I'm excited to announce that we'll be heading to Stonington for this year's National Rendezvous scheduled for August 3-5! We've never gone there as a group before, partly because of the logistical problem of docking a whole bunch of O'Day Mariners where there isn't a whole lot of room for transients. The "go-to" marina in Stonington, Dodson's Boat Yard, has very limited dock space - they primarily have transients stay on moorings in the harbor - so they simply aren't equipped to handle over 200 linear feet needed for just ten Mariners. Besides that, they were very difficult to communicate with and somewhat rude to me, so I abandoned any hope of using them as our destination. I just couldn't fit the round peg in the square hole.
The only other possibility was the Stonington Harbor Yacht Club (SHYC). Founded in 2002, they also have somewhat limited room for transients, and as they are a popular destination for reciprocal clubs in the area, I didn't have much hope of them agreeing to host us. Also, they've never hosted a full-blown rendezvous before; they usually only cater to one or two boats at a time, never a group. Knowing both of those things, I didn't hold out much hope they would be willing or able to host us.
I was pretty surprised to receive a reply from SHYC's Marketing and Communications Director a couple weeks after my initial inquiry which read: "Great news- there is no conflict and we look forward to welcoming your group!" To make a long story short, although they've never hosted a rendezvous before, they're willing to try it just for us and work with me to make the event successful. I'm very grateful to SHYC for taking that leap of faith and agreeing to host us, blocking off all of their transient dock space for that weekend just for us Mariner sailors. Since then, we've been in periodic communication, talking about all the fine details. I'll tell you one thing: we'll be in great shape come August, and I'm thrilled this is happening.
There will be a lot to see and do in the Stonington Borough once we arrive there, and I have no doubt SHYC will be absolutely fantastic hosts. More information will be coming in the months ahead!