Secretary's Monthly Update Email - March

I started writing this email a couple of days ago. The weather was horrible here at home about an hour north of Philadelphia. Freezing rain and sleet. A good day to be indoors. Also a good day to remind myself that spring is only a few weeks away. Hopefully the weather will catch up with the calendar.

This is the first of what I plan as a monthly membership email to keep everyone up-to-date on Association activities. And I did say plan, so please don’t be angry if I miss a month here and there!

So here goes…

Wing & Wing

Susan Sodan, Bill Carton and I are working on the spring issue of Wing & Wing. More editorial copy is always needed. If you have anything you want to submit, please send it along to me and I will get it to Susan. We have members traveling to interesting places and involved in interesting projects. We want to hear about them!

Annual Meeting

We had a great annual meeting this year. Held February 21st at Mystic, we had around 90 people in attendance. The Friday evening “gam” was great fun, with a lot of friends new and old.

The meeting itself was pretty busy. Several corporate members were in attendance and Matt Otto, master rigger at Mystic Seaport, had a table display set up. More details to come in Wing & Wing.

Blogging

I have been working on changes to the Association web site and the most recent was a reorganization of the blog page. I have added a top menu to directly access it and changed the blog page layout to eliminate much of the clutter that used to be there.

There are now direct links to the two existing bloggers in addition to the general blogging content. The site is running under a content management system called Drupal and I have taken advantage of a feature that allows me to link eternal blogs as well. We have a couple of members blogging regularly from interesting places.

Take a look at http://www.AmSchooner.org/blog and let me know what you think.

If you have some blogs you think might be of interest or if you are on a grand (or perhaps not so grand) adventure and would like to start blogging, let me know.

Member Directory

The directory is pretty much done. After a frustrating couple of days trying to put a directory together using Microsoft Word merge documents I broke down and built a small system (I used to do that for a living) to create the directory. Updating is easy and almost completely automated. I update the directory any time a new member joins.

There are four sections to the directory: an alphabetical member index, a geographical index, a chapter index and a boat index.

Right now the directory contains all 2015 members and any 2014 members who have not yet renewed. In April I will start limiting it to only the 2015 members.

The directory is posted as an Adobe Acrobat file on the web site at http://www.amschooner.org/directory. There are two versions, one designed for viewing and one designed to print. The Directory is available only to members in the “member’s only” section of the site. You will need to log in to access it. If you haven’t created a web site user id and login, let me know and I will get you set up.

Registry of American Schooners

For many years various members have worked to put together a database of schooners. It has been dormant for a few years and a few months ago I started working on it. It was able to match the data to the National Vessel Documentation Center database and we now have information on around 450 schooners. Some of the records are short on data, and some are pretty well populated.

That database is the source for a new Association publication, the Registry of American Schooners. It is being produced as an Adobe Acrobat “book” with an interactive table of contents. Click on the listing and you jump right to the page the listing is on. All web site listings are hot links to the associated web site.

There is still a lot of work to be done, but an early version is available at http://www.AmSchooner.org/registry. It consists of a boat section, a geographical index and a designer’s index.

We need everyone’s help adding boats and bringing existing information up-to-date, particularly for privately owned undocumented boats. If there was ever a project for crowd sourcing, this is it! We are looking for basic boat specifications, ownership information, a boat photo and an editorial blurb about each boat. I’m sure there are hundreds of boats we haven’t found yet.

Somewhere down the road I will be creating a web site page providing direct access to the directory data.

The Registry is a public resource which we hope will be a boon to anyone interested in schooners! Download the Registry and take a look at what we have.

Odd and Ends

One of the great pleasures of taking over as secretary of the Association has been the constant stream of communication I have been having with members. I have gotten a chance to email back and forth with Richard Hudson, vicariously following his voyages from New York to Alaska, by way of the Northwest Passage. Following along as he wintered in Sitka, Alaska and then wandered down to Vancouver. In early September he left Vancouver, wandering down the west coast until I heard from him again from Easter Island in the South Pacific. He emailed me, apologizing for not getting his membership renewal in on time and asking if it would be ok if he mailed it from Chile? He is now in Chile, on his way to Antarctica. Another reason to check out the blog page! Come to think of it, I haven’t gotten his renewal check yet!

I’ve chatted with John Eginton, captain/owner of Mystic Whaler, New London, CT, who is working as relief Captain aboard Arabella in the British Virgin Islands for a couple of weeks. As I write this John is underway on a full moon sail from North Sound, Virgin Gorda to Spanish Town. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it.

I’ve traded emails with Leigh Woodling as she and Dick wandered down the east coast to Florida. Look for Leigh’s article in Wing & Wing.

Earlier today I traded emails with Brenda Hattery about the blog entry she just posted about the trip she and David made around Revillagigedo Island, an island in the Alexander Archipelago in southeastern Alaska, as part of their “North and more North” adventure. Yet another good reason to check out the new blog page!

All and all lots of interesting things going on with the association and membership. We want to hear all about it!

 

And spring is just around the corner. Sixteen days. But who’s counting.

 

Paul