News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, June 17, 2021 and The Weekly Packet, June 17, 2021
Area yacht clubs set to resume most summer activities

by Jonny Sonnenfeld

An inseparable pair for many, summertime and yacht clubs go together like lobster and butter. The link between family and club often goes back generations. After a year of locked doors and bored members, the local yacht clubs are set to return for the 2021 season.

Castine Yacht Club

“We are looking forward to the summer. I think it’s going to be very active,” said Castine Yacht Club commodore Tom Ashton. “We think there will be a lot of people coming up, as many people are still working remotely.”

Following a summer of inactivity, the CYC calendar is packed with all the summertime glee of years past. “We have a Pond Island picnic and that’s in July this year,” Ashton said. “We also do something called the Hogs and Halyards Pig Roast, which is a whole hog roast, and then we have other smaller stuff like we have an adult Opti regatta, where we put a bunch of adults in Optis and they make fools of themselves.” Castine Yacht Club also hosts the Lord Nelson model boat race, and the club officially reopens June 15.

Kollegewidgwok Yacht Club

KYC commodore Sean Guinness echoed similar sentiments. “Last year, regattas that we would have invited people to and races that we would have invited other people to we didn’t.” He added that this year’s events are back in a limited fashion, inviting people to come for the day versus overnight to the Blue Hill club. “Last year we didn’t do any social events. The clubhouse was closed down. You could use the bathroom, but that was it. This year we are back to normal,” Guinness said. Kollegewidgwok Yacht Club opened its doors June 14.

Deer Isle Yacht Club

In similar fashion, DIYC commodore Eliza Harrison stated, “This year we have an almost complete set of events returning. There are one or two not happening because we couldn’t get club volunteers to run them. Many people haven’t decided if they are coming [to Maine], but, yes, our events are back. We intend to hold our porch parties and our bull’s-eye racing series, and we have a picnic to Butter Island that has taken place for 60 years. We are trying to get ourselves to full speed, thank goodness.” While the DIYC lacks an official opening date, the docks have been in the water and available to members for a few weeks already.

Bucks Harbor Yacht Club

The club’s itinerary mirrors past summers; however, a few key differences remain. “We usually have two themed dinners which are large events of 250 people, and we didn’t have those last year. Traditionally, these dinners take place both under a tent and in our clubhouse,” explained commodore Peter Morris. “This year we are going to try for one or the other, and will be modified to be COVID safe. We are still working on the details, but we might not let non-vaccinated people inside the clubhouse” in Brooksville.

Members will notice a stark difference between this summer and prior summers in the lack of the traditional Thursday night square dance, Morris said. “Square dances are the one thing we will not have because it’s inside after dark, and people are breathing hard and running around, and it’s attended by people under the age of 12, not yet vaccinated.” The club will fully open the third or fourth week of June.

Bucks Harbor, Kollegewidgwok, and Castine all plan to offer junior sailing programs with some slight modifications to ensure COVID safety.

Summer plans for the Center Harbor Yacht Club in Brooklin were not available at press time.