I drove up Friday after work and was probably the last arrival, as many participants had taken the day off. It was pouring rain when I arrived, and I wandered around the docks at the unfamiliar marina for a few minutes searching out my assigned boat. I was fortunately to run into my crewmates just returning from dinner.
I loaded on my gear and discovered that I'd been graciously assigned the aft cabin -- very comfortable! But then, we were just four on a 38-foot Hunter.
Once settled, I made myself a gin and tonic from supplies I'd brought and toasted my companions -- Skipper Tom, Mate Mark, and Crew Judy. Drink in hand, the tone relaxed, I felt compelled to admit my apprehension about the weekend.
"I've never met a Hunter I liked," I said, looking around the well appointed cabin.
The others laughed, and Judy said, "You sound like Tom, he called it a 'cheap boat.'"
I was tremendously relieved.
We set out in the morning, after checking out the boats and a skipper's meeting, to Point Judith. The boats rafted for a party, but broke apart in the night when wakes from passing boats knocked the hulls together dangerously.