Ahoy NLSC Sailors!
A mild winter has brought early open waters on some of our Midwestern lakes which will hopefully bring an
early sailing season. As I write this, the forecast for next Sunday is again in the 60’s! I’m still working
feverishly on the list of projects for the Francis B I wrote about last Bearings and will hopefully get them done
before spring launch, because every week on the water counts in these northern climates! That said, any day I
can hang around a boat, whether it is on the hard preparing it for its launch date or in the water, is a good day.
Please join me in welcoming our two newest members to the Northern Lights Sailing Club. Jim Cox has joined
us at the invitation of Dorothy Zimmerman, and Nancy Koehler joins us after finding us at the Minneapolis
Boat show. We are excited to get to know Jim and Nancy at our future sailing and on-shore events.
Also as I write this article for the March Bearings, Pieter Heeremathe has just crossed the finish line of the
Vende Globe, the around-the-world, solo, non-stop race as the seventeenth sailor to do so. This leaves Sebastian
Destremau as the last sailor on the course and still over 1900 miles from the finish at Les Sables d’Olonne,
France. From Armel Le Cleache who finished first in the record time of a few hours over seventy-four days, to
the twelve sailors who had to abandon the race for various reasons which included equipment failures, hull
failures, and collisions with various objects in the water, I have thirty new heroes. I am already counting down
the days toward the next running of the race… in four years.
NLSC’s Board of Directors met last Tuesday in a three-hour session, tackling a very aggressive agenda. A
major discussion topic was the decreasing membership numbers that we have experienced over the last few
years, and especially this year. As a result, each of the committee chairpersons contacted the members who have
not renewed to remind them of the Feb 28 th deadline before they are dropped from our roster. We are gratified
that a substantial number of members appreciated the reminder and renewed their affiliation with NLSC. We
also appreciate the discussions that took place with those who chose not to renew. It seems that two recent
developments are affecting our retention rate:
First, the elimination of the Dual Membership opportunity has de-incentivized some spouses and partners from
renewing their membership. We saw a number of examples where one member renewed, but the other elected
to not renew. We will focus our attention on how to develop additional programs and social events that will
appeal to those who may not be avid sailors, but enjoy the social time.
Second, we have lost a few members who have not signed or do not want to sign the Mutual Release of
Liability form. This form is an integral part of the application agreement and must be signed by all members. It
serves two purposes – It protects the club’s assets from certain legal actions, and, more importantly, protects you
as a club member from the same. Until we had the Liability Agreement in place, NLSC and our members were
vulnerable to lawsuits that were based on circumstances that may have been beyond their control.
In other business, the Board approved three Sponsored sailing events for the summer. Marilynn Kaplan and
John Schlagel are hosting a Lake Nokomis Ice Breaker again in May, Lisa Broom is planning our annual Pepin
Sailing weekend in June, and Jerry Sicard is planning an Izati’s weekend on Lake Mille Lacs if we can find a
few members with trailerable boats who are willing to bring them to the event. In addition, the Second Annual
Pickle Factory Cruise is in the planning stage which will include a one-day round trip sail between Lake City,
MN and Pepin, WI with dinner at the Pickle Factory Waterfront Grill and a dock-side soirée upon return.
Hopefully a few more members will start thinking about events as our March membership meeting and Trip
Night is fast approaching. Need help planning? Give me a call, and I can either lend assistance or point you to
the right person who can help.
The Board also discussed our 2017 social events. We have added back a May Member Appreciation event as
well as our annual September Carolina Shrimp Boil and December Holiday Party. All three events are a blast
and offer great opportunities to rub shoulders with your fellow club members. Check Bearings for further
information for times and dates as the month approaches.
Finally, just a reminder that Board elections are coming up in our Annual Membership Meeting in April. All
members are encouraged to throw their names in the hat for a position. All Executive and Director positions are
open for consideration and include:
Commodore: Must have served as a Board member for at least a year (not necessarily the most current year)
Meetings and Programs
Promotions and Marketing
Communications & Web
Member at Large
Whether you can plan a trip, join the Board, or perhaps plan a meeting event, get involved with NLSC. It’s you
that makes this club an exciting place to meet, sail, and socialize.
Fair Winds and Following Seas,
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply
messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows