Blog Du Jour

Where Have All the Commodores Gone?

Last week, I was honored to attend the wedding of Lord Filmore and Lady Charmaine at the Palm Beach Yacht Club in Florida. Two interesting things resulted from the invitation and event. The first was the fact that the wedding was held aboard the mega-yacht, the Hansel, and the second was that each invitation was accompanied by a self-addressed return mail piece that requested how the attendee wished to be announced over the loud speaker while boarding the vessel.

Taking this seriously, I requested that I be announced as Mr. Sniev, the esteemed blogger of Dan’s Papers from Southampton, New York and Guest. And so it was that I was formally announced upon my boarding. Unfortunately, my companion and I were only the second guests to arrive so very few people heard or acknowledged our arrival.

The yacht is a 245-foot Yeadship. It is spectacular in all regards. The level of finish is beyond comprehension. Still, as a representative of Eastern Long Island and Dan’s Papers, I refrained from showing my enthusiasm for such a fine sailing vessel. After all, the Hamptons is also known for its wealth and class.

As the minutes passed, more and more guests began to arrive. In between the many Lords and Ladies, I took notice of something—many of the attendees carried the formal title of Commodore. Commodore Bryant and his wife Beatrice, Commodore Whetman and his wife Eloise, Commodore Marginald and his wife Lorene, etc. In all I counted eight Commodores in attendance.

In all my days in the Hamptons, I have yet to meet a single Commodore. Sure I have met fishing captains and first mates, but not a single Commodore. It is discouraging to think that our area, which is steeped in nautical history, has no Commodores. What does this say about us? How can we hold ourselves in such high esteem if we can’t even bear a single Commodore?

Ashamed, I spent the remainder of the event hidden on the bow of the majestic ship.

I do not seek to discount my appreciation for our local fishing captains, as there are many skilled and proven seamen setting sail from our Island. But let’s face it, more respect is given to the Commodore.

In case I was missing something, I did look up the definition of “Commodore.” Not to be confused with Lionel Richie and his funk/soul band of the 1970s, Commodore is actually a term that describes a naval or coast guard officer of high rank, the president of an exclusive yacht club or the senior captain of a commercial seafaring enterprise. The last one certainly describes many of our local captains.

I do not believe it is too lofty for our local waterman to start calling themselves Commodores? Commodore Steven Forsberg Sr. of Montauk’s Viking Fleet—I really like the sound of that!

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