Annual Event Becomes A #SundayFunday Dock Party
Ahh, yacht club opening day.
People in blue blazers saying things like “I proudly present the Blue Gavel award to…” and “we would like to welcome our guests, including Commodore so-and-so from the so-and-so yacht club, Vice Commodore so-and-so from the so-and-so yacht club…” And my favorite one: “that concludes today’s ceremony; now please enjoy the snacks and champagne.”
On a sunny Sunday the first week or so each April, the three yacht clubs in Redondo Beach’s King Harbor go through these rituals. And I’m fortunate to know members of the biggest, King Harbor Yacht Club, and get an annual invitation to attend the festivities.
The others are the small Port Royal Yacht Club and the tiny Redondo Beach Yacht Club. I’ve also been to the former but not the latter for Opening Day.
Opening Day consists of a ceremony followed by food and drinks! King Harbor Yacht Club provides lots of champagne but one can only drink so much of that after a while, so then you buy drinks at the bar. At Port Royal, there’s a large food spread and $5 “Port Royal” strength cocktails. The Redondo Beach Yacht Club starts the party with champagne before noon, or so I’ve been told.
The “routine” is to start out at KHBC at around noon, then head to Port Royal about 3. The latter even has a band. While KHBC requires knowing a member, you just show up to Port Royal and make a day of it. Or at least you did in the past (keep reading).
This year, 2018, was my most fun. That’s because it turned into a yacht party. People from several places in Southern California brought in their boats and tied up to the King Harbor Yacht Club dock.
After making several circles of the several snack tables (meatballs, taquitos, finger sandwiches, deviled eggs, and so forth) and several trips to the champagne tables at the yacht club, I then joined the people who had taken the party onto the boats and docks.
Boat owners welcomed people on board and some even offered beers or cocktails in what amounted to an open house for yachts. The biggest boat in the harbor, a classic 70-footer once owned by the Kennedys called Estrella, even had a band.
This turned out to be the big party place and that’s where several of us spent our afternoon, drinking beers on its bow while the band played and people danced on the deck above us.
Every now and then a dingy would come by, people would unload and they would join the party.
I did not want to move, but everyone was sticking to the Yacht Club Opening Day routine of going over to Port Royal. So sounds of “let’s go to Port Royal” could be heard whenever someone’s beer expired.
Except apparently Port Royal was not allowing in any insiders this year. I learned this from others who had gone over and could not get in, so we all just tossed out our anchors and partied on Estrella until sunset.
It’s funny that with boats all around us in King Harbor, how infrequently we get to enjoy a day on the water. And in this case, I was glad to not even leave the dock.