We went sailing last weekend with my Dad and my brother who was visiting from Minnesota. In spite of a little extra adventure, we had an excellent time. Maggie had a birthday party to go to and my husband, Mike had lots of umpiring to do, so the boys, Addie, and I went.
My dad has a beautiful sailboat with plenty of room for everyone. I always end up in the front cabin. Frank slept in the "living room".
Even though the cockpit isn't really meant for sleeping, Joe and Addie slept there.
I love taking pictures of the kids as they wake up in the morning. I can't believe they slept as long as they did with the sun streaming in.
My dad is an interesting guy with lots of different hobbies. Sailing is something that he's always wanted to do, and he really took it to the extreme. Some people might take a lesson or two or even buy a boat for weekends, but no, my dad has been living on his boat for the last 8 or so years. We've taken full advantage of it by making at least one memorable trip almost every year.
There are a few hearty sailors (my Dad, me, my brother) who make it almost every year. Here's my brother Simon on board.
My husband and my oldest son, Joe are pretty much fixtures on the annual cruise as well.
I wasn't as good at taking pictures when we first started, but check out Joe on one of our first sails (doing something important - lowering the dinghy, I think.)
compared to him now
(That's him standing on the right. My younger son Frank is sitting on the left.)
And here he is - still doing something important - tightening the jib line while tacking.
Joe also has the honor of being the ship's bartender. He's not that helpful at home, but with Joe on board, you have a gin and tonic in your hand before you even know you want one. It's pretty good service.
But Joe is more than just a bartender and deck hand, he can steer the boat as well. On our trip to Provincetown, he drove pretty much the whole way there and back.
I love this photo. You can tell from both Joe and my dad's looks of concern that they're in a sticky situation. My dad is very good about giving people responsibility. I'm sure he was probably itchy to take over the wheel, but he let Joe stick it out, and he managed.
Beyond the five of us regulars, there's a varied crew each year that just adds to the fun. My brother has lots of interesting friends who sometimes join with interesting stories to tell and lively music to play.
That's Jeremy on the harmonica. He's been on at least two cruises that I've been on. Some of the photos in this post - the better ones - are courtesy of him.
That's my brother on the guitar.
One of my favorite memories is staying up late (2 am, maybe?) listening to my brother and friends playing, lending my singing whenever I knew the words, (Man, I wish I could sing. Even Addie says I'm bad) and getting yelled at by the occupants of the boat moored next door.
My dad keeps his boat in the Boston area, so we've always sailed from there. We've sailed to Provincetown, Edgartown, Marble Head, Rockport, Gloucester. We didn't get very far on our sail last weekend, but last year, we sailed to Edgartown. We spent a day traveling all over Martha's Vineyard.
For all of us, I think our favorite part was "The Bite" in Menemsha. Mike read "Jaws" on the way there and back just to feel the full flavor of the Cape.
When my dad bought his boat, it was called the "Sea Biscuit".
There were many passionate conversations around the dinner table about what the boat should really be called.
Last year, my dad finally changed the name to "Perseverance".
Just to keep this post a little bit crafty, here are some pillows I made for my dad before the name change. My first foray into applique.
Not only are we well provided with drinks and entertainment, but we eat like kings as well. One year, my husband's one condition to come with us was that he be able to do all the cooking and have no one help him. Umm. What's the catch there? No one argued with that.
These were a different kind of "Sea Biscuit". I never did much more than pull cold cuts out of the fridge to make sandwiches, but between Mike's cooking and everyone else who also volunteered to cook on different cruises - I've never eaten better.
Last year, I had arugula on my pizza for the first time. I haven't been able to get it out of my head since. Here it is pre-arugula.
It was getting late, so they had to cook by flashlight, but being on the boat isn't exactly roughing it. On one visit to the boat, my dad rented "Bolt" for the kids. Here's my dad watching with Frank.
I don't remember this, but I love how the pictures show that my dad was first a little bit interested then finally had to sit down with Frank and really watch.
My daughter Maggie hasn't made as many trips, but we've slept on the boat several times the night before a feis. What other Irish dancer can say that?!
And lest you think it's all cooking and bartending and sailing, there's plenty of time for relaxing too.
We tried fishing on one trip.
But didn't catch anything - whales, sharks, or otherwise.
And fed the ducks on another trip.
My brother introduced the idea of a morning constitutional. I'm still not sure what that really means, but to us it meant a morning dip in the ocean. I'll spare you a photo of all of us in our bathing suits, but here's a photo of Joe - just out of the shower - wisely just watching us crazy adults.
(This photo is one that's courtesy of Jeremy. He actually jumped in then had someone hand him his camera - while he was swimming - so he could take photos of the boat. Nuts.)
One time, we thought it would be a good idea to try to clean the sides of the boat while we were swimming. I ended up with little tiny sea creatures crawling all over me. Thank God there's a shower on the boat.
Even though steering can require a lot of focused attention - especially in a busy harbor - it can also be pretty relaxing. Here's my brother in his over-the-glasses Grandma sunglasses looking pretty relaxed and probably steering with his feet.
There was always lots of good conversation to be had on the boat.
In fact, there are special chairs reserved for just that purpose.
Young and old alike are required to pay a visit to the conversation chairs.
The conversation chairs may change location, but even the very youngest can't escape.
Like I said, my dad is a man of many hobbies, and he's about to move on to the next one, so Perseverance will be taking a break for now. I'm so excited about the new things to come and the new fun times that we will create, but I can't help feeling a bit sentimental about moving on.
Sea Biscuit/Perseverance and all the good times - oh how you will be missed!