Clear Lake Work Weekend – Spring 2023

A group of 20+ people signed up for this year’s larger-than-normal work weekend at Clear Lake, to get the cabin ready for the summer season.

As you all know, the dock got seriously damaged during the winter storms, with a couple of sections deemed unfit for further use. One section in particular was so damaged that it would have been unsafe to let guests use the dock, so this needed replacing.

One damaged dock section. This one is removed for now, but not yet replaced.
Another damaged dock section

YSC vice president Solveig Barnes, Clear Lake cabin master Dave Conroy, and club member Allen Hinkelman planned and organized this massive repair project, and pulled it off with flying colors. There were some snags along the way, but the team was so focused on getting the work done, they innovated solutions on the spot, and we were able to build the new dock section, AND have it towed across the lake in one weekend.

Solveig, Allen, Andrew and Ryan, assembling the new dock section
These guys did an amazing job, and you could often hear singing from the parking lot where they worked.

There were many factors that contributed to this successful work weekend, but most would agree that the main key to the high level of productivity was being well fed. Seti Shay took on the huge responsibility of cooking for us all, making sure we stayed hydrated (Saturday was HOT!) and never got hangry. Every single meal was a treat!

Seti ran a tight ship, planning and organizing all the meals for the crew. Here with the help of Ramesh!
Mediterranean style breakfast eggs

Fred and Lisa Barnes assisted with invaluable help, letting us use their trailer to tow the dock to the launch ramp, and their boat to tow the dock across the lake. And they kept the spirit of the team up by just being pretty darn awesome people!

The Barnes family. We can’t thank them enough for all their help

Saturday was a hot day. While one crew worked on building the new dock, another group started demolishing and disassembling the damaged sections, a job that seemed to give the workers a bit of satisfaction as they got to swing heavy tools to break things.

Club president Jeanette, winning the battle against rotting dock boards and rusty nails.
Rotting boards, and disintegrating flotation tires and buckets were removed.
Saturday was basically ONE, looong workout.

We also had one group focused on staining the deck, which our local caretaker Rick McCann had power-washed before we all got up there. Rick’s diligence in looking after our cabin is truly amazing. He checks in on the cabin almost daily and sends frequent reports and updates if anything happens or needs repairing.

Erde and Rick, enjoying a well-deserved break
Cabin Master Dave, supervising the deck staining
Eric, putting the final touch of stain to the deck, which is now ready for dining and dancing again!

Another group went to work on all the outdoor furniture, power-washing the tables and benches, and then giving them a fresh coat of paint.

Jo was very proud of her stylish Tyvek suit for the paint job. As a true fashion designer, she modified it by removing the sleeves and cutting off the legs.
Ramesh and Lotti, repainting the tables
So many cobwebs to get rid of!
For those of us lucky to be up early, we got to witness a rare sight. A family of benches cautiously emerging from their winter hibernation.
Jo and Lisa, painting furniture

And inside the cabin we had help from electrician Monica Anderson who fixed a lot of malfunctioning wiring. Monica is a new member, and this huge work weekend was her first club event! We hope we didn’t scare her off… 🙂

In the kitchen, Erde went to town on the messy pantry, an area in dire need of cleaning. He spent the ENTIRE weekend throwing away old food, cleaning all the shelves, organizing the remaining items, and also adding labels to the shelves. It’s been decades since the pantry was this clean!

No more expired food items, plus we got labels to tell us what goes where!

We also transformed the cabin from winter use to summer use. In the winter we have beds in the two smaller rooms and the women’s locker room, but in the summer the smaller rooms become storage, especially the cabin master’s room that holds the sound system and speakers, plus numerous boxes of party supplies, the first aid kit etc.

The cabin master’s room. Beds are out, summer supplies are in!

Saturday was also the day of the Celebration of Life for the club’s long-time member Carsten Johansen. As some people were not able to attend it because of the work weekend, at exactly 4pm, we stopped work for a bit, and raised a toast to Carsten. Those who knew him well explained to the others just how much Clear Lake and the club meant to Carsten. One thing that people found particularly endearing was how much he liked people, and that he used to say “the best ship is friendship”. SkĂĄl Carsten!

Carsten Hughes, pouring a little Akvavit for everyone to toast Carsten Johansen.
Henrik and Lotti, securing a stray boatport to the dock. After the winter storms, there are way more loose parts on the dock than there should be…
Lunch time. Delicious pesto sandwiched and more!
Carsten, telling Jens, Henrik and Eric about the fish that got away

There is also an old shed at the back of the cabin, that barely anyone, except rodents, has dared venture into. Dave and Jesper bravely masked up and went to work, and cleaned out SO much stuff!

As the old dock parts were removed, the new dock section reached finished stage, and we got to the major task of getting it into water.

Andrew and Ryan
The team, getting ready to lift the entire new dock frame onto the trailer
The frame was then attached to the top of the flotation devices, before being towed away to the other side of the lake, where we could easily lower it into the water
And then towed across the lake back to the cabin
Captain Allen
It’s here, and it floats! Time to celebrate!
“Pop!” goes the cork!

There are still a few minor things to fix, like putting boards on top of the new dock section, and securing it in place. Plus a few clean-up things in and around the cabin. But we got SO much work done this weekend. A huge THANK YOU to Solveig, Allen and Dave for planning and putting this all together, and to Seti for feeding this hungry and rowdy bunch.

And a big heartfelt thank you to all who volunteered their time and energy:

  • Dave
  • Solveig
  • Allen
  • Seti
  • Jo
  • Henrik
  • Jeanette
  • Lotti
  • Erdmann
  • Ramesh
  • Fred
  • Lisa
  • Carsten
  • Jesper
  • Monica
  • Eric
  • Ryan
  • Andrew
  • Annelie
  • Ryan
  • Rick
  • Jens

Seriously, we could not have done it without you! Here’s to a great Clear Lake season!
(And did you all notice how high the water level is now?! The lake is refilled, and clearer than it has been in many years!)

Marin Hike, April 23

Hikers on the trail in Marin

Our Marin expert Jesper finally got a hike with good weather! We tried doing this one in March, but this winter’s weather has really managed to disrupt outdoor plans this year!

Jesper guided the group on Ring Mountain in Corte Madera. We were treated to great views and plenty of spring flowers. We ended the hike with a beverage at the Junction Beer Garden in Mill Valley.

We have plenty of hikes planned this year, and hope to see as many of you as possible out on the trails!

Happy Hour at the Royal Cuckoo, March 16

Bar interior

New club president Jeanette Flodell hosted this city happy hour at the cozy Royal Cuckoo in the Mission District.

We had about 25 people show up, and the owners Deb and Paul had created two specials for us. The Pink Viking (elderflower + Akvavit), and a Carlsberg beer accompanied by an Akvavit shot.

It was a great laid-back Thursday event. Several new members showed up, which we appreciated!

Seal watching at Año Nuevo State Park

YSC members on seal hiking trip

YSC board member Aaron organized this sold-out family friendly event where we got up and close to the elephant seals that call Año Nuevo SP home.

15 club members braved the gnarly weather and got what turned out to be a really awesome day outdoors. The weather opened up with a chilly rain as we left for the trail, got  pretty  miserable for about  20 minutes, then stopped and brought in blue skies, by the time we returned 2 hours later it was a lovely day on the coast.

Hard to beat seeing  these massive  beasts thumping around the beach and the cute pups  with huge black eyes close up.

We should do this again a bit earlier next year , end of January  would be an ideal  time to see a lot of activity.

And for anyone interested  it’s free to come visit in November and there will be  large bulls on the beach.

North Bay Happy Hour with Solveig, Feb 24th

Our vice president Solveig Barnes hosted the year’s first Happy Hour north of the Golden Gate, at No Name Bar in Sausalito.

We had a very successful turnout for the first North Bay HH. All who attended were extremely grateful that there was finally a HH closer to their neighborhood. There was around 20+ people who passed by throughout the evening and a bonus for a live band that hopped on stage around 9pm. We met some new members and a lot of alum members too. They all had wonderful ideas and requests for more HH and events in the North Bay. The bar was a locals watering hole and the usuals were very friendly and welcoming!

Peninsula Happy Hour @ Menlo Park

Aaron Zorndorf hosted this happy hour at the Dutch Goose in Menlo Park. Our happy hours outside of the city have been quite popular and we intend to continue offering a mix of locations and weekdays this year.

The Dutch Goose HH was held on February 17th, and we had about 17-18 guests show up.

Happy Hour at the Lucky Horseshoe

The board’s own Aaron Zorndorf and his band provided the entertainment for February’s City Happy Hour at the Lucky Horseshoe.

About  15 people showed up. It seemed guests enjoyed this place as it was not too crowded or too noisy. We had a couple nice big  booths where people could sit and talk. Many stayed till past we left. We taught the bar how  to SKÅL the YSC  way and took photos on the stage.

Annual Meeting & Elections

The YSC held its general Annual Meeting and elections on February 5th, at the Swedish American Hall. We had about 50 people show up. The board presented the past year, as well as the plan for the upcoming year and news about our cabins. Unfortunately the winter storms have caused a lot of damage to the dock at the Clear Lake cabin, and extensive repairs will be needed.

We had three positions on the board that were up for either reelection or replacement. Bianca Tisell and Dave Conroy were reelected for another three-year term, and the president Ulrika Lidström had decided to step down from the board. Long-time club member and previous board member Christopher Healey was elected to her empty seat. At the next Board meeting, the board will elect a new president and other officer positions.

Gordo and Rolf, quite excited about the financial report.

We also presented a brief summary of the recent member survey, sent out in January. We got some good insight into the club demographics, and what people would like to see when it comes to events and cabins. More to come on this soon, as we prepare a post-survey report to send out.

Thanks to everyone who showed up and participated in this important general meeting!

January Happy Hour in SF

Andrew Vik hosted the first club event for the year, at Harry’s Bar in SF’s Marina District on January 20th. What a turnout! Nearly 50 YSCers and friends took over Harry’s Bar in S.F. for the club’s biggest Happy Hour since pre-pandemic times. Unfortunately no photos were taken, but good times were had, that’s for sure. 🙂