Newcomers to our fair little city, those of a nautical bent that is, might wish to join a yacht club. If they hook up with the oldest and most venerable they can enjoy tennis courts, a swimming pool, a fine restaurant, bar, and other amenities (for an upscale annual fee, of course) but chances are they will not be able to find co-members who want to talk about trimming the sails and love of the sea and objects floating thereon. Being a fan of irony this amuses me no end! I did some research into the history of the Hilo Yacht Club because I had it in the back of my head that there must have been a time in its 95-year history when an obvious connection to yachts was lost. This is what I found:
HYC was conceived in 1913, to create a social club promoting "aquatic and other athletic sports and pastimes." Surprisingly enough, the aquatic sport then of choice was "the lively interest in competitive rowing!" Up until the tsunami of '46, which evidentially swept it away for good, this club maintained a boathouse and some rowboats. Any other connection with yachting as a sport is confined to the fact that in 1962 their governing board voted to change the official title of chief officer from "president" to "commodore." I ask you, does a fleet of rowboats, gone nearly 20 years, actually require a commodore?
Na Hoa Holomoku of Hawaii Yacht Club on the other hand (it's a mouthful, but the other name was already in use) owns and maintains several sailing vessels and actively promotes sailing. If you have even so much as a whim that sailing might be fun, show up at their Sailing 101 Sundays, held without charge once a month on the bayfront. They will gladly give you a taste of the sport. Join, take classes, and help out with maintenance chores for the fleet and you can be a sailor - aargh! But, they don't have a clubhouse and swimming pool.
To be fair though, I must give credit to the Hilo Yacht Club for being politically correct. Why, as early as 1984 they voted to allow women to hold membership "under their own right!"