A Gay Ol’ Day of Sailing

Sunday July 17, 2011

As much as we would have like to stay on the boat last night we were dog sitting for Matt’s mom, which left us running out the door just after 8 am to get to the marina as soon as possible.  Our holding tank was brimming full and we wanted to have it emptied before any big crowds or a strong wind made it difficult to get to the fuel docks.  There was more of a breeze on the lake than we expected when we got there although forecasts had called for none, but it was luckily going to push us right into the dock.  Sorting through the 20 or 30 fenders we have in our lazarette we pulled out 4 and began to attach them to the stanchions.  I hailed Harbour Towne to make sure there would someone available to evacuate our tank and was informed we were second in line.  Matt navigated through the narrow channel and we waived at another boat passing on their way out.  I overheard the guy in the cockpit call up to the bow ‘I’m going to turn this around and come back’ which to me meant they must have been going to the fuel dock as well, the person ahead of us in line,  and came up on the wrong side.  I tried to relay this to Matt as he probably saw the empty dock and though it was free for the taking.  As well as sound normally travels over water it was not traveling over our boat and he did not have a clue what I was trying to say as I repeated myself over and over again that the space was not free for us.  Since I still wasn’t positive what was going on as we came up on the dock I had the dock lines in my hand just in case, determined not to bonk someone in the face this time.  The woman on the dock ushered us to the smaller end as Matt was in fact trying to play ‘cutsies’ in line.  Fortunately this area had a pump as well and we were able to start getting the poop out and the fresh water in.

When the other boat had made it’s way out of the channel and back we realized it belonged to our friend Tom who we met last year at Eldean’s when him and his wife Connie also had their boat in storage there.  Even though we had been aboard their boat a few time to admire it they had unfortunately never able to see our boat due to it being 60% ripped apart until the week before it was put in the water.  While Tom’s boat was also getting pumped at the fuel docks I gave him the 60 second tour of Serendipity which received lots of compliments, especially on the teak.  Then we wandered over to his Catalina 44 named Andiamo.  Since the last time we’d seen it there had a new dodger & bimini outfitted for the boat as well as personally designed covers and pillows for the berths.  It was a beautiful boat and I could imagine myself spending weeks at a time on it.  It was light and airy and felt 10 times bigger than ours.  When Matt finished the job of filling the water tanks he came over to look around as well.  He was mesmerized by the dodger/bimini and kept giving me sideways glances as if to say ‘When are you going to finish ours? They were supposed to be done months ago’.  We all stood there talking for awhile and enjoying the morning sun and heat until the attendant kept stopping by to ask if there was anything else she could do for us, which is the customer service way of saying ‘move your butts along, I have other people trying to get in here’.

We took that as a cue to move our boat down about 300 feet to the end of Tom & Connie’s dock at Harbour Towne where we tied off and climbed into the shade of Andiamo where we talked for awhile about Holland vs Muskegon and how much they were loving their new slip and the area.  After not too long though we started receiving texts from friends of ours that were on the way to spend the day with us and were now only 10 minutes away, so we had to quickly shove off and get back to Torresen’s to pick them up.  This was the weekend of the Chicago Mac Race which left plenty of large slips open that we’d be able to steal for 10 minutes to load everyone on.  Pulling up to the marina we saw our friends eager and waiting to spend the day ‘yachting’ as they referred to it.  These were two friends, Jared and Jeff that I worked at Outback with, plus Jeff’s boyfriend Darryl and his friend Sara.  Putting our friends to work before they even stepped foot on the boat we were throwing out dock lines and scrambling to get them cleated without causing trauma to the boat (we’re getting much better at this).  There were no mishaps and we were able to get everyone plus the food and liquor on board in record time.  Then proving the Sabre is much better than the Hunter steering through this particular channel we successfully back our way out into open water and while Matt began to steer us toward the channel to the big lake I made sure to secure the very large and very well stocked cooler down below deck.  It would be a sad sad day if that had gone overboard.

Both Matt and I were so happy to have these friends out with us as it’s almost impossible not to have a great time with them.  Before we could even clear the channel Jeff and I were perfecting our mixology skills below deck  where he worked on vodka and juice combinations and pulled out a premixed container of something that looked like the Ecto Cooler Hi-C juice boxes I used to drink as a kid.  As for myself, I was able to triumphantly open a beer for Matt and pour some boxed wine for myself.  Containers of hummus were opened and pretty soon we had a nice little spread going in the cockpit.  Unfurling the sails and then cutting the engine it did start to feel a little like a high class cruise that most landlubbers would expect ‘yachting’ to be.  Too bad the teak deck was on back-order and I had given Geoffrey the day off from pouring my white wine or else they could have seen how high class things really could be.


Aren’t those just the cutest smiles you’ve ever seen?

After an hour or two of Mediterranean snacks and neon green libations we were either too stubborn to let the now early afternoon chill ruin our day, or the sun actually did come back out and start warming things up.  Soon after slathering on sunscreen and working on our summer glows half of the crew was ready to get in the water and we lowered the sails to let ourselves slow to a stop.  Granting it may have appeared to a non sailer that we were almost to a standstill, apparently Darryl didn’t realize how fast one knot of speed could still be because while we were still making a little bit of forward movement he jumped off the side and had to play a little bit of catch up as we slowly but surely began to leave him in our dust.  After that we thought it may be a good idea to trail a rope off the stern for any other possible stragglers.  In wasn’t long before Matt, Jeff and I were also in the water, jumping off the bow and trying to catch the rope before we were passed by.  Once the boat was actually at a standstill we were all flipping and diving off the side and like kids lined up at a water park we’d climb up the ladder just to do it over and over again.  To make things even more fun we also threw some of the fenders into the water trying to prove to each other that they could be ridden.  They can’t.


Hey guys!!!……Guys??!!

When we’d had enough swimming and frolicking it was time for sustenance in the form of perfectly grilled cheeseburgers and a family size bag of ruffled potato chips.  It was already getting so late in the afternoon at this point that our lunch was probably coinciding with the early bird dining specials.  No one was close to calling it a day, and even though Jared had to take a nap below to regain some energy we pointed the bow back at the horizon and kept cruising, putting off the inevitable that we’d eventually have to go back.  Slowly the sun kept dropping lower and lower in the sky and while we were halfheartedly hatching plans to call in sick to work the next day and just make this an all night party, responsibility got the better of (most of) us and we began to follow our trail home.  It was a perfect day on the water and we were all so eager to do it again that I forced everyone to promise they’d be back for the weekend of my birthday.  How can you turn down a request like that?

Collecting up belongings and putting everything back in order we readied the dinghy to start getting our friends back to shore.  Completely disregarding the capacity limit we squeezed all four of our guests plus all of their belongings and skipper Matt in to keep from making multiple trips.  I said my goodbyes and watched them float away with bow and stern slowly sinking into the water.




Photos from the day


 This is getting to be a pretty familiar pose

I love the reflection in Jared’s sunglasses











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