May 10, 2020 COVID-19 Update

kimmyjThis Week at CYC

Dear CYC community,

Commodore Update:
Following on our series of Club updates in the midst of this viral storm, developments and forecasts have become increasingly fluid. While at this point it’s difficult to project where we’ll be as the summer unfolds, our regular club activities will most likely be disrupted.
Last week, Sail Nova Scotia hosted another of their meetings for clubs across the province. The common theme was the upsetting prospect of potentially having to cancel or curtail the junior sailing programs. This will continue to evolve as the concept of social distancing on a dingy is a challenge. Our Learn to Sail Director Christine Santimaw may have a creative solution, which she’ll provide in her update below. We continue to abide by the provincial government guidelines, which in the case of CYC means that the clubhouse will remain closed for the foreseeable future, though using the floats or crane is allowed within the context of social-distancing.
From a financial perspective, with regards to the proposed Benefactors Trust, following the March circulation to the membership of the draft changes to the Bylaws, we have received constructive input from a number of members. This is being incorporated by the Long Range Planning Committee and will be presented to the membership in advance of our AGM.
On the Club’s short term financial outlook, we are grateful for the continued arrival of membership subscriptions and we thank those who have already made their payments and look forward to receipt from all others. The club can survive without most of our events but the fixed costs are covered by membership. Thanks also to those who have responded to last week’s questionnaire on Race Week, your input makes the lives of the planning committee a little easier.
Our club is almost 120 years old and has endured similar years of hardship whether World Wars or pandemics. Our community made up of our devoted membership and a committed Executive will see the club through these challenging times. More updates on CYC activities will be sent as they arise.
On behalf of all of us at the club, we thank you for your continued support.
Good health to you and your families,
David Creighton, Commodore


Junior Sailing Program Update:
This is a fairly detailed update as I want to provide you with as much information as I can at this time.
As our Commodore has mentioned, we have participated in a number of Zoom calls with Sail Nova Scotia in regard to general club operations. I as well have been able to participate in additional meetings regarding, specifically, Learn to Sail programs across the province, with other Learn to Sail directors, some commodores and representatives from the Sail NS board. As I am also a member of the Sail NS board, I have also been fortunate to receive additional and informative updates from Sail Canada and clubs across the country.
The good news: we are all on the same page.
While it may be hard to believe, sailing lessons have not been deemed an essential service and we therefore will comply with regulations. Obviously for us and all other clubs offering junior lessons, this is a cause of concern – we want nothing more than getting our juniors on the water as soon as possible. All clubs are prepared for the reality that junior sailing programming will not proceed as it has in past years and most are prepared for no programming at all. At CYC, we are also unique in that many of our coaches and participants come from outside of Nova Scotia and outside of Canada.
Typically, employment of our instructor team would begin around the second or third week of June with programming scheduled to begin, this year, on June 22. Because sailing is a sport that requires significant start-up labour, we have decided that a final decision will be made on or about June 1. This said, due to the uncertainty of how things are progressing, decisions regarding summer programming may change as the response to the pandemic evolves. That may not provide you with the certainty you need but I suppose this is the position we find ourselves in right now.
On a more positive note, over the past few months, head coach Chris Tully and I have prepared a number of plans to would allow us to tackle whichever scenario with which we are faced come June 1. In the event that programming as we know it be postponed for 2020, we have some devised some creative solutions that might at least enable some junior sailors in Chester to hit the water outside of the club.
You will be the first to know as things change, which they will. Please know we want nothing more than to offer lessons this summer, as always, but will do everything necessary to support our community through this tough time.
Please let me know if you have any questions whatsoever.
Stay safe, healthy and positive,
Christine Santimaw, Learn To Sail Director


Rear Commodore update:
As the boating season fast approaches and the days become favourable, we are sure that everyone is wondering what the status of our water operations will look like.
As mentioned in previous communications, CYC will/has launched our network of floats and moorings.  The 2019 fall storm season was very hard on our infrastructure. Since restrictions have been loosened it has allowed us to have some of our critically damaged infrastructure repaired and replaced. Our target for operational use is middle of May.
This effort is part of a infrastructure renewal and development plan targeting tired and worn facilities and equipment to keep our members and guests safe. We are fortunate to have a team relentlessly targeting specified government support programs to allow us to continue with this effort.
We are uncertain at this time if and when we can offer tender service, therefore the executive has decided to shelve our newly developed tender policy for the 2020 boating season. This means there WILL NOT be limited number of available spaces for personal tender boats. All senior members in good standing will be allowed to store one (1) personal tender boat. We ask that you please review the tender policy:  60fe40ab006d/CYC_Tender_Dinghy_2020_Application.pdf  and respect the rules/restrictions we have outlined. This will ensure all members are afforded a space and we can minimize unnecessary damage.

  • Tender/Dinghies MUST be only up to be 12 feet or less in length
  • Dinghy/tenders MUST have the owner’s name clearly printed on them or on an attached label
  • Outboard motors MUST be left down when docked at CYC dinghy dock so it does not interact/damage another boat

When accessing the Chester Yacht Club wharf, you acknowledge your responsibility to adhere to social distancing of 2m and to not gather in groups larger than five (5) until such time as amended by NS Health Authority.
CYC will continue to allow members who have completed the crane waiver & payment to use the wharf crane to launch their boats. Please review revised crane policy:
before calling Kim to make an appointment. CYC will provide all necessary sanitization equipment to minimize risk for all members using CYC equipment. We are asking that you sanitize thoroughly before and after use, and please respect the rules of social distancing of 2m and to not gather in groups larger than five (5) so we too do our part to keep the greater CYC community safe.
While we are unsure of what the larger landscape looks like for our 2020 sailing season, we expect the recreational boating culture at Chester Yacht Club to survive and thrive.

Sean Pearce, Rear Commodore


Vice Commodore update:
As the Rear Commodore prepares for access to the water-based facilities, Kim and I are equally looking at the measures needed to open the CYC clubhouse and grounds.
In the hopes that we do get the green light to open and given the current NS Health Authority guidelines, CYC will likely only have limited access to the Club initially.  Preparations are currently underway to ensure a safe environment including Hand Sanitizers and Protective Screens around the bar, as well as considering general movement around and inside the Clubhouse.
As we begin to prepare for some degree of openness we are equally looking at the summer Social schedule.  Our assumptions at present; given current Nova Scotia policies, will be to keep social gatherings to an absolute minimum. Larger social gatherings including Friday Evening socials will be put on hold until we are permitted to host appropriate numbers of members/attendees.
While I know this is very disappointing to hear, I’m quite sure this does not come as a shock given the regular updates we are hearing from our government leadership. We are looking at doing some creative activities that keep us aligned with the provincial guidelines.  I’m happy to entertain and consider any inventive ideas you might have.
Some OUTSIDE orientated ideas currently being considered:

  • Informal Sail Past for Canada Day (perhaps during the day)
  • Take out Burgers
  • Popup Movies/Music on the Cobble Stones
  • Mid-Day Tea on the Cobble Stones

Our expectations will be that members follow all physical distancing and health guidelines while visiting the Club facilities.
From a facilities improvement perspective, a request coming from several members was the addition of kayak racks to support member storage at the club.  We are currently organizing to have spots available early in June for six (6) kayaks (there will be a fee associated).
In closing we will continue to monitor and adjust as the Nova Scotia regulations permit; as well as do our utmost to keep our Membership and Staff safe.
Jennifer Chandler, Vice Commodore


Message from Kim, CYC Club Manager:

Hope everyone is well and getting through these crazy times!

CYC recognizes this may be a very difficult time for some members.  If anyone is experiencing financial hardship during these unprecedented times, Please do not hesitate to reach out to me in confidence to work out a payment plan for membership dues renewal.  Membership at Chester Yacht Club is a long-term relationship and we will do our best to accommodate those in need.
We wish you and your family safety and health and look forward to seeing you at the Club very soon.

Kim Johnson, Club Manager [email protected]