Minnesota Mafia Dinner

Despite uncertain weather and a mutiny attempt, the Minnesota contingent of the Great Lakes Cruising Club 2015 Rendezvous in Rogers City, MI dined and partied on Gaviidae tonight. It was a fitting venue for the GLCC commodore’s provisional flagship.

The event grew out of an invitation to Minnesota-based sailors to gather for dinner in the park near Greg and Connie Korstad ‘s (Plymouth, MN) land yacht, DV (Driving Vessel) Gaviidae (yes, they too have a sailboat of that august name). The invitation grew to include all 12 MN attendees—archly dubbed the Minnesota Mafia by sailors hailing from other, downstream Great Lakes ports. At the suggestion of former and current denizens of Rogers City, the Korstads and I checked out the offerings at Plath’s Meats in Rogers City and determined that we could put together an easy and tasty dinner for a dozen with Plath’s thick slabs of smoked pork, homemade baked beans and in-house potato salad.

The plan was almost derailed when several attendees of Commodorable Vicki’s GLCC afternoon tea party and fashion show began second guessing the weather—which was threatening to rain and bluster. They decided to avoid such possible inclemencies with reservations at a local restaurant. They did so without consulting the male Minnesota Mafiosi. When word of this female insurgency reached the Minnesota goombas, consensus was quickly reached to stick with the original plan, but to have dinner on SV Gaviidae. Julie, who was at the tea but not party to the hijacking hijinks, and I were sure we could accommodate our MN friends and Ontario sailors, Rear Commodore David Brace and his wife, Louise.

The aforementioned Greg K., Rear Commodore Dewey Flynn (Duluth) and I procured provisions and additional serving ware for the dinner, effectively quashing the mutiny. There was some grumbling by the mutineer’s ringleaders, but they capitulated without lashings or plank walking.

Before dinner  we all attended a special early showing of November Requiem, a locally produced Emmy-Award-winning documentary about the sinking of the laker, Carl D. Bradley, on November 18, 1958 in which 35 seamen, including 23 Rogers City sailors, perished in the icy waters of Lake Michigan. It was a moving account of the impact the disaster had on the community.

After the movie, we all gathered in the cockpit of Gaviidae. Her stern was riding a little lower in the water, but the cockpit was large enough to accommodate the group for predinner adult beverages and conversation. Greg set up his portable propane grill on a picnic table next to our dock and expertly seared the thick-cut chops, which were dusted with a little Penzey’s Island Breeze seasoning to add some zest and color. Julie and I heated up the beans in our microwave and dished the potato salad into a serving bowl. The Braces showed up with a green salad and the stage was set for the evening repast and revelry. Half of our motley crew sat at the dining table set up in forward salon, the other half dined in the cockpit on the flip-up table wings on either side of the cockpit console.

The weather cooperated and the pork chops were superb, as were the sides. Copious amounts of wine was consumed, including a couple bottles of some excellent 2006 Rodney Strong Knotty Vines Estate Zinfandel that paired nicely with the smoky, spicy chops . Chocolates were offered after dinner, and the Passe’s produced an excellent Scotch for nightcaps.

Attendees besides Julie and me, the Kolstads and the Braces were Dewey and Mar Flynn (Duluth), Commodore Niels and Vicki Jensen (Minneapolis), Jim and Angele Passe (Minneapolis), Bill and Judy Rohde (New Brighton).

MN Mafia

Minnesota Mafia

July 14, 2015     Rogers City, MI

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