Commodore’s Blog January 30, 2020

Great Lakes Dock and Dredge, Inc crew heading out to work on Hunting Island using Dataw Marina as home port. Photo by Skip Hoyt

Our marina is finally fully functional and open for business. The improvements, repairs and actions we voted on last year have been substantially completed. Dock is built, wet slips are open, electric is on, pilings removed, equipment repaired, many major improvements completed, fuel is for sale, Outpost is open, dry stack is filling, transients are visiting and a restaurant is soon to open. However, it has not been a smooth passage. We had major hidden defects, regulatory changes and challenges, manufacturers defects, unknowable major equipment failures, contractor issues, and on and on. As our boaters know, when you have a rough journey, you are cold and wet, or too seasick get out of your bunk, it is easy to forget where you started from and where you are going. You just want to get through the next shift, or the current night.

As I reflect back to where we started from, just a bit over a year ago, the marina property was a mess. There was no potential in water dockage; the in water area was a dangerous eyesore full of pilings; the land side was dirty, degraded and not functional; there was a failing management organization in charge. In summary, there was NO FUTURE. At our many meetings, we frequently heard members say, “we need a marina”, “we moved here because of the marina”, “we will leave if we don’t have a marina”. We voted, and almost unanimously, we wanted a marina. We became the owners of our own marina. That was not long ago.

Where are we going? I hope our marina journey will continue with ongoing improvements. That is up to us, the owners of this marina. I think about another facility we own, the golf course. The golf course has been in operation for approx. 35 years. Yet 35 years later, we, the owners, are still making improvements, with well over $ 10 million invested over the last 10 years, and multiple improvements that continue today. All of us here on Dataw benefit from having outstanding facilities, including an active and viable marina, and as improvements continue those benefits also increase. Ostensibly, our yacht club and our boaters benefit the most from our marina. I fear however, if we are not using and filling the marina we own, but are instead supporting our competition, it may be impossible to get the majority of our marina owners to support continued improvements. Again, I think to the golf course we own. A few years ago, the cart paths were a rough, bone jarring experience, but our members did not pack up and only play at other courses; they came up with a plan to improve the situation and our owners approved it.

We have made a lot of progress in a year, but I believe our marina journey is not complete. The destination and beyond is ours to determine. As part of the Dataw Island Yacht Club, which includes the majority of our boaters, we can work towards a destination we can all look forward to. Storms will come and storms will pass, but we need to remember where we started from and where we are trying to go. I look forward to feedback from our DIYC members as to where we want to go with our marina and how we can get there.

Scott Johnson
Commodore – DIYC

Great Lakes Dock and Dredge, Inc Crew boat renting space at Dataw Marina

Commodore’s Blog – December 2019

Let me start my first posting by thanking you all for your support and trust being elected as your Commodore for 2020.

photo by Bill Riski

The recent conclusion of our 2019 Commodore’s Ball, kicks off our 2020 calendar. The Commodores Ball, once again stood out as one of the preeminent formal events on the island. Starting with outstanding decor and decorations organized by Martha Keet and Commadorable, Cheryl with their team of decorating experts; the great slide show assembled by Keith Aspray and Louise Moses with many entertaining and informative slides of our Past, Present and Future ; to the packed dance floor, well past Dataw midnight; it was a great time for all. For those of you who missed it or want to revisit the fun, check out all the great pictures, by Bill Riski, on the DIYC website where you can also see the Past, Present and Future slide show.

The new bridge is in place and ready to serve – Bryan Tuttle as Vice Commodore and Dan Duncan as Rear Commodore. The new Board is also in place with many returning members from last year. The Board has already starting planning our 2020 year. We say goodbye to Karen McCue and thank her for all her efforts as Social Co-Chair over the last couple of years. I also want to thank Keith Aspray for all his work in 2019. His tireless efforts in supporting the Marina vote followed by extensive efforts to expand the DIYC’s role in the Marina redevelopment were critical for the future of our club. We thank him for all those efforts while still excelling at all the “normal” Commodore duties.

We kicked off our first event for the new Board with Luminary Night. What a great showing by the DIYC. Cindy Dunnenberger led a team of creative persons decorating the Ms. Christi as well as luminaries all around the pier and deck areas. Also thanks to a number of our boaters who decorated their boats and had them at the new dock. A great visual of the things to come at the marina. If you missed this great event, you must check out the pictures on the DIYC website.

The DIYC highlight of 2019 was the acquisition of the Marina by DIOA. We now own our marina! Our dry stack boaters now have a reliable home for their boats, and while the challenges have been large, we will have our wet slip boats back at our Marina very soon!! The number of our DIYC members that have recently purchased or are considering purchase of a boat has been very refreshing. We look forward to the continued expansion of our DIYC fleet.

Our fishing fleet returned in 2019 with four fishing outings that were hugely successful. One trip brought in around 80 fish. We look to expand our fishing group in 2020 and we may need to consider a new DIYC event, the DIYC Fish Fry, after these fishing trips!

Looking ahead I envision that the DIYC Board will be focused on:

• Continuing the expansion of our marina with the return of our wet slip boats, the return of sailboat racing on the Morgan River, and the continued expansion of our DIYC fleet.
• Continuing our inclusion of non-boat owning members in various club activities, be they on water or on land;
• Continue the growth in our kayak program, with new partnerships and trips with our neighboring communities.
• Continue the growth of our fishing fleet and expand our fishing opportunities.

The DIYC has seen tremendous growth in new members over the last couple of years. We look forward to continuing the growth of our membership with all the great things happening at the Marina, our cruises, our fishing activities, our kayaking trips and our renowned social events. Renewal letters have been delivered. We look forward to seeing you back. If you did not get a renewal letter, please let me know.

Have a great holiday season, and you will be hearing back from me at the beginning of the New Year.

Scott Johnson
Dataw Island Yacht Club