June is here and boaters are returning more actively to Northwest waters. They can’t, though, be lumped… There are those who are in love with the rush of water close to the rail as they race past competitors. You can see them all over in Elliot Bay on Wednesday night races or on Lake Union in Tuesday night’s iconic Duck Dodge… There are boaters who enjoy the social life and more communal boating of yacht clubs. There are clubs in Seattle that appeal to all personalities from the more formal Seattle Yacht Club to those focused on more active racing like Corinthian Yacht Club… There are boaters who enjoy gunkholing; slowly checking out local waters and the towns on the edge, through weekends at Poulsbo enjoying “the bakery” or a trip to LaConner to experience the slough and the shops… There’s a small crowd who spend their days enjoying the personalities and unique activities of the dockside lifestyle where they’ve made their boats their homes… There are folks who spend many hours restoring classic boats of a bygone era sharing knowledge with like-minded friends and celebrating the Northwest’s historical love of boating at gatherings… There are boaters who revel in the sport of fishing, competing and just enjoying the seafood bounty available… There are boaters preparing charts and electronics for some serious regional adventures cruising up the Inside Passage to Alaska or discovering Vancouver Island with it’s opportunity to experience Northwest native culture and some Blue Water passages… And there are a few who are bringing a life-changing dream to fruition working hard at preparing their boats and boating skills for long-range cruising down the coast and beyond.
Wherever your boating activities fall within that diverse community we thank you for being a follower of Northwest Women in Boating and hope you will share about our organization with other women you meet out there as you journey up the dock or down the coast. Boating will offer you many things but, as we shared in our opening comments to those attending this year’s NWWB panel at the Seattle Boat Show, there is one thing we would like you to keep in mind.
“As a boater you can be a ROLE MODEL of a confident woman in a traditionally male dominated aspect of society. You can help promote equality. All aspects of boating have had reputations as bastions of male domination. I once submitted, to a boating magazine, an article about how chauvinism in boating could be a safety issue limiting a woman’s preparedness. It was titled, Who’s On The Helm? I got an unprecedented 3-page rejection letter from a male editor saying basically, ‘I loved your article, it’s really important info, some of my best friends are women BUT I can’t publish this because the men who mostly read my magazine might be upset.’ ”
As an engaged and informed woman boater, you are helping to change another aspect of society where treating women as second class and limiting their opportunities has been rampant. Boating can be an equalizer. BE STRONG, BE CONFIDENT and REACH OUT TO OTHER WOMAN. Even through boating you can be a revolutionary improving society for women.