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A Jaw-Dropping Commissioning Ceremony

IHYC Board of Directors, Flag Officers, and visiting Dignitaries and Officers lined up for the ceremony. 

A Jaw-Dropping Commissioning Ceremony

by David Seabrook

Indian Harbor Yacht Club’s 130th Commissioning Ceremony on Saturday, May 4th, featured a tribute by Commodore Ted Graves to the extraordinary contributions of women members and a big surprise for one woman in particular.

That woman was Mary Alice Fisher Carmichael, the creator over the last ten years of most of the club’s on-the-water photography. Mary Alice is responsible for all of those slide shows displayed at awards dinners, Commissionings, member open houses, and other IHYC events. Almost all of the sailing photos in The Log, in Yachting News and on our website are hers. At each Commissioning Mary Alice lurks with her camera, seeking to capture the right shot, so it was a splendid irony to see her own photo captured when Senator Blumenthal announced that she was the winner of the 2019 Andrews Trophy for extraordinary contributions by a member to the club!


                                 A surprised Mary Alice Fisher Carmichael with her husband David.
                                                               (Photo credit: David Ornstein)

It was a picture-perfect day for commissioning— 62 degrees and sunny. The newly-reinstalled Indian Head brass inset on the renovated south porch was gleaming in the sunshine. The club’s waterfront staff had labored mightily to get the club’s Ideal 18 fleet launched and dressed, and an impressive number of members’ yachts were also dressed for the occasion.

                         The entire fleet of Ideal I8s dressed and on the water for Commissioning. 

Commodore Graves, the Reverend Ted Pardoe, and Fleet Captain Michael Millard kept the ceremony short and sweet. Following a more-than-usually exciting Kentucky Derby, more than 200 members and guests dined on filet mignonette and lobster tail and a delicious dessert followed by trays of chocolate covered strawberries and sliced fruit.

The Commodore also made three well-received announcements. The first and second were that the Sunfish Bar will now be open from 3:30 pm Tuesday to Sunday and that the club will now offer regular food service on the South Patio and Sunfish Patio weather permitting. The third announcement was traditional: The club is now in commission, and the bar is open!