weekday afternoon sail with one of our three groups that take underprivileged children sailing. Skippering five or more times will fulfill your service requirement for the following year. For more information on the Lawrence Hall Youth Services, Urban Youth, and Schuler Scholars, go to the Sail Chicago Website.
Join or Renew Your US Sailing Membership at a Discount Through MVP
Sail Chicago members can join or renew their US Sailing membership at a $10 discount through the US Sailing Member Value Partner program.
Sail Chicago Gear
Purchase gear with the Sail Chicago logo on it.  Caps, shirts, pants and other gear are available. To shop now, click here.

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When you shop online at Amazon Smile, Sail Chicago will receive a donation of .5% of your eligible purchases. It's a great way to both give and receive. To get started, click here. 
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Missing Previous Issues of Between the Sheets?
You can always find the current issue and an archive of previous issues of Between the Sheets at the first (and open to the public) page of the Sail Chicago website. Look under "News/Newsletter."

Click on the links below to find more information about Sail Chicago.
Sail Chicago, P.O. Box 101069, Chicago, IL 60610-8914
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