Emeryville Yacht Club At the Helm...
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Michelle Stephens, Commodore
Michelle Stephens joined the Emeryville Yacht Club in 2018 with her husband, Vice Commodore, Myron Stephens. She previously served as Rear Commodore. Michelle grew up on lake boats with her dad and spent many summers waterskiing on Folsom Lake, in the Sacramento area. Then Myron introduced her to sailboats and sailing when they met in 2007, and she's been sailing ever since. Michelle and Myron sailed on his parents Alberg 30 for several years before buying their Tartan 3700, Savvy, in 2016. They reside in the Sacramento area, but spend as much time as possible on the Bay with their Frenchie, Bailey, sailing, visiting new harbors, or simply enjoying being on the boat that they consider their second home. Michelle comes from a family of educators and currently teaches second grade. Her passion is working with little learners, fostering a love of learning and helping to build the foundation for their educational careers. In her spare time, Michelle enjoys working on the Emeryville Yacht Club website, crafting, watching movies, and simply hanging out with family and friends.
Myron Stephens, Vice Commodore
Myron and his wife, Michelle, joined the Emeryville Yacht Club in 2018. Myron previously served as Director. Myron and Michelle split their time between their home in the Sacramento area and their Tartan 3700. Myron has been sailing in the Bay on his parents sailboats, both a catamaran and four monohulls, since he was a child. Myron's dad built his first two boats from scratch and later gutted and rebuilt the Alberg 30 that Myron and Michelle sailed before buying their Tartan. One of Myron's favorite memories is when he was six years old, sailing in the Vancouver Islands with his parents and their Boxer, on their 18' Cape Dory. Myron and Michelle have always had Boxers, but now have a French Bulldog, Bailey, who loves sailing and chewing on the ends of ropes to make sure they are smooth and well maintained. Myron is an art teacher and artist who will be retiring in 2023 and looking forward to focusing on his art and spending more time sailing. When Myron is not sailing or painting, he enjoys playing Chess, cooking, and hanging out with friends and family.
Dave Macon, Rear Commodore
Dave joined Emeryville Yacht Club in 2022 and is new to the board in 2023. You have to go back to his childhood and pretty much being all kinds of boats, lake and ocean during the summer. In 1986, Dave joined the U.S. Navy and that was kind of the ultimate boating experience. Dave and Margarite's first baby was when they moved to California in 2002 where they partnered in a '75 Catalina 28 on which he learned to sail. They had her for 3 years until one of the guys had to part ways and didn't have another boat, until 2015 when they bought "Searching," a '77 Pearson 33. Dave and Margarite sailed that boat... a lot. Then fast forward to 2018 and their desire to switch things up a bit, and go to the power side. Enter "Soul Mate," a '99 Silverton 351 Sedan Cruiser. They honestly can't seem to get enough time on the boat and look forward to the next time, every time. Margarite and Dave met in Scottsdale, AZ and have been married for 28 years. They had always wanted to move to CA and in 2002 were afforded the opportunity and frankly never looked back. Their sons, Arleigh and Spencer were very young then and grew up here and have experienced all the boating life. Dave said that he'd like to think that he gave them the bug. Obi the do is a 13 year old Fox Terrier and goes with the flow, so long as there is a ball and food involved. Dave has been in Beverage Alcohol in some sort or another his entire career. When he and Margarite met, he was a restaurant manager, and when the older son was born, he left that 26 years ago for a distributor. Since then, Dave has helped build two of the most successful craft breweries in the country, New Belgium Brewing and Firestone-Walker. About 9 months ago, he left Firestone to pursue something different and now works for a small hard tea/hard kombucha start up called Jiant. https://www.jiantkombucha.com/home. Dave and Margarite are passionate food people and love eating out, but mostly it's "how can we get to the boat more often!!??" As Dave said, they love food and he loves baking. He has been nurturing a sourdough mother for months in preparation for the cooler months, in what he likes to call "baking season." In addition to that, Dave's taken up coffee roasting and just loves having a cup of his own design - it's not as hard as it sounds, but incredibly rewarding. He also has recently joined a tennis group and plays most weekends, and in the winter tries to head to his favorite ski hill, Sugar Bowl, as often as he can. Dave says that he feels incredibly privileged and honored to be able to volunteer his time in the promotion of boating and having good safe fun on the water. Thank you!
Bob Bigsby, Treasurer
Bob joined the Emeryville Yacht Club in 2020. He is new to the board in 2023. Bob is a life-long boater, originally in small runabouts designed for dragging children behind. He moved to power cruisers in 2003 and cruised the Great Lakes in 2003-18. First Mate, Lenore, and Bob did the Great Loop in their 1966 41' Hatteras Twin Cabin (2015-16). The trip started at the bottom of Lake Michigan and took 1 full year to complete. Bob says that it was the time of their lives. Their Loop consisted of the river system down to Mobile, along Florida's Panhandle via Intra-Coastal Waterway (ICW), crossing the Gulf of Mexico at night in the fog, rain, and waves (21 hours), spending the winter in Clearwater, St Pete's, and Fort Meyers; after crossing Florida via L Okeechobee they went up the East Coast ICW and out onto the Atlantic to New York Harbor, then up the Hudson R, Erie Canal, across L Ontario, into Canada via the Trent Severn canal system which put them onto Georgian Bay (cruiser's paradise) and finally back down L Michigan. In total it was 5600 miles, 110 locks and a few adventures (disasters averted). Other than the stays on Florida's west coast, Bob and Lenore spent much of the time anchored out in secluded coves. They met lots of people along the way and developed lasting relationhips with some. In 2018 Bob and Lenore took a final 3 month cruise around L Michigan (about 900 miles) at the end of which they decided to sell their beautiful Miss Hattie and buy a boat in CA, where their only grandchildren (and their parents) live. Currently, Bob and Lenore spend about equal time on their boat in Emeryville and their house in Valparaiso, IN. Now that the pandemic is subsiding, Bob and Lenore are thoroughly enjoying meeting and cruising with members of the Emeryville YC. Lenore and Bob have two adult (fully emancipated) daughters. Rachel (47) lives in Chicago with their son-in-mortgage and Gretchen (44) who lives in Berkeley with their son-in-law and two grandchildren, ages 10 and 7. Bob is a retired Professor, Indiana University School of Medicine. He did biomedical research and taught for 25 years. Bob enjoys taking care of / remodeling their boat and house; woodcrafts / making wooden furniture; skiing (skiing "is not a sport, it is a way of life"); and of course, cruising with his Emeryville YC friends.
Sally Mueller, Secretary
Sally and her husband, Tim, joined the Emeryville Yacht Club in 2019. After having lived on their Hunter 466 at Marina Village in Alameda and then Emeryville since 2016, they now split their time between Emeryville on their newly purchased Jeanneau 52.2 in Emery Cove Yacht Harbor and their home in Vancouver, Washington. Sally’s first sailing experience was a four day sail out from Woods Hole, Massachusetts to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Numerous San Juan Island and Columbia River sails followed along with a recent seven day cruise from Ensenada Mexico to Emeryville. Having completed Basic Keelboat and Basic Cruising, she is currently working on attaining her US Sailing Bareboat Certification through Club Nautique. Sally and Tim are avid skiers and enjoy frequent trips to Utah, Colorado and Northern California ski areas. They also enjoy hiking, biking, tennis and pickleball. They share three sons in Oregon, Washington and California and three grandchildren in nearby Portland and enjoy watching their soccer games, attending their school events or just hanging out with them whenever possible. Sally is a CERTIFIIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and prior to her retirement, worked with clients to help them achieve their short and long term financial goals.
Eli Korcz, Director
Eli joined Emeryville Yacht Club in 2021 and is new to the board in 2023. Eli's dad purchased a 14' fiberglass power boat when he was about 8 years old. Eli says that his dad always let him drive the boat and back it down the boat ramp. Over the years Eli's dad upgraded to a 16' then a 19' cabin cruiser, which he still has. It had an old Mercury 65 out board, and he told Eli that when he was big and strong enough to pull start it, he could take it by himself. Eli purchased his 30' Ericson in 2020 and has mostly been solo sailing around the bay. Once Eli is in a better situation and better equipped SV, he plans on taking some more ambitious trips to far off lands. Both Parents are living in Sacramento, and Eli has a younger sister. His aunts and uncles are spread all over the US, but occasionally they come and visit and Eli always tries to take them sailing. Eli is in construction management and has been since 2007. Most of his projects are in the bay area. Eli's job is becoming more and more working from a computer and phone, so less time on job sites means more time on the bay ()-: He used to manage 2 rental houses and a 4 plex downtown and is moving towards managing his own properties one day. Eli likes to fish and tried to do it off his sail boat once, which was a disaster. So he says he'll stick to charters and his dad's power boat. In his spare time, Eli likes to tinker with electronics and belongs to a boxing gym, but can't get there enough. It is so much fun! He had some remote control planes when he was about 16, but on grocery store bagger wages he had to give that up. Eli skis and snowboards, but since he got the sail bug, he hasn't been back to that in 2 seasons now.
Max Perez, Director
Max joined the Emeryville Yacht Club in 2022. He is new to the board in 2023. Max's sailing experience started at UCSC in the early 90s, and resumed at Club Nautique around twelve years ago, where he chartered boats locally and took classes, including US Sailing Coastal Passage Making. He has done a little chartering outside the bay to Catalina Island, which inspires Max to charter father away, with BVI in his plans for 2023. Max tries to sail at least twice a month year round, which is easier in the summer, of course. Max is married to Julia and has a thirteen year old son. Julia likes to sail in warmer, more tropical climates, but his son is happy to tear across the slot with him and kayak at whatever anchorage they end up in. Professionally, Max works as a software engineer programming mostly in Python in the heathcare data field. Other than Sailing, Max likes to play guitar, motorcycling, and travel. Among his favorite destinations are Mexico, Thailand, and nearby Calistoga.
Britta Fjelstrom, Staff Commodore
Britta joined the yacht club in 2016 and has been a board member since 2019. Although a Bay Area native, she didn’t start sailing until after college. Her first sailing experience was a sunset sail in Santa Cruz, CA. She was hooked and immediately signed up for sailing lessons. Within a year she bought a boat to sail and live on. In 2005 she sailed her first boat, an Elite 29, to Puerto Vallarta and then up the Sea of Cortez. Britta has competed in numerous Bay and ocean races and worked for J World as a sailing instructor and charter captain for team-building events. She is a certified Sailing Instructor and Coast Guard Captain. Britta has worked in education for over 20 years. She recently acquired her Yacht Salesperson License and now also works part-time selling boats. After a summer spent cruising the South Pacific, she decided to upgrade to an ocean-going boat and bought a Nantucket Island 38. She lives aboard her boat in Emeryville. When not doing boat projects, Britta enjoys taking the scenic route/getting lost, reading, micro-brew tasting, and playing one of the many instruments she has on board which includes a ukulele and an accordion.