This watch is will start with attentions focused on the sea. Last year at this time Irma was plowing into the Naples. Our coastal town was spared from the ravages of a storm bouncing up the Gulf coast as South Florida took it on the chin and the storm turned slightly towards the east. Although not left completely unscathed Venice considering the alternatives, ducked a potential disaster. This year as we monitor September’s storm season amidst the ravages of a another disaster. Our coast is besieged by a horrible, persistent toxic condition that unlike a hurricane, hasn’t blown off.

We were able to have two events this summer. In a Red TIde, the group kayaked to Midnight Pass from Black Burn Pt. The event was planned on the tide so it was behind us for each leg. Kudos to the nautical planning that went into that. We were met for lunch by more members upon returning to the Casey Key Fish House. It was a good time and was I pleased at the turn out. The second event was at Snook Haven. The event was well attended. It was a good time to keep up on the ties that bind us but the fact remained that the event was replacing the favorite VSS annual Crab Feast. The fish kills have created such a market for crabs that to meet our crab order, charges would have exceeded $1500 from a wholesaler in North Port. Last year a bushel of large males from a local restaurant cost the club $275. It wasn’t crabs but still was a good time to see the group together and excited for a new watch season.

This red tide killing manatees, dolphins and hundreds of thousands of fish in our local waters and aslo has dampened our inclination to venture out and sail. It is the mission of the VSS to encourage you to get out on the water and sail. Following that mission, this year’s watch calendar contains at least two VSS races per month, multiple day cruises, over night cruises, and a good variety of social events with salty sailors like the monthly member meetings and moonlight pizza parties. I can only hope that this “natural” phenomena that has plagued us all Summer abates, we can breathe the sea air again with out trepidation and we sail the Gulf with the dolphins at our bow. The club will do it’s part to plan but as we are reminded so oftern, we are at the mercy of the sea.

Please join us this Wednesday for our September meeting at the Venice Community Center. We will look forward to welcoming new members and seeing old friends. The program will focus on introducing the officers and directors of this watch year and the upcoming calendar of events . Doors open at 6.30 with the meeting starting around 7. As usuall it’s a potluck so bring a dish to share, your own beverges and a plate to eat from.

Please note the board is short handed and needs your help. The club is run on the efforts of it’s members. Please contact me or another officer if you have skills and time to lend the Squadron and help us carry out our mission to the local sailing community .