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We are fortunate to have many new members who have joined the Harlem Yacht Club over the past several years. Some of you have been with us on our various rendezvous or our summer cruises. For whatever reason, or combinations of reasons, many have not yet had the opportunity to participate with the rest of us in these popular boating activities.

While not yet ready to share with you actually where the club will be going this year, we do have a good idea of the when and the what.

Let’s start with the what.  What’s a rendezvous? It’s when a bunch of club members, their families and friends get together via sail, power or car to meet, eat and be merry.

Sometimes some of us raft-up – that’s connect up our boats with lines and soft cushiony type things (some people call them fenders, others, the less nautical amongst us, may refer to them as bumpers). This collection of boats generally hangs on a single or possibly two anchors with sufficient rode or line deployed to minimize the chance of dragging but not so long that the raft swings into other nearby anchored individual boats, or other rafts. Some members prefer to anchor nearby and dink over to the raft.

Who ties up to whom and how do you know they want you can be complex subjects. Often arrangements are made far in advance and can be based on the age of kids, the position of the mast spreaders, the hull freeboard or any number of variables such as when one gets there. The first thing to look for is the club burgee – that’s our blue flag with the white “H” on its side (usually available at our Bar – about $18.00). Next thing, if you don’t see anyone, try raising one of us on VHF Channel 72… just ask for “anyone from the Harlem Yacht Club Fleet” and identify yourself. It’s good if your boat has a name that you know, and share it with the rest of us. Unless you’re a really pesty person, have terrible navigation skills (afraid you’ll crash into us), eat or drink exclusively other people’s stuff (never bringing anything to share), someone, if we’re there ahead of you, will respond and tell you where we are. Make sure you call us on Channel 72, not just 9 or 16, since we often tune-off the rest of the world when at anchor.

We mostly eat, drink and tell stories on rendezvous with occasional forays onto beaches or, unique-as-far-as-we-can-tell “dink-and-drink-raft-ups”, where more of the same takes place.

A club cruise is when we take off for 1, 2, or 3 weeks in July or August, and all hang out together, going from idyllic location to idyllic location, with great restaurants, beautiful beaches, perfect anchorages, beautiful, low cost marinas with great swimming pools and everything good you ever dreamed about before you got into boating.

We generally plan together the when and where of the cruises, sometime in the spring of each year.