Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Docks, Volunteering, Good Book

I)  Docks, docks, docks…..
1) September, 2003
        It starts….40’ section of dock immediately upstream of the dock house falls apart.
        Dock repaired in time for 2004 season.
2) April 15, 2010
       A light at the end of the tunnel….Gov. Deval Patrick visits CBI and announces the state’s commitment to replace the docks.
       $3.5 million of state funding contingent on CBI and The Esplanade Association (TEA) raising $500,000 private match.
        David Mugar and Solomon Fund immediately pledge $100,000 each.
 3) June 1, 2010
        CBI launches $100,000 in 100 days campaign to raise money from CBI community.
        TEA and CBI collaborate on other fundraising initiatives.
 4) June 23, 2010
        Deadline for sealed bids from contractors due to DCR.  DCR receives several qualified bids.
The next step will be for the DCR to issue a “Notice to Proceed”.  I am hopeful that we will learn about that immediately after July 4…..patience may be virtue but sometimes a little immediate gratification would be nice!

II) Volunteering
Boat sign-outs in 2010 are running approximately 20% higher than in 2009. That is a lot more wear and tear on our equipment. So a couple of reminders:
 If it’s broken report it.  There is a “Broken Boat Book” at the dock house.  It is our log of what needs fixing.
Help us fix things.  A lot of volunteers donate oodles of time over the course of the season and it always seems that we need more.  If you have time, enthusiasm, handy skills, and would like to make an impact at CBI that you can touch and feel, contact Marcin Kunicki, volunteering coordinator (among other things), or Greg Tobey, Director of Fleet Maintenance. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

III) Good Book.
 Mary’s Voyage, by Mary Caldwell and Matthew M. Douglas, published by Sheridan House.
I didn’t know anything about this book when I bought it. I bought it for my wife Mari in the hopes it would have a positive influence on her, you know, give her focus (come on honey let’s go sailing!).  She read a couple of sections to me and I promptly stole it from her and read it quickly cover to cover. Very interesting and enjoyable story.  Mary sails across the Pacific in 1952 with her husband and two small sons, one of whom is seriously sick on a small sailboat.  Did I mention that she was also pregnant?  Things go about as you might expect, like the time it was “too quiet” down below and upon investigation dad discovered the two boys had disassembled the sextant.  Little parts rolling around the bilge. Isn’t that neat?  Aaaaaaggghhh! Oh well, it just meant island hopping across the Pacific by ded reckoning. (for the uninitiated ded (sometimes written dead is short for deduced) is simply plotting you progress on a chart based on your estimated course, speed, leeway and current.  It’s accurate for a few hours and then slowly, eventually after a few weeks you should know where you are give or take a few hundred miles. Now where was that atoll supposed to be?  They saw pacific islands, and met islanders which still had been untouched by modernity. None of us will ever be able to repeat their experiences.  It left me a envious.  Let me know how you like it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Charlie’s gonna write a blog

For some time now I have been hearing the voices of technological progress (I hope you are hearing them too or else I may have other issues) heralding the new ways to do old things better, faster, more efficiently.  The Google on the internets perhaps best shows how our lives have changed dramatically due to the technological revolution we have all been living (suffering?) through.  A certifiable trailing-edge technology guy, I have so far managed to avoid nearly all contact with social networking media such as blogs, Facebook, and Twitter.  Skeptical, dubious, and change averse, I am clearly a late adopter.  The drum beats on however, and even I can hold out only so long. Recently I have been persuaded that I need to start using some of these tools if I am to best serve the needs of Community Boating Inc. (CBI) in my role as Executive Director.  So I boldly set out to go where I am sure I will blunder, stumble, fall and otherwise find myself in various pickles, and wondering why I’ve done this to myself.

I am going to write a blog.  In fact if you are reading this then you are reading my first one.  Lucky you! However, I have some concerns. My understanding is that blogs need to be written regularly and should be at least mildly interesting so folks will want to read the next installment. The pressure mounts already.  I worry that I could possibly have anything much to say that will interest you, let alone regularly.  What’s that sound?  The peanut gallery snickering already? But I set sail with the breeze no matter what the tide and no matter what embarrassment I may cause myself.

What to write about?.....  In order to advance CBI, I will try to focus on themes which I think are important to CBI and on which I draw inspiration - Sailing For All, Volunteerism, and Community.  If I get this right, these three broad themes will inspire, inform and generally provide the context for why this blog exists.   I will attempt to throw in some jokes, light humor, and occasionally sound like a pirate. I can also promise to  use nautical metaphors and allegory, mention a good article or two, point out some other blogs, books, movies, events, and issues important to CBI, and hopefully find something to keep you engaged  with CBI, sailing for all, volunteerism, and community here at the Boathouse on the Charles River.   I will endeavor to drum up an original idea once in a while, (although  if I were you I wouldn’t hold my breath).   I’d like to set your expectations reasonably low so that you will be kind to me.   I will try to write in a light conversational style avoiding one of my college professor’s comments after reading a long term paper, “not bad, too bad your writing style is so turgid”.

I found “turgid” in Webster’s unabridged dictionary.  It means swollen, bloated, inflated, distended, or grandiloquent, tumid, pompous, and bombastic. That was one mean professor. Grrr….
And last I will try to keep things short and to the point.