The entire reason that we modified our plans to sail Lake Superior this summer was to attend the Great Lakes Cruising Club Rendezvous (GLCC) in Rogers City, MI. And we had not considered going until Niels Jensen suggested that buddy-boating with him and Vicki would be a good experience. Being short on experience, we decided it would be a good way to get some serious miles under our keel and still have the support of some very experienced sailors – who also happen to have a cutter-rigged sailboat.
We arrived on Saturday, July 11th, a day ahead of the official start so that Niels could attend board meetings (he is the Commodore after all so he kinda had to show up). Flying the GLCC commodore’s burgee, Gaviidae garnered preferential dockage and was in the very first slip next to the walkway. Think of being inside a fishbowl.
The first night started with an impromptu decision for Chinese food and approximately 30 people descended on Chee Peng Chinese & Thai restaurant. Fortunately, they had gotten wind that there might be a large number of people coming and they had two wait staff rather than their normal one. It’s the only Chinese food in a small town. If they added kitchen staff, we could only feel sorry for them and any of the locals who craved good Chinese food that night. Regardless, everyone had great food and left big tips for the weary staff.
Sunday was a busy day for us – we had to register and pick up our boat goodies (which included a really nice boat bag with Gaviidae embroidered on it) and buy the requisite GLCC T-shirt, etc. You can never have enough boat-themed white T-shirts! And it’s not like I don’t have enough clothes onboard….which also meant I just had to buy an aubergine windproof jacket from the Crowley’s/GLCC ship store. Note to self: Leave the credit cards behind on next voyage.
And most important for our Sunday activities, we had to “dress” the boat. Now last year when we went to the GLCC Rally in Superior, WI, I had to ask what that meant. This year I was prepared. I spent three days sewing flags that spelled out GaviidaeSails. Dan will tell you repeatedly – I spent THREE days sewing flags. OMG – THREE DAYS!
On Monday, we went to the 40-mile Lighthouse for a tour. The beach below the lighthouse has the wreck of a shipping vessel mostly buried in the sandy beach. Some years it is very exposed and others the sand has covered most of it up. The adjacent picture shows our tour guide in period light house keeper garb and GLCC members standing on the wreck.
On Monday afternoon they had Gadget Hour and everyone with any new tricks was instructed to bring them. We brought our shoe bag herb garden as we’d already had numerous inquiries about it.
Monday evening had a reception that started with the first year attendees having a photo op with the white suits. Us newbies all had “special” yellow ribbons on our badges to make sure everyone knew we were first-timers at a rendezvous. Next time we will be seasoned veterans and we can call the shots on hazing rituals.
Tuesday was the big day for the “Ladies Tea and Fashion Show” – while tea and fashion shows are not quite up my alley these days, it was actually really fun. Richard’s (a local store) supplied the clothing with models from the GLCC. I can guarantee that there were more than a few women who found a number of items to buy afterwards. On that note, I have to say that Rogers City rolled the red carpet out for the GLCC – very impressive for a small town.
I’m not going to mention Tuesday evening other than to say you should read Dan’s post on the Minnesota Mafia.
By Wednesday I think the organizers determined that there had been too much food and drink consumed and it was time to burn some of it off. The traditional beach volleyball game between the Rag Haulers (Baggers in my world) vs. the Stinkpotters was staged in a nearby sand beach. Unfortunately the Rag Baggers had their asses handed to them on a platter. I hope next year will have a better showing by those who fly laundry. There was also a Bocce Ball tournament in the afternoon that we missed. The day ended with the Commodore’s Dinner with a great band – and yes, sailors can dance! Ask Dan sometime about his favorite limerick about a sailor named Yates who danced the fandango on skates.
Thursday was the final day and had the “official” Boat Review which involved all of the GLCC board members and officials going around the boats via dinghy to see whether they were “presentable”. It involved much pomp and circumstance punctuated with fog horns and bells.
Another custom we learned was as each boat was leaving, there was a horn salute to/from the boats. A very suitable send-off and ending to a great week meeting new people with a shared love of boats and the Great Lakes.
July 11-15, 2015 45° 25.359’N 83° 48.728’W 421.6 Nautical Miles