By Russ and Tiña De Maris
A Fountain Valley, California, boating and fishing news media outlet called The Log may have gotten into investigative journalism. Recently, one of the outfit’s intrepid reporters did an exposé that centered on popular snowbird haunt Quartzsite, Arizona. In the amazing reveal, writer Parimal M. Rohit pointed the journalistic finger at one of the little desert town’s principal attractions: The Quartzsite Yacht Club.
Writes Rohit, “There are no lakes, rivers or other waterways within Quartzsite’s city limits – the closest waterway is the Colorado River, about 20 miles away. So why is there a Quartzsite Yacht Club?”
Our guess is Rohit never visited Quartzsite during the Monsoon, when local police are often forced to shut down the town’s main through-way when floodwaters lick at the bridge deck that crosses Tyson Wash. It’s probable that Rohit is unaware you can’t excavate or build in many of the town arroyos without getting a permit from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, because those lands are considered attached to “navigable waterways.”
No matter, The Log story says they know the secret to the Quartzsite Yacht Club’s existence. “The club, it turns out, isn’t a private boating society but instead a restaurant. It opened in the 1970s and even offered customers a $10 ‘membership.’ Its motto is ‘Welcome Aboard – Long Time No Sea!’ The club’s website (mockingly) says it might become a real yacht club one day, should a certain natural disaster strike Arizona’s stately neighbor to the west. “Who knows – if an earthquake ever sends California into the ocean one day, the Yacht Club could end up as beach front property.”
Any denizen or informed visitor of this fine, desert metropolis will be laughing his or her socks off at this “insider” information. The real “secret” of the club is simple: That membership fee (now $49.95) gets you a fancy T-shirt and an official membership card to the Quartzsite Yacht Club. Present said card at many on-the-water yacht clubs around the country, and its holder is often freely admitted to the no-doubt plusher-than-ours confines where they’re visiting. A “professional courtesy,” as it were, the camaraderie of those that wear three-cornered hats as their sails (or diesel smoke) billow. You may call Quartzsiters land-locked, but they are as clever as the coyotes that call this same desert home.