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The Officer’s Corner – Q2, 2018

Michael Harrison

What a wonderful few months we’ve had! I’m so glad to see everyone having such a wonderful time.

For July, Bridget once again pulled together an amazing fête for Bastille Day at South Shore Harbor. She donated some fabulous prizes – one of which is proudly sitting on my bookshelf at home!

The club had a wonderful time in the BVIs in June, something that many people are already planning to do again next year in a new location, and maybe with a few smaller boats. 🙂
Pride Galveston was also in June, none of us had been before – but it was awesome to support them and we even got a few members and sold some merch while there!

May brought sombreros and margaritas to usher in summer at Cinco de Gayo – put together and hosted by Christopher Coy and Kenny Barclay. They did a marvelous job – and I hope we put this on the calendar for years to come! It was so much fun!

Hope to see you all at the Nassau Bay raft-up on August 11th!

I’ve added a brand new member management backend to the website, this should take a large administrative load off the officers. We also have a new website layout, which highlights the upcoming events – and make registration easier. We’re trying to move away from using Facebook, since not everyone has an account. Please send me any feedback you have – I’ve heard all of it and I am trying to implement the ideas.

Constantine Volo

Bridget Upton

June 8 – June 10 Several Boats (5 I think) went down to Galveston Yacht Basin for the Pride Celebration. I borrowed a truck and picked up a tent, cooler, chairs etc and taxied boat people around from the yacht basin to the beach and back and then on to the block party later. And of course, some bar time; A hot time was had by all! I understand we gained some new members and sold a few hats.

June 15 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm Friday Fireworks Raft-Up I didn’t participate and not sure who did but I am sure they had a blast!

June 23 – June 30 Charter in the BVIs Wickhams Cay 2, Road Town, Virgin Islands (British)

Leaders: Michael Harrison and Christopher Bown.

Well….Wow! It was really pretty and the boats were very roomy, a few minor mechanical issues but some were fixed by ourselves and some had the Moorings(the company we all rented from) come to fix stuff. A total of 12 of us went and had 3 boats in our fleet. We donated burgees and lots of stickers to various bars and restaurants along the way.  We tied up to mooring balls and either swam or dinghied into a different shore each day. The Indians were the best snorkeling with incredible big sea fans and lots of pretty tropical fish. Our boat on the first day kinda got our buts kicked by the Indians. We lost the pole and a pair of fins trying to tie up to a mooring ball. We circled and eventually found everything. We went on to our overnight mooring at the Bight. Next day we went back to conquer the Indians and it was so worth it.

We celebrated Mr & Mrs. Wendy’s 25th anniversary in Anagada over lobster dinners followed by a limbo contest. I also acquired a few pets; my little reef shark and a turtle (I’m sure they were the same ones) who followed me. We were low on fresh water, so we boiled pasta with the sea water; delicious! Don’t try that around here. It seemed a little overcast but apparently, it was African dust, we didn’t watch much news. The Full Moon Festival in Trellis Bay was cool, their elaborate metal sculptures filled with wood that was lit up and men on walking stilts and we had a howling good time. Jost Van Dyke was our last overnight and it was my favorite! It had all of my favorite vices covered. Most of us are already thinking about where to go next year!

July 13  Bastille Day  – Swim up cash bar and so so cheese and crackers tray. Congratulations to prize winners for best French outfit went to Dee Latiolais who got the French crab, Lori Friemel who was awarded the French mermaid, Michael Harrison received the French Fish and Jerry who won the French turtle award. Mark Tarver brought a guest (sorry forgot his name but he was cute) who won the boat superstition bingo game created by Michael and Constantine! We had about 20 people join in on the fun. We also met a new friend Sebastion who goes by SeaBass. He is a Hot Coastie who normally works around Sabine Pass.

August 11  12:00 pm – 6:00 pm Organizer Christopher Herbert had to cancel/postpone this event but we are hoping to do a Nassau Bay Raft up from 12-6. It is rather shallow and the bigger sailboats 5’ and over keels probably can’t get back there. If my boat is completed with her facelift by then I can happily take a few. If you have a pontoon boat, jet skis or other shallow draft boats this is a perfect time to get her out.

Jerry Simoneaux
Fleet Captain


Christopher Bown


Dee Latiolais


For suggestions on additional cruise destinations, hosting dock parties, other fun boating activities e.g. kayaking Contact Commodore Michael Harrison at (832)726-3821 or

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GAYS in 2018

Welcome to 2018!
We have concluded our annual planning meeting – and it looks like it’s going to be an exciting year!
We have cruises to all the best local areas, plus an exciting trip to the British Virgin Islands in June! Be sure to check the calendar for all the events we have planned.

While 2017 had it’s ups and downs, particularly with the weather, I know that 2018 will be a great year for GAYS. We have new members who are showing interest in being active and old members ready to face the challenges of making sure we have a fun, safe, and memorable time on the water. If you have interest in volunteering for anything, leading a cruise, or wanting to help with administrative duties – let me know! We will also be holding our officer elections soon, be sure to put your name in the running if you’re interested.
Continue reading GAYS in 2018

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Flag Protocol

Flags are of utmost importance while underway and flying them properly will show others you are a responsible and respectful boat operator. Flags can also be fun! Let’s look at proper flag protocol aboard your boat, so we can all enjoy this wonderful tradition.

Three types of flags are usually flown: national ensign, club affiliation, and owner’s flag (private or officer flag).

National Ensign

The national ensign flag should be flown furthest aft and display the hailing port nation. The flag should only be flown between 0800 and sundown. As a rule, the flag should be one inch per foot of the vessel, flying a larger flag than this is considered disrespectful. Never fly the flag from the top of the mast, spread halyards, bow staff, or fishing outriggers.

U.S. Yacht Ensign

Club Affiliation

Many sailing and social clubs use a club burgee to signify your affiliation, for example, the most anticipated GAYS burgee. These flags should be flown bow staff on a power boat and the starboard spreader halyard on a sailboat.

Normally, only one club burgee is flown at a time, the club which you are representing. An exception is made for celebrations or opening day ceremonies, where the flags should be flown with the representing club at the top.

Officer’s Flag

There is a set flag for the commodore, the vice commodore, and rear commodore, 13 stars surrounding an anchor in blue, red, and white respectively. There are also flags for the fleet captain, treasurer, and secretary which are often differing among clubs. These flags should be flown below the club burgee on a sailboat or from the mast on a power boat (leaving the club burgee at the bow staff).
Only fly an officer flag when the officer is aboard the vessel.

Owner’s Flag/Private Signal

A time-honored tradition is having a flag that represents an individual or family and is flown to signify their presence aboard a vessel (or home). These should be flown below the club and officer burgee on a sailboat’s starboard spreader halyard and from the mast of a powerboat (or antenna if you don’t have a mast).

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Navigation Essentials

To many first time boaters, the most frightening thing after learning to dock, is navigating safely with other boaters. While a post on docking would be hard to write – navigation essentials is something we can all benefit to learn more about.

There is a simple rhyme to help you remember where to keep those channel markers:

Red Right Return

This simply means, keep the red marker on your right as you return to port from the bay/sea/gulf. This is also helpful to remember when passing another boat, you should pass to the right of the red light!

There are many other navigational aids you should be aware of, outlined below.

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Here come the GAYS!

After being a boater for many years, I’ve come to realize the openness of the boating community.

Through my years of being gay, I’ve also realized it’s nice to stick together and build off the camaraderie our community has – hence, the Gulf Area Yachting Society was born.