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Opening Day Traditions

“What’s your article for the Opening Day Mainsheet about Krabby?” asked the Editor from the other end of the foc's'le bar.

“Better bring your drink, and one for me, down here so we can figure it out.” I answered from across the bar.

“This is the third year you’ve shared insights on Opening Day in your column, so we should write some new material, but still touch on the Opening Day theme,” she said bringing the drinks, and joining the East Coaster and I at the bar.

“As I have said, since the first year - by the time my column is being read it’s probably too late to be properly prepared for Opening Day inspection, but you could have your boat ready and open for hospitality,” I answered reaching for my drink.

“You might explain the difference between inspection and hospitality for our new members that are learning about the traditions of our club.

“They can see back issues - I’ve already written pages about the details of getting ready for inspection, or opening your boat up for hospitality - a favorite tradition for members old and new.

“I remember my first Opening Day on Sally during her debut after her rebuild. I was able to experience all the fun, first hand. I met new friends, explored and learned about the member's boats that were open. It’s these types of traditions that really pushed me toward pursuing membership at SDYC. Perhaps, if you expand on that theme, you might encourage some of our new members out on the docks and to eventually ‘untie the dock lines’ as Commodore Reiter likes to say.” Explained the editor.

“You’re right - it’s obvious to me what happens on Opening Day, but if you're new to this, you don't know what to expect. “ I said taking another sip of my drink.”

“Last year was my first time!” chimed in the East Coaster. “I was definitely surprised to hear that you could tour the hospitality boats. It's not like that where I grew up sailing - the boats are all out on moorings. There might be a small dock or pier, but not enough for all the boats to be on display – and even though Opening Day is later in the year, it is still not great weather,” she recalled.

“That’s a good point, and something I forgot about. Unlike clubs in colder climates, we have our boats moored at floating docks year around and we are open year round, with our climate there no reason to shut the club down for the winter. At SDYC Opening Day is more like a spring cleaning than a re-opening for the new season of yachting. We make an occasion of it, with formalities like our Opening Day Ceremony with the Armed Forces band and the presentation of several awards given to our fellow members, then at the close of the ceremony, the boats are opened for hospitality. I reflected.

“We should probably mention the Opening Day Race and the Commodore’s Ball on Saturday!” reminded the Editor

“Wait, one second! What is this about a dinner dance?!? I did the race last year, but I didn't know there was a Ball. Were you ever going to ask me to go? Or do you just ask me to clean the bottom and chase spiders in the bilge?!?” taunted the slighted East Coaster.

“Well....uh....sure I was! I just didn't get a chance to mention it yet.” I said as I got caught ‘by the lee’. "Yes, yes, of course, the Commodores Ball - would you like to join me? It will be fun. There will be plenty of time for us to clean up and put on our shore-going rigs after Sally's put away, following the race.” I stammered.

“I'd love to go Krabby. I already have the perfect dress in mind!” said the now excited East Coaster, her feigned outrage evaporating quicker than my rum & tonic.

“That was a close one Krabby, I think I almost got you keel-hauled,” apologized the Editor.

“It's, OK - I should have planned better, somehow I managed to recover from that accidental near-jibe. Not to make excuses but it is pretty busy in the world of boats this time of year. Once we change to daylight saving time, everyone remembers their boat and begin to catch-up on maintenance tasks so they can untie those lines and get out on the water. You know how we all procrastinate, but it's all worth it when your boat is ready to enjoy, especially on Opening Day - our favorite holiday of the year. Seems to me like you gals had a wonderful time last year.” I explained

“I think you got the most out of it Krabby: a date for the Commodore’s Ball and me buying your drinks,” observed the Editor with a nod toward the East Coaster.

“She has a good point, you did make out fairly well - it was last year that I met you aboard Sally for the first time,” reminded the East Coaster, “I was drawn to Sally because of all her beautiful bright work.”

"It certainly was worth all the sanding, varnishing, and polishing, wasn’t it?” I said raising my glass to my friends.

One more thing: I invite all of my fellow members and your guests to join us aboard my 89 year-old 10-Meter, Sally, for Opening Day. We will open for hospitality following the ceremony.

Bring your boating questions.

See you at the end of D-Dock,


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