Dear sailors,   
    Welcome back to the new watch year for the Venice Sailing Squadron and to our membership meeting programs.  As a reminder, our membership meetings are the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 6:30 PM and they are at the Venice Community Center unless otherwise announced.  Members bring a dish or desert in adequate quantity to share as well as their own drinks and tableware.   
    As usual, for our first meeting of the new year (September 9th), we’re looking for a big social night & reunion, so we’re not bringing in a speaker.  After all, who could compete with all the stories you have to tell about your summer activities?  And, to keep these stories flowing, hors d’oeuvres will be provided.   We look forward to seeing you all there!   
    Our October presentation will be from the Venice Youth Boating Association, a group with which we have a long standing relationship including our annual Big Boat Regatta with them.  And we draw upon the staff of that organization for Protest Committee service when our racing program needs it.  Our presenters will be John Sammet, Chair VYBA BOD, and Bryan White, new VYBA Sailing Program Director.  Bryan replaces Peter Eduardo, who has moved on to new opportunities and will be missed, but Bryan has lots of experience and will be an able replacement.  So we’re looking forward to meeting him in his new role and to continuing to build our relationship with that fine program.  And of course we always welcome the opportunity to hear from John Sammet.   
    Our November presentation will be from our own Dave McKie on marine surveys.  Cindy & I came down to Florida from Lake Michigan and we are still getting used to the harsh marine environment here … salt, heat, ultra-violet light.  We can see some of the effects easily, but when we had our boat hauled recently in Cortez, we were appalled to see the underwater repair required on our keel.  So periodic assessment of boat condition is an important topic for us all and we look forward to drawing upon Dave’s extensive experience in this field.   
    As usual, our December get-together will be a holiday party and our “presentation” is a visit from Santa Claus.  And January is our famous “Soup Night” presented by our own gourmet chefs.  We are still working on programs for February, March & April so it’s not too late to let me know if there are any particular topics you would like to have in the line-up.  And I’d really like to hear from you.   
    Our May program, of course, will be the Change of Watch.