The Helmsman

It seems like every month I say the same thing: The earth still spins on its axis, the birds and bees multiply, my little patch of forest and flowers flourishes, but the club is still unable to do much, because of something so small you can't see it. I haven't been to a bank since February. What do they do when you walk into a bank these days wearing a mask?

My amazingly sweet gardenias have all done their thing and are gone, and the hydrangea blossoms are drying up and turning tan. My southern magnolias are now only blooming at the very top of the tree where I can't get at them. The lantana are coming out. I have the yellow-orange ones - you know, they look a little like bright yellow golf balls with orange accents. Now, however, whenever I look at them, they remind me of the microscope photos of the coronavirus! But my roses are still going strong and just like clockwork, the crepe myrtle trees burst out in pink and purple the last week of July. And our Althea, or Rose of Sharon, they are thriving too. And orange and yellow daylilies too. I have several varieties of azaleas, including several "encore" azaleas that are supposed to bloom in the spring and again in the fall. These guys are a bit confused, because they are already starting their "fall" blooming. I'm not complaining.

We have had several races, which is one place that you may be able to social distance and still have fun with friends. Speaking of social distancing, Andrew has dreamed up something that he calls the OPCYC Social Distance Race, which will run on Sunday the 9th. It is called that because all the boats will start separately, 1 minute apart, thus keeping proper social distancing. This race includes a time bonus for cruisers who are able to start on time. Like every past Commodore of OPCYC, I would really like to wrest the Tri-Service Cup back from the Navy and bring it back to its rightful place on top of our trophy case. In order to do this, we need our regular racers to perform well and we also need our cruisers to show up.
This "Social Distance" race is, among other things, an opportunity for you to practice getting to the start line on time, which is why you get time subtracted from your elapsed time if you start on time. And because we are "Social Distancing," you won't need to be concerned with other boats interfering with you while you are heading for the start line. Kinda neat, and should be fun. Read more about it in the Racing News section of the Helmsman.

We scrubbed the July 4th party by general consent and I didn't hear any wailing and moaning because we didn't have it. At this point, I have no idea when we can party hearty again. I have sworn off pushing to get together and will wait for consensus. Talk to Tracy about your desires, please.

Cruising: I know that we do have boats cruising, albeit in ones or twos. That's fun, lots of fun, but it can be even more fun if you can get a bunch of boats together. But I'll wait and see what you guys collectively want to do. Walt has some good stuff planned, and let's see what we can make of it. Read Cruising Chronicles for details on his plans.

Coronabeard Contest: I got a nice photo from Chip Miller, sporting his "Santa-Lookalike"
coronabeard . I'll have to admit he has me on total facial hair. Like a teenager struggling to keep up with all the new fads, and since my sideburns are doing so well, I am going for a different look this month: This is my "Ambrose Burnside" look.

I'll see many of you guys on the water, if nowhere else! - Jeff