|Talk about good! An even dozen Islanders signed up for this cruise, and what a time they had. Light wind, a bit uncustomary in the South Bay, kept the fleet making only 3 knots past Hunter's Point, but the Wind Gods got angry after they turned on their engines, and piped up the usual breeze as the fleet arrived at the San Mateo bridge. Sequoia Yacht Club Port Captain Marilyn Schantz organized a great reception, and husband Chris and friend Tony buzzed their whaler alongside each boat coming down the channel delivering bright yellow bags emblazoned with their burgee, a chart of the marina (marked with each boat's slip) and the gate combination. By about 1530 all hands were safely tied up and ready to party. All except Don Schumacher who was grounded by a flu bug and missed all the fun. |
Not to hot, not too windy, just right for a cocktail party. So that's what we did, enjoying the deck and clubhouse of Sequoia's great clubhouse and even greater hospitality. For once Islanders followed directions and only brought a modest table of snacks for cocktail hour, but it was enough to match the steady partonage at the bar and around the fireplace.
Meanwhile, Rick & Sandy Van Mell, with lots of help from Marilyn, set up tables and fired up the three section gas grill to do some serious cooking. Aided by Commodore Salvo, the chicken and corn were soon roasting away, while vegies and potato salad were spread on the buffet table. There was no lack of business, and yet everyone seemed to save a little room for an 3-I-6 sheet cake and ice cream to finish it off. A willing crowd joined the cooks in the galley to run the dishwasher, stow the leftovers, and tidy up.
Then we adjourned back to the bar area, broke out the guitar and song books, and made merry for another hour or two. Sequoia's Tony, part of the welcoming committee and bartender, then amazed us all with some really great guitar playing, specializing in blues and country tunes. Rumor has it he will be next year's Port Captain - we may just have to put Sequoia on the list again!!!
As if the group had not been already well treated, we started off Sunday morning with a French Toast breakfast. Mike Bennett joined Rick, cracking eggs (what do you mean you don't want bits of shell in it?) and flipping toast and sausages. Washed down with OJ and coffee even the most dedicated sack hounds managed to stager up for a bite before is closed down at 0930.
That left about 6 hours of relaxation time until the next scheduled event. Some folks just read, caught up with with friends or even napped. Others, like the Getaway crew, and Brian Jacobs and the boys Matt Bush and David, launched their inflatables and powered off to explore the many protected sloughs around Redwood City.
By 1500 the whole crew had gathered at Sequoia's front door, food piled high in bags as usual, because Peter & Louisa Szasz (Midnight Sun) had invited the whole fleet to their home in Redwood Shores for: a) hamburgers and hot dogs - you bring the rest (Peter's e-mail version), or b) an elegant, delicious, extravagant assortment of red and while wines, grilled chicken, sausages, salads, brownies, carrot cake, and most decadent of all, chocolate champagne truffels all done and beautifully set out by Louisa. Needless to say we were embarrasingly trying to hide most of our modest "potluck" dishes!
As if the food alone was not enough, their gracious hospitality and splendid house sits on the intersection of two canals in the Shores, and the electric powerboat Peter made for his son was available for those kids who just could not pass up another opportunity to get on the water. The kids ranged in age from the solo spin by Jim Higdon rounding the Laser racing marks, to Dennis Bush with Matt, and Brian Jacobs with David taking turns. But the highest marks for seamanship and showmanship go to Fran Jacobs and David, and Tim Shea with 15 month old, future Commodore, Ian Shea at the helm. If you don't look at any other picture below, go down to the last line and take a look!
A couple of shuttle runs took the kids home early. But the party lingered on until the full moon cleared the tops of the pine trees, lighting up the last drops of the Courvossier and candles on the table a few fathoms past 2200.
Even when we thought it was over, Marilyn Schantz surprised us Monday morning with a bag full of bagels and shmers to go with fresh coffe and OJ to send us on our way home. We even put out the last of the 3-I-6 cake, and there were about a half dozen pieces consumed. What a wonderful way to wrap up the cruising season. A very warm and hearty thanks to Marilyn and Chris Schantz, and Tony, of Sequoia Yacht Club, and a special thanks for the wonderful afternoon and evening provided by Louisa and Peter Szasz. We will treasure these memories and retell the moments for months and years to come.
Pictures are compliments of Barbara Henderson, Bill Higdon and Rick Van Mell. Click on images to enlarge, click "Back" to return.