Today Mie & Dav came over to Alameda with their bikes and we rode to several yacht clubs on the Island that opened their doors to visitors interested in becoming members. It was kind of like a pub crawl because each clubhouse has a bar and they all had food laid out for potential members. I had another meeting so joined them after they had already visited the posh Encinal Yacht Club and Oakland Yacht Club.
We met in front of the Alameda Yacht Club and immediately fell in love with it. The atmosphere was real casual and the people real friendly. Dav called it the, “working man’s yacht club” and the bartender (who we all think was sampling the inventory) went on about how they have lots of parties at this club and also give me the line that’s the title of this post. Membership is reasonable and they have an active group that goes out regularly and are always looking for extra crew. If I were to join a sailing club, this would be it.
We then went over the the Aeolian Yacht Club which I’ve been riding by each morning on my way to the ferry each morning. AYC was founded in 1905 and is the oldest club on the Island. There’s a functional clubhouse and they have a drydock and fully outfitted workshop for its members. The walls are lined with wonderful old black and white photos of old boats on that used to sail on the bay. I spotted one photo of a beautiful old catboat under full sail with the half-completed Bay Bridge in the background. Every Thursday evening, club members gather at 6:30 to row a large whaling dingy out into the bay to drink wine to the setting sun and sing sea shanties.
As Dav says, it’s good fun getting to know a new subculture.