Docktails, Rocktails and Attitude Adjustments

Met a guy in The Benjamin Islands who, after anchoring, helped us tie a stern line to a tree on shore. He promptly invited us to “rocktails.”

Rocktails? That’s cocktails on shore, sitting on rocks.

Dinghy had no engine, but we hauled ourselves into shore via the stern tie line. Very easy and we could carry our wine. Didn’t spill a drop.

The guy’s name was Tim and though he was a Canadian, he was quite knowledgeable about California politics. His conversation reminded me of a visit by dinghy to Union Island in the Lesser Antilles years ago. Two Rastafarians had set up an impromptu bar on the beach and lectured our little group on Reaganomics.

Docktails are cocktails on someone’s boat. Usually it’s a boat much larger than ours and the guests are fellow Loopers. Conversations are not political, although the last time we docktailed it was on a boat owned by a politician from the New Orleans area. Needless to say, Capt. Mark did NOT wear his Army Corps of Engineers hat. Didn’t want to bring back memories of hurricane Katrina.

Loopers talk about the weather, the ports, their trips home on business, and where and when they’ll cross their wake (the place they started from). This is not like the laundry room conversations where spouses confess their fears to other women.

My favorite docktail story took place over thirty years ago on a real dock in Dana Point, CA. A group of engineers organized a lunch on a dock right outside our slip in Dana Point Harbor. Dress was formal.—jackets, ties, shorts, and boat shoes. Women wore shorts under formal gowns. No, it wasn’t Halloween and since these were city employees, it must have been a Saturday.

No political discussions, but lots of attitude adjustments.

We get teased because Sonoma, California is the hailing port on our stern. “Bring any wine with you?” is said right before “Did you bring that boat through the Panama Canal?”

The answer to the first question is “if we did, its long gone.” You already know the answer to the second question. While it’s possible, it would take a ton of attitude adjustment mixed in with a lot of audacity to even contemplate such a thing. Sea Bear is no sailboat. He likes to ride in comfort on a trailer.

The boat has the right attitude.

1 thought on “Docktails, Rocktails and Attitude Adjustments”

  1. LOL “the boat has the right attitude.”

    You know, this one actually brought old, OLD memories of living with my grandparents on their cabin cruiser while my middle sister (6 years younger) was being born. I have many very vivid memories of that 3-month visit, including various Docktail events and the increasingly blurry conversations among the grownups. We were in the Florida keys, and I remember checking every day, looking down into the ultra-clear water while I crossed the gangplank, to be sure the horseshoe crabs were still there. Woo. Many memories of fun times…hadn’t thought about that adventure in ages.


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