In the many years since, we've become part of a community. The self-help philosophy helps keep annual fees low, but more importantly, the club is a reflection of its members. Fresh paint on the deck, flowers planted in the garden, swans fed.
And an active social calendar. Just this past month, I've participated in such memorable events at the clubhouse. The Commodore's Levee, with live music and mingling to celebrate New Year's Day. Trivia Night, with laughter and learning. BPYC Book Club with engaging conversation. Open Mic, with new and experienced musicians sharing some of their favourite tunes (including the yet-to-be-named-BPYC-strummers). And also Robbie Burns Supper.
I am so thankful for the wonderful friendships we've made with fellow sailors over the years. It may have started with the common interest of boating but has bloomed to sharing others: food, wine, theatre, art, music, birding, books. New discoveries and connections.
An example. Just yesterday Caroline organized a road trip and Laura, Kaarina and I were happy to follow her itinerary. Visiting Guildercroft with its antiques and handcrafted furniture. Then on to an afternoon of tastings. A trip to the newly opened Second Wedge Brewery, a flight of beers paired with Canadian cheeses, a tour with the brew master. Lunch at the Urban Pantry. Tasting wine in her neighbours' cellar, who crush grapes they order from California and age their own wine in barrels: chardonnay, albarino, syrah, zinfandel, cabernet. Casks tapped and wine spilled onto a gravel floor. Such delight on a winter's day.
So this January morning, looking over the events of this past month, I can't help but be thankful that more than ten years ago we choose to join BPYC. How different would our lives be if we had chosen a different club? And how much richer our lives have been, shared with these others.