Lunch by boat at the Chart Room has always been one of my top Happy Places going back to my days crewing The Aquarius.

From 2001 to 2007 – when our sea craft was the 26′ Boston Whaler, The Chart Room was our primary Dock and Dine day trip.

Dock and Dine with the family 2005 at The Chart Room

Nowadays we travel much further and stay for days aboard Vigilant, but we still like to return to The Chart Room several times a year.

There are two extra special weekends each year at The Chart Room. The first is the Opening Weekend which always begins on the first Thursday after Mother’s Day. The other is Closing Weekend which falls on Columbus Day Weekend.

And that’s what we did last Weekend…

Summer Breaks Out in October

Those of you who are still on the water around Buzzards Bay all endured one of the worst “Three Day Nor’easter’s” in years last week. The wind and rain finally ended Saturday (although the sun never came out.)

We had made plans to attend the closing weekend festivities weeks ago, but the actual day was going to be based on the weather. Early in the week both Sunday and Monday looked good, but by Friday, it was clear Sunday was going to be the pick of the weekend.

And Sunday began like a beautiful summer morning…

Sun Rising Over Buzzards Bay

We departed at 10:30 with virtually no wind and temps in the mid sixties…

Note the “Feels Like” temperature of 69 at 11:53 PM

One of my “tricks” for getting a good docking spot at Kingman Marine is to call in on the VHF as soon as I get inside radio range south of Bassetts Island.

I also always try to arrive around 11:50 AM to avoid the mad rush that occurs starting around 12:30 and running til 3:00.

A few weeks ago a sensor in the stern thruster on Vigilant failed. Ned (MBY Yard Boss) tells me it’s a $20 part, but very difficult to access. We agreed to wait a few weeks until she’s out for the winter, but in the meantime I still have to dock our dear single screw, keel-less, rudder steered boat the old fashioned way.

I decided to tell the dock master at Kingman about my failed stern thruster and request a straight dock (rather than a slip.) She gave me the primo spot at the end of the fuel dock.

Our trip included our friends Scott and Joan, who were along for their second trip on Vigilant…

Although I’ve never enjoyed one of the famous Chart Room Mudslides, Mrs. Horne and Scott indulged from the first blend of the day…

Kahlua, Baily’s, Vodka, and Ice – PERIOD

Grabbing a beverage at the outside window and sitting in an Adirondack Chair is part of the whole Happy Place experience…

Summer Weather in October at The Chart Room

I didn’t know these two ladies, but I glanced up as they toasted each other and I thought it made a sweet photo that captured the mood of the day!

One other trick I use at the Chart Room is to tell the host to come and get me when they’re down to the last few tables on the porch. This almost always works out perfectly with her coming out and finding me around 12:45 after 30-40 minutes of lounging outside.

Even at 12:45 PM, the place was filling up…

Sadly, due to closing weekend, they were out of steamers and mussels, but we still enjoyed our usual Chowder, Caesar Salad, Lobster Salad on Portuguese Bread, and Rubens.

As we were finishing up, I saw MBY Ned and a bunch of folks from Mattapoisett gathering outside. By now it was 2:30 and there was a 3 hour wait for a table so everyone was ordering take out and mingling while sipping their Mudslides…

We joined the crowd for a while, but quickly learned there were several boats “circling” the fuel dock waiting to tie up and the dockmaster was managing a waiting list!

Being a good mariner, I gather the crew to take off and make space at the dock. I also told everyone we were moving of to Bassetts Island and they were welcome to raft with us if they liked.

About 20 minutes later Dave, Jen, and the Puppy pulled up in Ripple and came aboard.

We hung out on the anchor for another impromptu party. I pulled out my guitar and debuted my newest song – Woody Guthrie’s The City of New Orleans, and much to my delight, everyone joined in singing the chorus.

Rafting off of Bassetts is also part of the Chart Room tradition and one that we probably won’t see again for at least 7 long months.

Everyone could have stayed longer, but I remembered that the MBY Launch stops running at sunset and while Dave had a slip (so he didn’t care) we needed to get going. I ushered Dave and Jen off, pulled the anchor at 5:30, and headed home at Flank Speed.

We ran across Buzzards Bay at 25 knots sucking up every minute that was left of this glorious day…

As soon as I cleared Ned’s Point, I radioed the launch driver and asked him to not to go home without picking us up.

We closed up Vigilant in record time and got the last launch ride of the day as the moon started coming out.

Sadly, the end if the 2019 boating season is near, but I’m proud to say we did Closing Weekend at The Chart Room in the style it deserves…