Commodore’s Blog October 2018

It is a shock to move from the relative quiet of August and the hurricane-scare muddle of September to all the events happening now at the Dataw Island Yacht Club.

The biggest news is indeed BIG news – the chance for Dataw Island to purchase the Dataw Marina! After two years of suffering through having no marina and watching the continuing deterioration of the marina site with extremely limited operations, there is now hope. The protracted negotiations by Dataw’s leadership with the property owner has led to an acceptance of Dataw’s offer to purchase the entire property for $700,000. It is a stunning low price for the property and a compelling opportunity to begin to bring this painful episode to an end. Environmental studies have been completed with favorable results, and Dataw has 90 days to vote to affirm the purchase.

The DIYC strongly supports this purchase. If purchased, Dataw Island will decide what will be done with the property. It has been and remains our position that ultimately there must be a marina at Dataw. The DIYC will work diligently in support of the purchase and to maximize enjoyment of the marina property. There will be much more to come on this.

The Annual DIYC Commodore’s Ball is always exciting news of course. It is the most glamorous social event of the year at Dataw and a kick-off of the holiday season. The Ball will be on November 10. Gentlemen and ladies, dressed in their finest (OK, the guys will mostly be in all black) will dine on a delightful menu, hear a few remarks, welcome the new DIYC leadership, and dance the evening away to fantastic live music.

The Commodore’s Ball should never be missed by our members. This year is indeed special with the possibility to purchase the marina property before us. There will be much to talk about.

Our power cruise season is reaching its high and final point with two terrific October cruises. After the hurricane scare, boats being pulled and hatches battened down, we were free again and underway with our annual cruise to Bohicket Marina at Kiawah Island. It was a mariner’s test. Winds were up to 15 kts and the seas were choppy (would have been a perfect day for sailboats), but showers remained in the distance. Five boats and 28 members made the 32 mile cruise. All arrived and returned happily exhausted (a couple of boats made unintended diversions into the wrong creek but recovered). It was a great group and a day of DIYC camaraderie.

Next up is the cruise to visit our friends at the Edisto Island Yacht Club. We have developed a strong relationship with this sister low-country yacht club. On October 19 we will cruise there for lunch at their club and see many of our good EIYC friends again. Be sure to sign up for this one. The fall cruising weather should be at its best, and it’s an opportunity to see the low country waters as the season is changing.

Our Sailing Captain Roy Crocker has announced the Dataw Island Race and Cup. It will be on October 20 and sponsored by the DIYC and the Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club. The event will be sailed in the Beaufort River with cups to be awarded at the finish. This is one of the great events of the year for Dataw sailors. Pre-Matthew, the Dataw Race and Cup was raced in the Coosaw and Morgan Rivers with awards and dinner events held at Dataw. We want this race to return to us with a future operational marina at Dataw. Roy emailed a notice to all DIYC members on October 1 with the details for the event. Please be sure to see the email and participate.

Our kayaking group has continued a busy and very successful year – most of our sponsored kayaking events have been sell-outs. Recently, kayakers were given on-hand demonstrations at the Dataw pool on re-entering a kayak in the water. This is a critical skill because all active kayakers will at some point find themselves in the water and need to know how to safely re-enter their boat.

Next up for DIYC kayakers is a trip on the Savannah River on October 25. It’s a wonderful time of year to kayak, and this is a beautiful tour. There already are many signups, and it is sure to fill up quickly.

Another anticipated DIYC event is near at hand. The annual Ships Store Sale will be on November 14 at the Community Center. There will be many new DIYC embossed items this year and lots of other fun things on display at the sale. (I already have bought a couple of things out of the box as it passed by me on the way to inventory.)  Plan to stock up for the kids and grandkids and to enhance your own collection of DIYC gear.

As a final note, it is a pleasure to report that our Club is strong, the membership is growing and our finances are in great order!

Commodore’s Blog April 2018

The Dataw Island April 17 Town Hall discussion of the future of the Dataw Marina is a very important upcoming event. At our last DIYC Board meeting, we had an extended discussion of the issue.

The DIYC believes that the Marina was and should again be a part of the beating heart of Dataw Island. We represent the spirit of the boating-oriented community on Dataw, and it is no surprise that there is strong support among our members and leadership for rebuilding the Marina. We all remember the grand days of an active and thriving boating scene and the Marina docks busy with boats. We remember the beauty of the masts against the sky and the fun of being a part of the life at the Marina. With or without a boat, it was a vibrant social experience and a scene of compelling beauty. Remember those sunsets?

The Marina was our doorway to one of the last great places in America – the ACE Basin and Low Country waterways. Our waters, marshes, rivers and creeks and the ready ability to be on them is a part of the very nature of Dataw. So, too, are the many opportunities that a marina provides for sharing this treasure with our Dataw friends, whether on a boat, at a dock, at a DIYC social event at the Marina, or just hanging out with our friends on a beautiful day by the water. Ever sit at the back porch at Sweetgrass, on its deck, or on a boat with friends, enjoying a drink and good company at the end of a beautiful day? Remember showing the grand scene off to friends and family? Losing that was losing something we all loved.

After Hurricane Matthew, many assumed that despite the horrific destruction at the Marina, things would return much as they were. Marinas are lost or damaged from storms often. The losses at Hilton Head and most other areas were overcome. Dataw had an opportunity to purchase the Marina a year ago, but chose not to act, in part because there was another buyer, and many believed then that a buyer likely would bring our Marina back. The hope was that someone would rescue us from our loss without much effort or any cost on Dataw’s part. That proved untrue. When that rescue failed, another buyer appeared, and we were again optimistic that we would see relief. I have to admit that I was supremely optimistic on this one, a perfect buyer with extensive marina experience and already a presence at a nearby successful marina. But that, too, vanished.

It is clear now that Dataw cannot sit by and await a no-cost, no-effort deliverance, hoping that someone else will bring back what was so dear to Dataw. Dataw must prepare to take advantage of any opportunity to help itself. If a chance comes for Dataw to capture the property and revive the Marina, we should know what to expect, what our undertaking will require and be prepared to act.

The purpose of the April 17 Town Hall is to prepare for that opportunity. The DIOA directed that Dataw seek that opportunity and act, and not continue to let its fortunes depend on the unknown. The Marina Advisory Group is supporting the direction to prepare to control the Marina property. The DIYC is active in its support of these efforts.

Should the Marina be owned by Dataw, it will be up to Dataw to decide specifically how the property will be used. DIYC supports a full marina operation, but recognizes that the issues are many, and it may take time and staging to reach that goal. It is critical, however, that a rebirth begins and Dataw has returned to it that lost core of its identity.

There is great DIYC news, too, of course. The Kayaking group is continually adding exciting opportunities. On April 5, a much enhanced kayak facility was opened, with new kayak storage and an EZ Launch. The ability to get in the kayak, out on the water, and underway is enormously easier at this facility. It is especially a great addition for those less skilled, like myself. Moreover, that facility is an entrance to the Jenkins Creek area at Dataw that provides a wonderful low country, marsh-life experience.

The New River kayak cruise in March was a sold out, great start of the spring kayaking season. Nancy Schulte has announced the upcoming trip to the ACE Basin on May 4. It is a perfect time to see the early spring flowers and foliage.

Our power boat cruise to Downtown Beaufort was another success. We had eight boats and 48 DICY members on the cruise and lunched on the deck at the Q Restaurant. Out next outing is April 23. It will be a cruise up the Coosaw River, into the Whale Branch, past plantations and dolphin active areas, finally coming out at the Broad River. We will beach up and enjoy lunch at Cotton Island.

The DIYC is strong and enthusiastic. Our membership is growing, and we have launched into another great season.