The Moot Point Yacht Club - a tragic tale

A report from the Murky Vista Historical Society -

Chapter 1 - The Hidden Peril 

Moot Point was a rocky protuberance that jutted from the sandy shores of Blight Beach and extended some two hundred yards into Doubtful Bay. This seemed like a perfect location for the clubhouse which was completed on the first of April, 1926. 

However, Moot Point did not rest on the sea bed. An underwater survey would have shown it to be a cantilevered shelf suspended forty fathoms above the ocean floor. This geologic feature, and perhaps a family curse, doomed the MPYC from the start, as we shall see...


Clubhouse location on Doubtful Bay

Chapter 2 - Disaster at Crag Jetty


Dauntless was stately vessel from which to observe the MPYC's festive regattas, but disaster struck on Memorial Day of 1935 with Commodore Myron Heath Windage manning the helm.

On that clear and calm afternoon, as Windage Senior attempted to cross Crag Jetty, the riprap punched through the bilges of the imperiled boat

The courageous skipper remained on the bridge. The vessel capsized. The crew clambered into a small dinghy but they were pulled down by the swirling vortex. Dauntless sank with flying flags and no survivors. That was just the start...

Chapter 3 - Calamity at Solong Peninsula















Intrepid was the pride of the MPYC flotilla and served as its 
flagship, but calamity befell her on Independence Day of 1945 as Commodore Myron Heath Windage II stood at the tiller.

In fair weather and with a mild breeze, as Windage Junior tried to circumnavigate Solong Peninsula, jagged rocks tore gaping holes in sloop's hull. 

The yacht split amidships and she sank into the briny abyss with the stalwart captain still at the helm. Intrepid went down with sails flapping and all hands were lost. But it gets worse...


Chapter 4 - Lost near Vague Island 

By now, there were rumors about MPYC being under a Windage Family curse. Morbid speculation increased when Emily Starlight went missing. We'll get back to the curse part, but first...

Emily Starlight was the sweetheart of the MPYC, but she vanished on Labor Day of 1955 while attempting to become the first woman to sail alone around the world. 
Prior to her departure, a gala bon voyage party was held for Miss Starlight. Commodore Myron Heath Windage III presented the youthful mariner with an antique compass, one handed down from his grandfather. The instrument was installed on Electra for her impending voyage.

Starlight's last known port-o-call was Cape Nebulous. She planned to continue east to Vague Island, then on to Hula Hula, and finally, home to Doubtful Bay. 

After five days without radio contact a massive search was launched. No trace of Starlight, or her sailboat, Electra, were ever found. Revealed her for the first time are some really grim clues.

Some really grim clues -

We have discovered two photographs that may indicate Starlight went off-course due to navigation problems.  

The top photo seems to show Emily Starlight standing on the quay at Jaloot Atoll, which is seventeen degrees north of Vague Island.


The bottom photo suggests Starlight inadvertently sailed west and made landfall at Komodo Island. An compass malfunction might explain her failure to reach Vague. Now, back to the part about being doomed...


Chapter 5 - Tragedy on Moot Point 

The clubhouse was a grand venue for MPYC celebrations, but tragedy hit on New Year's Eve of 1957 as 
Commodore Myron Heath Windage III strode to the flagpole and posed by the ceremonial cannon.

At midnight he pulled the lanyard and fired the huge gun. The sudden reverberations weakened Moot Point's hold 
on Blight Beach. Within seconds the entire point broke off and tilted toward the cold and inky waters of Doubtful Bay. 
(See illustration on facing page.)

The panicked party-goers rushed onto sundeck and found the only immediately-available flotation was six Adirondacks - not nearly enough for 109 people. And that's when Moot Point started its inexorable slide into the briny abyss.

We have pieced together the following horrible details: 

The horrible details -


When the Doubtful Bay Lifeguard Brigade arrived at dawn they saw six empty Adirondacks washed up on Blight Beach. Every other trace of the MPYC had been washed out to sea. 

There were no survivors to rescue, and no bodies to recover. The ultimate fate of the members and guests has never been explained. 

Eventually, divers would discover a few heavy items that settled to the bottom, including trophies, a bell, and the fateful cannon. 

But on that dreadful morning, as lifeguards searched, it was as if the Moot Point Yacht Club had never existed.

Chapter 6 - Was the MPYC cursed?

To find the answer, we talked to the regulars at Blight Beach Tavern. They told long-winded stories about maritime mishaps at the yacht club. The old timers swore an evil spell was behind all the trouble. 

A few times we had a spooky feeling, and once an eerie chill, but with scant evidence to go on, our investigation fizzled. After a few beers, we simply lost interest in the whole project, and went home. 

Addendum -

In 1963, heirs to the Windage estate sought to exonerate the commodore by claiming a single cannon burst could not have caused the point to break-off. Moreover, they claimed the disaster was actually caused by an especially vigorous grunion run on Blight Beach. 

Geologists at have since exonerated the grunions.                                                                                                                                                                                  Photo  Gallery -

All photos courtesy of Maggie Wrinkle, owner of Blight Beach Tavern, from a box she kept behind the bar.

                                                                

         








Moot Point Yacht Club - a tragic tale 
Copyright © 2019 by Rick Wall - All rights reserved
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