A few years before he retired my dad realized a lifelong dream. He bought a catboat. It wasn’t his first. He’d had several; starting with the fixer-upper he bought in 1948. While it might not have been his first, it had just about everything he ever wanted, including my mom as First Mate.
At thirty feet, it was large enough to take a slew of friends for a day sail or even the weekend. I suppose if he had wanted to, and Mom had let him, he could have sailed his catboat around the world. It had a tiny kitchen or galley, a miniature bathroom or head and enough room to sleep two sort-of-comfortably or cram six in like sardines.
The boat was docked in Rhode Island, near Newport. Being in Newport was a real plus and he never had trouble rounding up a crew. With lots of posh restaurants and overpriced boutiques, it’s the perfect spot for wining, dining, shopping and people watching. Then again, Newport was only his home port. The Captain and his lady took several trips to the Cape, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.
His dream come true, it was all sunny skies and clear sailing. Except when it rained. As soon as rain started to pitter and patter on the deck, the already small cabin seemed to shrink. The glamour of Newport quickly faded and the lively town was just another soggy tourist trap with overpriced t-shirts. Even the most loyal of old friends jumped ship and headed home.
And then of course, there were times when rain or shine we were forced to sail. I remember one particular trip. It started bright and sunny with a perfect breeze. I was home from Switzerland for a week or two and Dad took all of his girls for an overnight sail to Martha’s Vineyard. My mother, my sister Brenda, her daughter Gillian and I were delighted to spend a day or two on the ocean blue.
The first day was glorious, ideal sailing weather with blue skies and fair winds. We dropped anchor just off shore of the little fishing village of
Menemsha in plenty of time for a walk on the beach and a swim. The sunset was spectacular, the company was more than jovial and the lobster and blueberry pie at the local inn were both superb. Everything was perfect until we woke the next morning to the drum of rain on the deck. It was no gentle mist or pit or pat but a steady downpour.
The merits of staying put versus sailing through the storm were briefly debated. In the end we agreed to a speedy return rather a soggy day in the tiny cabin. And speedy it was. Not just rain, there was a full-out gale blowing as we headed back to Newport.
The Skipper and First Mate put on their bright yellow rain slickers. The rest of us improvised. Dressed to kill in oversized trash bags, Brenda, Gillian and I became the Glad Family. Brenda Glad, Gillian Glad and Susie Glad. Puns and jokes were thrown about as we tore through the pounding rain and the dark grey waves at breakneck speed. It was a wet and wild ride back to Newport with much (verging on hysterical) laughter.
Although it’s been years, I still remember the Glad family every time I see someone caught in the rain and clad in a trash bag. It still makes me giggle. I wish you all a great summer and hope that you can find a little something to smile about on the next rainy day.
Lobster with Corn, Tomato & Arugula Salad
What could be better than a colorful salad on a warm summer night? This salad is perfect for a picnic on the deck or beach. Enjoy!
3 ears of fresh corn, about 1 1/2 cups corn kernels*
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1-2 scallions, thinly sliced
Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
8 ounces arugula
9 red grape tomatoes, halved
9 yellow pear tomatoes, halved
Lobster meat from 6 (1 1/4 – 1 1/2) pound lobsters*
Fill a large pot about three-quarters full with water. Bring the water to a boil; add the corn and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the corn from the boiling water and plunge in an ice water bath. When the corn is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels off the cob and put them in a large bowl.
Add the cucumber and scallions to the corn. Add a little Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette and toss to combine. Let rest for 15-20 minutes or up to a couple of hours to combine the flavors.
To plate: toss the arugula in a little vinaigrette and arrange on a large platter or individual plates. Top the arugula with the corn mixture. Artfully arrange the lobster and tomatoes on top of the salad. Drizzle a little vinaigrette over the lobster and tomatoes and serve.
* Don’t know how to cook a lobster? Try Joe Nye’s Recipe for Perfect Lobster.
* When fresh corn is not available, use frozen shoepeg corn. Just thaw and drain.
What’s your sailing story? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.
I’d be delighted to add you to the growing list of blog subscribers. To subscribe: just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button. You’ll get an email asking you to confirm your subscription … confirm and you will automatically receive a new story and recipe every week.
Feel free to visit my other, cleverly named blog, Susan Nye’s Other Blog, or photoblog Susan Nye 365. You can find more than 250 recipes, links to magazine articles and lots more on my website. I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good.©Susan W. Nye, 2010