A Mate's Tale: Part 2 Sunset Sail

One of my favorite trips was the sunset sail, I always tried to request a spot for this one, it was always so peaceful and gorgeous.  We had a few marriage proposals on board, right at the bow as the sun was setting, cool breeze going by, absolutely perfect.


Getting us underway was very similar to our day sails, just more alcohol involved, different food, and no snorkeling.  These trips were typically only an hour and a half or so, just enough time to sail to our spot, serve dinner and drinks, and slowly head back as the sun was setting.  Usually, the night captain and one new mate would be waiting on the dock for us, help us in, and have all of our new inventory there for the evening.  Day sail crew also did some prep work for us during the day (if they freakin remembered...). Our crews were based on numbers, so depending on how many signed up for the sunset sail we could have two mates and a captain, or only one.  It was very unusual for a mate to work straight on through because that was a thirteen+ hour day, and they didn't like to do that to us very often.  But if all the other boats were full during the day, sometimes it was necessary.  It just meant we were allowed to have a shift drink during night shift! Champagne and cranberry was always a popular choice. We greeted the guests with free champagne with a strawberry garnish as they walked on board, and it was all you can drink for the night, although we typically switched to other spirited beverages once we were underway.  Same deal getting out of the slip, captain speech, food prep and we are off!


FOOD!  This trip is mostly about the sunset, hence the name, but there are a lot of hungry people on board, so one of us stays down below almost the entire time and makes apps, dinner, and desert!  Caviar was one of our appetizers, most try it even if they are a little weirded out, I know I was!  But, once we are moored up it takes a little time to cook up the dinner and get it all plated, so drinks, apps, and music is enjoyed throughout while it's cooking.  We went to a private little cove that very rarely had any other boats or trips going on, it was incredibly serene.  Once dinner was put out (buffet style) and the folks were eating it was okay to take a quick break before it was time to do the dishes, refill drinks, and get underway for the quick trip back.

Or if you have some really cool guests they will ask if you want a picture of yourself at work, since you take pictures of other people all day.  Some of the nicest people in the world come on board, and that's most of what makes it such a memorable experience day in and day out.  Also the uniform, can't wear that to many formal office events huh? I did have to make sure my khaki shorts and golf shirt went back on before we reached the dock however, just in case the boss was looking.



The trip back is almost always lit by moonlight, beautiful, calm, and smooth sailing so to speak.  People are in the mood to drink, and sometimes dance depending on what we have on the transistor radio.  Could be Bob Marley, could be a little Hall and Oates maybe?  Whatever gets them going, we take requests as long as I have service, otherwise they had to choose from the iPod from 2003 that is pre-loaded by our bosses with "family friendly" songs (lame).  The favorite to take us home was always "Moon dance" by Van Whats-his-name, always a nice finish to the night.

Same tasks getting us back into the slip, although it's pitch dark (except for the marina lights) so it makes things a tad more challenging, but who doesn't love a good challenge? So what if we run aground and beach thirty drunk guests, at least we are on land now! No but seriously, safety is priority #3.  Once we are all tied up and the guests are off the boat, it's cleaning time which also means shift drink(s).  It's late and we are usually very tired, so if there isn't a day sail the next day we can do a speed clean, and finish up the next day.  If there is a day sail the next day, there is most likely going to be less champagne after our shift *wink *wink.