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The Helmsman
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Keith Midgette.jpg

This is my first Helmsman column as your new Commodore, and I’d like to first state how grateful I am that you have enough trust in my judgement to lead the club for the next couple of years. I hope I live up to your expectations and continue to maintain the club on a steady course. My affiliation with the club goes beyond just my membership that began with my purchase of my Bristol 39 yawl Luna Blu in 2015. I was twelve or thirteen years old and received my introduction to big boat sailing through OPCYC member MAJ Amos Van Bibber’s Columbia 26. He was our next-door neighbor for many years and in addition to teaching me the finer points of sailing from then through my high school years, he was a second father to me and provided many life lessons while on the water. We lost him three years ago, but I somehow think both he and my Dad are looking down either incredulously that I’ve come this far or beaming with pride. I’m not sure which but I’m leaning towards the former.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the tremendous service that Tim Etherington (and his Board of Directors) have provided to the club over the last two years. The club weathered some heavy weather during the COVID pandemic as did many organizations and the club maintained as much service to the members as the law allowed and did not suffer a serious dip in membership and financially actually improved the balance sheet. Tim has been a superior leader and greater friend to everyone in the club and he deserves great praise for his service to the club. I look forward to his help during my turn at the club’s helm.


The 2023 Commodore’s Ball at The Landing in Hampton was outstanding. Our Social Committee worked hard in planning and preparation and the work paid off in a super event that was a lot of fun. A delicious dinner, music provided by our own Richard Spann, and recognition of our member racers, cruisers and the Commodore’s Award, followed by the Commodore Change of Command and installation of the new Board. Congratulations to the awardees.

Moving on, PMU has been underway for several weekends now. Held on Saturday mornings at 0930 at the clubhouse, we have some great lectures coming up that should be of interest to club members whether powerboaters, sailors or crew. The schedule is on the PMU site. The club recently invested in new technology to enhance the broadcast of lectures over Zoom, so if you can’t make it to the clubhouse, log-in to Zoom and join us wherever you are.  As an aside, 4 February’s PMU will be followed by Cruising Rear Commodore Chip Miller hosting a meeting to discuss this year’s Cruising Plan. If you have any interest in cruising with the club, please try to attend in person. If you can’t, please email Chip with recommended or preferred cruising destinations.

All you swabbies and lubbers, lend an ear- forget the candy and flowers, but don’t forget to treat your significant other to a superb dinner at OPCYC for Valentine’s Day at OPCYC!!! Stay out of the doghouse and support the Sea Scouts at the same time by RSVPing and attending the Valentine Day Dinner at the Clubhouse! Details in this Helmsman! Turn to and make it happen!

Lastly, the Pack Brother’s plan for the marina area wheel’s are still turning, albeit slower than originally envisioned. I will keep you posted as changes occur. Tim and I will be meeting with the Pack Brothers sometime soon and I will report back anything significant to the membership through the next Helmsman. 

I’m looking forward to seeing you at PMU, our parties and on the water!!!


Keith Midgette

OPCYC Commodore


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