It is officially fall, bordering winter. This past week has been CHILLY! Tonight, Saturday, 18 November 2017, we enjoyed a marina party put on by Don from “B” Dock, and his family. We have never been ones to pass up good food, music, social time, especially if we could enjoy an adult beverage and be within walking distance back to Banjo. As a result, even though I still had a bunch of work to do, we decided to take a break and have some fun.
Approximately 30-40 people attended, including people from the marina and their family and friends. On the menu? Homemade fish stew, fresh caught oysters, and shrimp were served by Don, with additional dishes prepared by the folks from other boats. A set of speakers was set up which played great music from early afternoon into the evening hours. Speaking with Don, we discovered that this was the second time he has sponsored this marina party.
A Trip Up The Dock
Knowing the event was set to kick off around 19:00, we disembarked banjo and headed to the clubhouse, our plates, bowls and drinks in hand. It is a common expectation that each person brings their own eating utensils. This is most likely because, when cruising, water can sometimes be at a premium on each boat. So, when invited for dinner aboard someone Else’s boat, out of courtesy, you bring your plates and such. That way they can be washed using your own boat’s water. This tradition appears to have carried over in our marina.
We have been to many marina events, since arriving in New Bern. The sense of community here at Bridgepoint is one of the best we have participated in. And marina residents are always looking for an excuse to get together, eat, socialize and have a marina party. Shannon and I were excited and eagerly anticipating what the night would bring. We were greeted by our friends from SV Freya and, Sauger, a sweet border collie mix belonging to one of the other boaters. Because we didn’t know how large the crowd was expected to be, we decided to leave Sagira and Venus aboard Banjo. As we arrived, there was already gathering of people outside the clubhouse, some of which had already begun cooking. Another group of people were inside the clubhouse and were socializing.
One of our favorite parts of each day is when we get to watch the sun set. Early on this particular evening, the sky was a mix of pale yellow and orange. As the sunset progressed, the colors intensified and became infinitely more vivid in colors of blue, pink, orange and yellow. Shannon and I were able to get a few pictures together and were happy to have shared a gorgeous start to this marina party.
Its Time To Eat
Don and his family provided some of the best tasting fish, complete with huge chunks of fish and potatoes in a light stock. In addition, there were tables set up outside that contained stacks of oysters and mounds of shrimp, all served low-country boil style. It was cool but not cold making it even more enjoyable to be outside. Music played in the background while dinner was being cooked, and people were talking and laughing in all directions.
I have never seen that many oysters stacked on a table before. And they just kept coming from the steamer, wave after wave of delicious goodness. It looked as if there had been an oyster apocalypse. Fortunately, sections of the table had been cut-away so that the shells could just be swept up for holding. The shrimp, stacked 4-5 inches tall and over a foot in diameter would disappear as quickly as it appeared. Debbie also provided her personal “Just Right” Cocktail Sauce, and it was, quite literally, perfect. It was true to its name.
People came back, filling their plates and bowls again and again with fish stew, shrimp and oysters. After eating our fill, Shannon and I also enjoyed some chocolate chip cookies, provided by Debbie, Don’s Mom. They were truly delicious, and I am a sucker for good cookies. I remarked, to my own personal risk, that they were some of the best cookies I have ever tasted. Gauntlet thrown. After making the statement, out loud, I was met with an “oh really?” look from Shannon. Then she grinned. Oops.
During dinner, Shannon and I had some “grown-folks dranks,” which were well deserved after the past couple weeks at work. It didn’t take long for us both to start feeling more relaxed and jovial. The word I’m looking for is “tip-say!” Whether inside the clubhouse or outside on the lawn, there was no shortage of sea-stories, chit chat and laughter. I realized, at one point, our SUV was backed into a parking space directly in front of the food tables. In one fell swoop, I whipped out the remote, pushed a button and, as if by magic, our tailgate lifted providing perfect front-row seating.
While we sat and listened to the music, we took some time to get to know some of the other boaters we hadn’t yet met. As we learned, it is common, especially this time of year, for cruisers to begin their transits southwards towards warmer weather. Consequently, many spots in the marina have been opening up, only to be filled just as quickly. Hearing everyone’s plans just made us want to fire up Banjo and head down with them.
Time to Say Goodnight
As the night wound down, everyone began pitching in to help clean up all of the trash, shells and shelters that had been raised. There is something about the boating community that appeals to both Shannon and I. Everyone always tries to help each other, especially when it comes to special events. As a result, putting together a marina party becomes quite a simple affair. I looked over and could see the “counter” from the evening. There, about 2 meters from our car, was a large 30-gallon trash bin overflowing with shiny oyster shells, and shrimp heads and shells. We helped move it and it weighed a TON. We helped finish the clean-up and spent some additional time hanging out and socializing with our new friends. Finally, bellies full and tip-say headed, we thanked our hosts, and headed back to Banjo to enjoy some time together and much needed rest.
Most of all, we would like to say “thank you” again to Don, Don, and Don, and your family. Great to meet all of you and we appreciate you hosting such a fun night.