What is a Shellback?
The Shellback Club is an organization of sailors that has, for over 60 years met for mutual refreshment once a week, when the regular sailing season is over. The club has no constitution, no rules, and no debts. There are no dues, membership lists, or records. Membership is open to all gentlemen sailors who can afford the price of the meal, which is minimal. It has been an institution since its keel was officially laid in 1934. Its motto: "Being in All Respects Ready for Sea."
At each meeting, guests and their introducers lead in the singing of an old sea shanty: one of the traditions of the club designed to keep the old tunes alive, and to recapture the spirit in which the old Shellbacks sang on sailing ships. This is followed by another tradition, that of a yarnspinner telling a tale of the seas, of the vessels that sailed them.
-- Excerpt from Robert B. Townsend's Tales from the Great Lakes: Based on C.H.J. Snider's "Schooner days"
It is with great pleasure to have our Waterkeeper Mark Mattson as their guest speaker on March 30 at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club. A Q&A period will follow Mark's presentation so sailors, come prepared with questions!
The Shellback Club is a member of the Ontario Sailing Navigator’s Club.