You must stay for dinner!

Bill-newby L. G. William Chapman, B.A., LL.B.

Cutting short an impromptu social engagement isn’t easy.  This is particularly so if your hosts are by nature warmhearted and ungrudging. How effortless it is in the gusto of the moment, in the swirl of sunshine and serendipity, to bend to the favourable winds of hospitality.  And yet sometimes it is best to jump ship. Literally.

Yesterday for example we profited by a reprieve from what has for the past four months been our hackneyed agenda by pointing the nose of our trusted vehicle in the direction of the St. Lawrence River where we planned to lunch al fresco on the patio of the Ivy Lea Club by the marina.  It was the Friday before Labour Day and even though we haven’t the popular motivation of a long weekend we nonetheless shared in the pervasive vigour. While driving to Ivy Lea we received a telephone call from a friend who advised that she and her husband were en route to another marina in the same area and she proposed to collect us in their boat at the Ivy Lea dock after our lunch.  As we had no other plans whatsoever and because it was a flawless late summer day, we jumped at the opportunity.

Following an agreeable lunch of tapas (shrimp, roasted asparagus spears, Carpaccio, bread, seasoned oil and hummus) we languished on the dock overlooking the marina and dozed blissfully in the late afternoon sunshine cajoled by the lapping waves.  We were subsequently joined in our idleness by a middle-aged convivial boater who wandered within our sphere from the marina. He seated himself on the flagstone steps and began chatting as I suspect is the custom among the boating community.  We quickly learned that he was the captain of the impressive 56′ Cruiser express yacht moored nearby. He went on to amplify his introductory remarks by informing us of his family’s jaunt to the South Pacific. Basking in his cosmopolitan anecdotes was all too marvellous for words!

Cruiser Express

It is no doubt but usual courtesy in these show-and-tell encounters to linger appreciatively upon the patent success of the trump boater, a somewhat more lyrical metaphor than the common vulgarity, “Mine is bigger than yours”. Contemporaneously we sheepishly advanced our own admiring distance and comparative dissimilarity to such affluent circumstances.  We apologetically shared that we were mere interlopers awaiting the arrival of friends and we shrugged in answer to his question that we hadn’t a clue what sort of conveyance was coming for us. On the heels of that uninspiring intelligence the conversation quickly lapsed once again into a seamless rumination upon the recent exploits of our boater friend with whom an endearing relationship was manifestly blossoming fuelled by our uncompromising attention.

Suddenly my cell phone rang and it was our hosts enquiring where we were. In a flash we caught ourselves staring at one another across the marina.  There they were in their own 56′ Neptunus express yacht!  In a heartbeat the confederacy with our new friend and his wife who had joined the assembly dissolved and amidst a crescendo of bravado and goodbyes (and a hurried introduction to our yachting companions) we separated and headed to the deck of the awaiting transport.

Neptunus

Quite apart from the fortuity of being able to match the hand dealt by our erstwhile compadre, it was an unequivocal rapture to struggle onto the extensive stern of the yacht and plop myself unruffled on the luxurious poop deck where I gazed nonchalantly at the inviting blue water before us as the imposing craft pulled away from its moorings assisted by the dock staff.  The worries of the world slipped away.  We were suddenly enveloped by fresh air, a palpable breeze, dazzling sunshine and a dome of blue sky.

IMG_6077

Our sojourn lasted close to three hours. Afterwards our accommodating hosts invited us to dine with them.  As tempting as the offer was we resisted the invitation only to afford them down-time to themselves.  We knew full well that they work long hours at their business and that the Labour Day Weekend was an opportunity to indulge themselves in their private whimsies. Given the balmy weather conditions and their upcoming weekend visitations we felt obliged to abandon ship.  So we did though much against their hearty protests!  We of course felt no deprivation whatsoever having relished a thoroughly relaxing afternoon!