Another Perfect Night – August 30, 2015

IMG_5428All in a day’s work for our 40’ 1936 power boat, ROBERT ALLAN II: from 11 to 6, she took Ted and Cindy Cartner and friends on a leisurely cruise of the Chicago River including a short visit to the Lake. From 6 on she went right back out again to help the Captain celebrate his 73rd Birthday until 11. Her 50 year old Chrysler Crowns did not miss a beat, used about 15 gallons of fuel, and pushed her comfortably along for the whole day (slower is better on the river).
Daughter Mareva took the helm as we left the dock, first mate Starbuck (Chris Etsch) took the wheel as we passed Union Station and brought her capably along the dock at the end of Ogden Slip (behind Tribune Tower) and then back to our berth at Canal Street on the South Branch. The Captain backed her into the dock without incident, and we finished the evening with rum and a few well-loved songs. We made a new friend, a violin maker named Jeff Yonkus, a gifted musician who brought his squeeze box. Others who also added to the evening included Sharon, Sophia, Moira and the esteemed Micah Bezold.
There was nothing remarkable about this night – it was simply perfect, as it so often has been for the past twenty years. A highlight was the big orange moon beginning to rise over the Lake as we motored up the main branch of the river towards Lake Shore Drive. The man in the moon seemed happy at that early hour of the evening.
Being a Sunday night, most boaters had already headed home and so by nine o’clock, except for the water taxis, we had the river to ourselves. No wind to speak of, around 70 degrees and cooling a bit as the night came on, we could not have asked for better weather. A night to be seized and we did it.
Among our guests were Kevin Bowen and Donna Kane. Kevin was one of five who acquired ROBERT ALLAN II in 1995 from Action Marine. Launched again after ten years “on the hard” on the evening of May 31, 1995, the boat has done her job well for the past twenty years. And while the boat gets older, the experience of cruising her never does. She continues to make new friends.
As the Captain begins his 74th year, he has learned that life is filled with many friends he never met. The great gift of ROBERT ALLAN II has been to introduce him to many of those people for the first time. We suppose it may be evident to those who see or come aboard her that she still floats because of an abundance of affection from those to whom she “belongs.” To be able to preserve a motor yacht which has been in Chicago waters since 1936 and to enjoy her once again as we did last night is priceless.

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