Father’s Day Dinner Cruise

My wife’s dad is an “old New England sailor” from way back.  He and his brother had many adventures in their Lightning on Long Island Sound, and both are still enthusiastic sailors.  Last fall I blogged about the three of us out for an afternoon day sail when Ruth’s uncle was in town for a visit (he still lives in New England).

Sailing is still a favorite activity for Dad – and what better way to say “thanks for being a great dad” than going sailing together?  My wife prepared a fantastic dinner to eat on board, and we cast off the lines about 1720.

My father-in-law at the helm

My father-in-law at the helm

Breezes 9-11 mph from WSW gave us good sailing with flat water, as that is from the land-side of Herring bay.  Temperature was perfect, boat traffic (and the chop it generates) had abated by that time, and we had a great, relaxing sail at the end of the day.  After about an hour of the most restful sailing you can imagine, we headed inshore towards the south end of Herring Bay and anchored.  Not wanting to make anymore noise than necessary, I anchored under sail and let the boat oscillate just a bit to set the hook.  We struck the sails and Ruth started dinner proceedings with appetizers of cheese, fancy olives and crackers.

Dad took several phone calls from Ruth’s siblings during dinner and we got to participate in the visits via speaker phone – it’s a close family, so we all enjoyed the well-wishes for Dad and caught up on news from the other families.

Fancy chicken salad, home-made rolls, and fresh greens from our garden followed by pound cake and fresh fruit salad for dessert – it was a great dinner on board and great conversation.  As we hadn’t gotten together recently (though they live just a mile from us), we really enjoyed spending time together.

Cloudy skies were with us all day and we were concerned about rain, but sailed anyway, knowing it was cool enough to take dinner in the saloon if the sky opened up.  No rain fell.  Rather, the western horizon cleared as dinner progressed, and we were served up a dramatic sunset as we cleared the table and made ready to sail back to our marina.

My mother-in-law with sunset in the background

My mother-in-law with sunset in the background

I'm confident she won't like the first photo too much - the point was to illustrate the sunset!  So to compensate, here's a really great photo of her from early in the evening.

I’m confident she won’t like the first photo too much (the point was to illustrate the sunset!).  So to compensate, here’s a really great photo of her from earlier in the evening.

The sail back was completely serene and unexpectedly efficient – close reach back to the harbor channel in 30 – 45 minutes on calm water, but with a perfectly suitable breeze.  We finally had to strike sails again to motor the final .8 miles up the creek to our slip.

Dusk deepened as we tied up.

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