Keelhaul: monthly gathering of salty dogs

September ’23 at Pizzakaya in Nishi Azabu

By Timothy Langley

The second Wednesday of September found our monthly Keelhaul at Pizzakaya in Roppongi. Although the Notice wasn’t well circulated due to webpage revitalization and laziness in getting the word out, this turned-out to be one of our largest Keelhauls of the year!

TSPS Commander, Bill Van Alstine, held court and generously ordered pizza for the assembled masses. Typically, TSPS orders the first few and afterwards, you are on your own. Pizzakaya is a well-known and frequent haunt for salty sailors, but we don’t go here EVERY month. The Regulars know to pay your own way and in this area there was plenty of craft beers jostled about!

Bridge Members John Kratochvil (Membership), Timothy Langley (Secretary & Legal Officer), Svetlana Ilyushechkina (Administrative Officer), Claude Strobbe (Educational Officer), Ashley Smart (Squadron Webmaster & IT Head), Vlad Legeza (Boating Activities Chair) were likewise present but, wow: there were about 30 other people! TSPS totally dominated the entire shop!

I was not successful in getting the names of everyone but outstandingly we had 4 guests, 2 new Members, and the rest diehard Keelhaulers! Apparently, the guests were curious about sailing lessons but due to the finicky webpage, decided to join the group over beers and pizza. Since then, I am told the issues with calendar and access to Lessons has been addressed.

In any event, this Keelhaul was loosely organized: no speeches, no introductory round-the-table runs, no save-your-ass lessons from John Kratochvil. But it was great fun with lots of comradery, particularly due to the fact that so many old salts showed-up including past Commander Mike Snyder!

While the Keelhaul is TSPS’s most regularly-scheduled social event (1st Wednesday-every month), we also host two annual barbeques and lots of on-the-water opportunities to sail or motorboat.

On October 7th, in fact, (13 days from this writing!), an always fabulous BBQ happens at Yumenoshima Marina on Saturday afternoon. Details elsewhere on the webpage but sign-up deadline is approaching so please hurry.

Also, the next Keelhaul approaches for October: Devil Craft in Jiyugaoka; the lessons for passing Class I and Class II tests are ongoing now.  Fall sailing season is here!

And finally, make sure you are on the Mailing List to receive Announcements directly and bookmark the webpage to register. 

Here are some photos of the event:

About Timothy Langley

I have only been sailing for the last 4 years or so, drawn to TSPS and the suggestion of sailing (I wasn't really looking) when a friend invited me to a Keelhaul. Several friends and old-timers who I never imagined were connected to the sea were active Members. After a few pints I thought, "why not...". I stopped hitting the sauna on weekends and working on old cars and, in no time, was sailing regularly. I soon stumbled on a decrepit yacht that needed some attention. So I purchased it, fixed it up and sailed the heck out of it. It is now a very proper and reliable sailing vessel. And, as a consequence, I have become somewhat competent as a solo sailor. I long for something bigger (Santana is a 40 year old Yamaha 26' possessing a proper enclosed head, a good galley, two berths, dry, comfy, reliable: sleeps 4) but in the meantime I am out on the Pacific almost weekly. Completely smitten.

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