Walter Lewandowski, Commodore

Commodore’s Report – May 2017

By Walter Lewandowski

 The long, cold, dark days of winter are refusing to go quietly. But the first signs of spring have been apparent: the occasional early season paddle or sail on those scattered warm days when Jamaica Bay calls out to us; the yearly reawakening of our grounds with mowing, painting, plumbing and electrical work required to keep Sebago functioning; boat maintenance on all the watercraft making up the Sebago fleet.

This spring we are looking forward to the launching of our boat building project, Carnasian. This beautiful wooden boat will add to our ability to hold various on-water events. The Old Town Canoe has been restored by a professional boat repair shop located in Connecticut. I am excited to once again paddle this historic canoe and integrate it into Sebago activities much more than we have in the past.

On the weekend of June 3rd and 4th, our new members and any member who has not visited the ACA Camp at Lake Sebago are welcome to visit for a day or stay overnight at Sebago’s cabin in Harriman State Park. A number of our Sebago kayak instructors and I will be there for the weekend. We will conduct a member orientation to learn about how to use our lake facilities. Any members wishing to stay overnight should RSVP as the cabin has three bedrooms and can sleep six. An ACA Quick Start Paddling class will be conducted Saturday, with practice on Sunday. This is a good introduction to learning the basic maneuvering paddle strokes. You must be an ACA member as well as a Sebago member to use the ACA facility on Lake Sebago.

Rowing has made some strides over the winter, building on the seeds planted last season. We now have coxswains at Sebago to train others to use the Whitehall Gig. Some new rowing equipment was purchased over the winter, and our rowing members are happy to coach others.

Our racing committee has been reborn with training, new equipment and new motivated members. By the time this has been published the All-Club Invitational should be happening, highlighted by the first of the race series that will determine the winner of the Glickman Cup. A contingent of racers is planning to attend the US Sprint National Championship races this year, the first group from Sebago to attend for a very long time.

Later in this issue you will read about all the plans of our activity committees and an article of memories of our friend Tony Pignatello, who passed this March. Tony’s contributions to Sebago are immeasurable. Our club would not be the place it is today if not for Tony. Too short a time ago, Tony and I decided Sebago should offer paddles on par with any offered by a professional outfitter. That was the birth of Sebago’s “Pinky and the Brain”. We scouted locations and offered paddles all over the shores of the Greater New York Area. We signed up for kayak classes with top instructors, eventually becoming instructors ourselves to become ever more professional in the trips we loved to plan and offer members. Tony was my mentor and compass, charting the sometimes stormy waters of Sebago. I will miss him.

Sebago is a wonderfully eclectic, diverse club in an urban wilderness. The members make it special. Keep up the good work.

May the wind be always at your back and your paddles wet.

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