I found myself on a sailboat last night. It had been over 15 years since I had been on the Lake Michigan waters. I learned yesterday that not much has changed.
I recall the last time I was on the lake. There were 3 of us. I just sat there as we motored out from the breakwater. Once we got pass the wall the captain and my friend got a sail up and the wind took us for a trip. The owner popped some autopilot thing on the helm and disappeared down below. He came back up with a bottle of brandy and a 2 liter of Coke. Not sure what the Coke was for really as I recall those drink being really strong. Color perhaps?
That was sailing. Sitting on a boat getting hooched. Nothing has changed.
Yesterday we motored out to open water. Once the sail was up people went below to make drinks as we tooled around about a mile or so from shore. The big difference this time was the number of people on the boat. I think they said there were 19 of us. People sat where they could drinking their beer, wine, or rum cocktail of choice. After 3 beers- my measurement of time- the sun had gone down and everyone was heading in. The boat time was over.
This is when I learned a new term. Wall beer. What is wall beer? Exactly what it says. It appears Wednesday is racing night at the yacht clubs (yes, Milwaukee has 2 yacht clubs). When the race is over it is customary for people to dock their boat and go drink free beer. The beer is provided by the club and actually paid for by the race fees. In this particular club there is a tent covering a wall with 2 beer taps. You go to the wall and grab a beer. Capital Supper Club was on tap last night.
I did notice an interesting thing about the wall beer last night. Something that made me proud as a Wisconsinite. There was a line of a dozen people waiting for a beer. First person poured theirs while the next person waited. When the person's cup was about 2/3 full, they leaned their cup in, a sign to keep the tap flowing. Person after person in that line did the exact same thing. The beer kept flowing until some old grey haired lady came in.
I had a good time last night. Sitting on my butt drinking beer as I stared at the Milwaukee skyline was much different than sitting in a bar doing the same thing. I just might do it again if the opportunity arises.