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Man working at Yacht Club posing next to the hanging life jackets

11 March . 2021

Resident Highlight: Patrick Lawrence

Being a Resident & Yacht Club Coordinator in Estrella

Patrick Lawrence has lived in Estrella for seven years and has served as the Estrella Yacht Club Coordinator for five of those.

When he retired from his work at the Post Office, Patrick knew he wanted to take on a new part-time venture. Having initially been drawn to the community by the vast, beautiful lakes, when a position with the Estrella Yacht Club became available, he leaped at the opportunity to apply.

Now he spends his days soaking up the Sonoran Desert sunshine, whether it’s overseeing Yacht Club operations or exploring South Lake Park with his wife and their dog.

When asked what he loves most about the community, Patrick first lists the people and shares, “We were welcomed by our neighbors as soon as we stepped out of the moving van and didn’t know a soul.” He tells us that a close second is the outdoor lifestyle with mountains surrounding the community and uncrowded biking and hiking trails that residents can often enjoy all to themselves.

As he looks back, some of Patrick’s fondest memories have taken place in his Estrella home, including the first Christmas he and his wife spent in the community. In typical Estrella fashion, their neighbors welcomed them to celebrate, recognizing that they had no family in town and insisting the holidays be spent together.

“It’s the small-town feel of Estella,” said Patrick when asked what he believes sets the community apart from others. “When you go into local businesses, the employees know who you are and are always friendly.”

For residents looking to get in on all the action the Yacht Club has to offer, Patrick offers great first-hand experience from using complimentary double-seat kayaks to accommodate him, his wife, and his dog to spending time enjoying the great outdoors, and visiting the High Sonoran Desert terrain.

As one of the many perks of the job, Patrick feels fortunate to assist those with limited experience on the water in becoming more comfortable — watching, guiding, and encouraging them in the process. “I like seeing our residents’ experience on the water, especially first-timers,” says Patrick. “I love when I see them find the balance in their boat, and their worry goes away.”

Patrick showing two girls how to use oars while kayaking

The Yacht Club is located on South Estrella Parkway, near Starpointe Residents Club. Here, residents and their guests can enjoy a range of activities and choose from various vessels to take out on the lake, including kayaks, canoes, paddle boats, and sailboats. Patrick recommends venturing out on a small paddle boat as it’s lightweight with a small awning and great for family-friendly fun, seating two adults and two children comfortably.

“The usability of our lakes sets the Yacht Club apart,” Patrick shares, “Some communities have lakes, but the residents cannot boat on them, as they can at ours.”  Residents are also welcome to use their own non-motorized boats on the lakes in Estrella as long as they have been registered with the Community Services Office and have life vests available for everyone who will be aboard.

The community has much to offer in terms of recreation, from lakes, hiking, biking, and bird-watching to pickleball, boating, and catch-and-release fishing. Because Arizona weather is ideal in early spring and fall, these are the busiest times of year to enjoy outdoor activities in Estrella.

The Yacht Club is open Friday through Sunday from 7:00am to 3:00pm between June 1 and September 30, and from October 1 through May 31, it is open between 8:00am and 4:00pm.

Residents of Estrella and their guests are welcome to enjoy the Yacht Club amenities all year round, free of charge. On one condition: Everyone has fun!

Be sure to pop in and say hi to Patrick!

 

 Resident and Yacht Club Coordinator: Patrick Lawrence