Commodore’s Message

Commodore’s Message:  The Best Is Yet To Come
As I sit here on my porch with a glass of my favorite single malt scotch in hand, I find myself reminiscing about all of the good experiences I’ve had the last year during my time as Commodore. I’ve met many good people and shared many good adventures with them. Thinking fondly of these times, I sighed and thought: Oh well – “All ‘Good Things’ Must Come to an End.” This got me thinking even more – always dangerous according to my wife Sharon. 
Considering the age of our club, most of you will remember good old Andy Rooney from 60 Minutes fame. Sadly he passed away a few years back, but his dry humor lives on in my mind – even inspires me. I imagined him saying: “Just who the heck came up with the saying – All Good Things Must Come To An End? I don’t get it.” Certainly not the good people trying to sell us “good things.” They’d never want good things to come to an end. The only way they’d want good things to come to an end is if they had even “better things” for us to buy so they could make more money. This leads me to ponder that if a good thing comes to an end, was it really a good thing? What about “great” things. Do “great” things come to an end? How about super-duper things? And what is it with this fatalistic attitude that all “things” must end. 
Ok, admittedly I have a warped mind. So I whipped out my iPad and Googled to find out where this expression originated. Well, according to Wikipedia, Chaucer penned it about 1374 in a poem describing a tragic love story during the siege of Troy. Really! So, this saying is derived from a tale of “True Love” like in the Princess Bride. Now I am really bummed to think that the good thing Westley and Buttercup had eventually ended. Reading on I found an addendum someone wrote that made me feel better: “All GOOD things must come to an end…to make way for BETTER things to happen because the BEST is yet to come.” Phew. Now I felt relieved. As it turns out, Good things really don’t come to an end. Westley and Buttercup actually did live happily everafter. Huzzah and Dilly Dilly!
So, getting back to my year as Commodore. While it is time for me to move on from Commodore, I realize that it is not the end. After all, it took me about 60 years to find and join the BMSA – a good thing in my life. My good memories of good times are not going to go away just because I am no longer Commodore. I will always remember them as life goes on. I have been fortunate to be blessed with many good things over the years. In fact, I think most of us spend our life searching for and finding good things all the time. It could be family, fame, fortune, spiritual or other personal goal that drives you. Some we find; some will elude us. When I started my term as Commodore I commented that like the old proverb, the key to being happy forever is to have “good” friends. They never end. This is the core of BMSA. I retire a happy guy.
Well, “That’s all She Wrote.” Wait a second, I’m a “he.” What’s this “she” stuff. How sexist. And then there’s the saying that “All things must die?” The person who said that should be shot! Oh, never mind. Sometimes I think too much and don’t stop to enjoy the “good things” in life – like my glass of single malt scotch.
I look forward to seeing you all at the Commodore’s Banquet November 11th! Join us as I pass the gavel to Mary Stajkowski. You won’t want to miss it. We have a “Good” program planned too. Next year will be even “Better” – the “Best” is yet to come. Come join us on this adventure. There’s even a rumor that we may see two of our members reenacting Westley and Buttercup at next year’s Pirates and Wenches weekend – maybe it’s you. How great would that be! Remember the last scene: “Since the invention of the kiss there have been five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind. The End.”
Sail Away With BMSA                                                                                                   
Ron Hrabak – Soon Past Commodore
Come On Out All You Pirates – It’s Time To Play and Party Like The BMSA – May 2017
While mindlessly watching TV recently a commercial came on with a cute little girl singing “I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”.  Although I cringe at someone suggesting anything about Christmas in April, it was a cute ad and I thought – Oh for the simpler times.  Nowadays it seems that all the kids want are I-phones and I-pads and I-pods and I-buds and I-macs and lots of other “I” things electronic.  Although it seems like eons ago, it was never an “I” thing when we were growing up.  Our parents would kick us out of the house and all the kids in the neighborhood would gather at the local school or park to play ball or just hang out and think up mischief.  Now that the summer sailing season is upon us, it’s time for us to be like those kids of old and gather at Blue Marsh to enjoy the outdoors.  We can sail a few laps around the island or just sit by the side of the lake and enjoy the day and then go up to Ganleys to hang out and eat drink and make merry mischief in BMSA style.  Of course, we also have some wonderful Chesapeake Bay trips planned this year.  My favorite is going to the Pirates and Wenches weekend at Rock Hall.  This is the ultimate family friendly party and we hope more can join us this year.    
Now getting back to the hippo commercial – in the “things that keep me up at night” category I was wondering:  What would a Pirate want for Christmas?  They certainly wouldn’t want a hippopotamus – although they probably would put it on a spit and have a hippo roast and a pirate riot if they got one.  Since pirates are are notoriously knotty and yo-ho-ho kind of scurvy dogs, I suspect they would want things to have fun.  The first thing would be a sailing vessel to take them from island to island or port to port – or in modern terms an “Aye” pad or “Arrr” vee.  Next I suspect they would want all the grub and grog they could eat – maybe some Rib“Aye” steaks and P”aye” with “Aye”cy cold Wat”Arrr” or Arrr”C cola or Lag”Arrr”.  They also would certainly want treasures and riches and trusty mateys to go on the adventures to find them.  The light bulb then came on.  These are all things that we in the BMSA like.  I can even envision one of our BMSA adventures satisfying the Pirate Christmas list.  It would be like the proverbial Christmas in July.  We all like and want sailing vessels.  We all like good grub and grog.  We all like to go on adventures with good friends and have treasured memories.  Arrrrrrrr!  We must all be pirates!  
Giving this a little more thought, if we are all pirates then we each need to have a great pirate name.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a beard or any other distinguishing feature.  Also in today’s world it’s sad; but true that many of the fun names would be politically incorrect.  Given these limitations my name would have to be something descriptive – maybe an animal.  I love the water but am not much of a swimmer.  I’m also a little over weight and like to wallow in the pool on hot, sunny afternoons.  Sometimes I’ll just hold my breath and sink to the bottom and walk around.  Then as the sun wanes I like to get out and graze for food and drink and amble about.  Oh my gosh, I think I just described a Hippopotamus.  Maybe you’re one too.  How neat would it be for your cute little grand daughters to want a Hippopotamus for Christmas and they really meant you.  While I certainly don’t want to be nicknamed “Hippo”, the thought brings a chuckle and smile to my face.  
In summary, now that we have established that we all are pirates and kids at heart, come out and join your BMSA mateys for some summer fun.  We’ve got sailing events, kayak trips, picnics and lots of other fun indoor and outdoor activities planned.  It’s time to Come On Out and Play!  Join our merry band of pirates and show us you can party like the BMSA!
Sail Away With BMSA
Ron Hrabak
Cold is a Relative Thing
If you remember, our BMSA High Tech Advanced Meteorologist Michele issued her official forecast last December that “It’s Just Too Darn Cold” when canceling the Conowingo trip to see the eagles. Then earlier this month it was “Yuck, Double Yuck and Triple Yuck” in response to the snow, cold temperatures and wind chill. In short it’s been “Damn Cold” this winter even though we’ve had a few above average weather days. This started me thinking. A couple of years ago we visited Alaska on vacation and passed through the small town of Tok (like Coke) where the mercury hit minus 75 degrees one year – the lowest ever recorded in North America. The Tokers, as they call themselves – have a totally different perception of cold than us in the lower 48. Of course, maybe there’s some excessive “toking” going on in Tok that makes them forget about the cold. At any rate, since we have a number of members with homes in Florida and the Carolinas it got me thinking how we all react differently to the cold. Here are my thoughts for your consideration:
At 75 degrees 
– Those in the Carolinas and Florida turn on the heat 
– Those in Reading sun bathe and go sailing 
– Those in Tok kayak and water ski on glacial rivers in the bright sun at 2 am 
At 60 degrees 
– Those in the Carolinas and Florida shiver uncontrollably 
– Those in Reading ride their motorcycles and drive cars with the windows down 
– Those in Tok turn up the air conditioner and slather on bug spray 
At 45 degrees
– Those in the Carolinas and Florida don winter coats, thermal underwear and gloves – indoors
– Those in Reading throw on a flannel shirt and don wind breaker coats when going outside 
– Those in Tok wash their cars in shorts and tee shirts and consider wet suits when swimming 
At 30 degrees 
– Those in the Carolinas and Florida light smudge pots and flee to Mexico to get warm 
– Those in Reading put on winter coats, ski and barbecue outdoors and eat indoors 
– Those in Tok plant gardens in the spring and harvest potatoes and cranberries in the fall 
At 15 degrees 
– Those in the Carolinas and Florida declare a national emergency 
– Those in Reading shovel snow and party like the BMSA at our winter events 
– Those in Tok have to convince the school kids to wear coats at recess 
At 0 degrees 
– Those left in the Carolinas and Florida see a desolate wasteland out their windows 
– Those in Reading go to the farm show and think warm thoughts at travel and home shows 
– Donna and John sweep the snow off a boat and sail for the Virgin Islands 
– Those in Tok start cutting up fire wood for heat and unplug their porch freezers 
At 20 below zero 
– Washington DC runs out of hot air 
– Those in Reading hunker down with power outages as oil, water and gas lines freeze 
– The Tokers enjoy the great outdoors with dog sledding while their faces frost up 
– The children in Tok get to have recess in the gym 
At 40 below zero 
– Santa Claus abandons the North Pole 
– Hell freezes over in the lower 48. All stops in Reading and the South 
– The Tokers drive around in square wheeled cars and amuse themselves by throwing boiling water in the air and watching it turn to vapor as it makes a hissing sound 
At 75 below zero 
– Tok makes the news with the coldest temperature ever officially recorded in North America 
– All Tok businesses and schools are open as usual saying – Is it Cold Enough For You Yet! 
If you send me your version, we’ll anonymously read them at the April kick-off meeting. 
My point is that Cold is a “Relative” Thing. Winter is the time for us in the BMSA from Reading to visit our “Relatives” in the Carolinas and Florida. If we are not so fortunate as to have southern Relatives, then we need to become Snow Birds and rent a place – as some of us do. Either way, once in the sunny south the goal will be to sail and party like the BMSA until the robins return in the spring. It sounds like a plan! We’re all a family of Relatives when it comes to the BMSA. Keep this in mind for the 2018 Planning Meeting in October. 
In the mean time, if you have not sent in your dues now is the time to do it. Then join us for our upcoming BMSA food, folks and fun events at Chef Alan’s and the Miller Center February 10 and March 3rd and on the Wine Trail April 8. Our kickoff meeting at the Spring Township Fire Company and the sailing season will be here before you know it. Anybody can sail, but can you party like the BMSA. Stay warm all!
Ron Hrabak
 It’s all a matter of perspective!

As another year sails into the sunset, our BMSA family has a lot for which to be thankful.  We were blessed with some great weather this past year and those lucky enough to join us on our sailing trips have some wonderful memories.  I still remember sitting on a hill at the Baltimore Yacht Club watching the sun set and thinking: How can life be any better than this.  Then we went to Rock Hall and listened to a Reggae band play at Waterman’s by the bay and I thought the same thing.  It was deja vu all over when we went to the Corsica Yacht Club, with BMSA couples dancing in the dark to slow music.  Then finally we went to St. Michaels with its museum and ambiance that made you never want to leave.  Every trip kept getting better with the adventures of the ABC (Allegro, Babe and Coventina) sailors and their BMSA mateys well-documented on our web site.   

As I commented at the Commodore’s Banquet, it is all about having good friends.  I was watching the end of the movie “When Harry Met Sally” for the umpteenth time and Harry’s question at the end about the song “Auld Lang Syne” struck me.  Harry asks:  “What does this song mean?  My whole life, I don’t know what this song means.  I mean, ‘Should old acquaintance be forgot?’  Does that mean we should forget old acquaintances, or does it mean if we happened to forget them, we should remember them, which is not possible because we already forgot?”  Sally responds: “Well, maybe it just means that we should remember that we forgot them or something. Anyway, it’s about old friends.”  If you google it, you’ll find the origin of Auld Lang Syne is from a Scottish tune written by Robert Burns in the 1700’s that was never intended to be a holiday song.  Guy Lombardo took care of that.  It actually translates to “times gone by” and is about remembering friends from the past and not letting them be forgotten.  While we celebrated this year with good friends, we regrettably lost some along the way.  Don’t forget to remember them and the good times we shared.

So surround yourself with old friends this holiday season and look forward to making new ones and creating new memories this coming year.  We have posted a list of the scheduled BMSA events on our web site and we send out a monthly notice of our upcoming events. Your Board has come up with a fantastic plan for 2017.  Anybody can sail, but can you party like the BMSA!  Please join us, even if part time, for our scheduled events and share the joys of being with your friends in the BMSA.  We have only one ticket left for the Dutch Apple Dinner Theater event on February 4th.  When sending in your dues money, consider making out an additional check to join us.  Sail Away With BMSA! 

Wishing You A Happy and Healthy New Year!

 Auld Lang Syne All,

 Ron Ho! Ho! Hrabak