It is always nice to make a good impression when company comes to visit.
Last weekend, the Farr design yacht Maiden honored us with a visit, and Long Beach was like the Dolly Madison of cities — a hostess with the mostess.
The aluminum hulled vessel is famous for winning two legs of the Volvo round the world race back in 1989, with an all-women crew led by Tracy Edwards. The heartwarming documentary is on Netflix.
The boat has been completely redone, and Maiden is on a round-the-world journey supporting charities that encourage the education of women. Last Sunday they offered free tours on board while she was berthed at Pine Avenue Pier near Shoreline Village. From here, after a brief visit to San Diego, their next stop is Antigua.
The skipper for the next few months is Liz Wardley, from Papua, New Guinea, who was watch captain for Team SCA in the 2014–15 Volvo Ocean Race, and in 1998 she took second in the Hobie World Championships.
Wardley is full of energy and seems to be constantly moving. As a skipper, she prefers to lead by example. As she has grown as a leader, she has strived to communicate with her team and collaborate more. She is nimble both physically and mentally, and she moved around the deck of the 58-foot Maiden like she was on a 14-foot Hobie. Her agility, paired with her quick wit, must make her great at charades.
The women were welcomed with a water greeting from a lifeguard boat. John Sangmeister personally hosted the team at Gladstone’s for dinner. Seated around the restaurant’s iconic outdoor fire table, with perfect weather; the harbor view was spectacular. Chef Pete’s seafood dishes are as legendary as Sangmeister’s sailing.
Steve Gooding, President and CEO at Long Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, worked with the Long Beach Airport Marriott to provide rooms for our guests. It is unclear if there were mints on their pillows, but for sure they enjoyed luxurious bedding, flat screen TVs, and sleeping in. Taking place at the nearby convention center, ComplexCon, a sort of world fair for millennials ensured that those in town dressed hip and savvy.
At The Queen
Across the way, Queen Mary looked regal.
Saturday was Dark Harbor’s final night of the season, where $40 parking is the norm, and scary mazes are date night’s delight. On the ship’s Promenade deck, the Marine Ball was in full swing, with handsome men and women in uniform and elegant gowns flowing.
On sports deck in the Veranda Grill, author Patricia V. Davis, who has written a trilogy of books that take place on the current day Queen Mary, was hosting a glamorous launch party for her newest book, "Demons, Well-Seasoned."
Davis’s books revolve around a group of women who run a fictional restaurant on the ship called the Secret Spice Café. Queen Mary chefs and tour guides collaborated with the author and created a meal inspired by recipes in the books, a “scenes from the books” tour of the ship, and a reading in the ship’s art deco Observation Bar.
Part of the proceeds was donated to the new Long Beach Billie Jean King Main Library, and many celebrated the evening in full formal period dress. Attendees in vintage tuxes, fascinators, and beaded gowns all relished the singers and actors who brought the books to life.
Meanwhile, The Long Beach stop of the Grade 3 match race California Dreamin' series finished up on Sunday with Long Beach’s own Shane Young taking top honors.
Seal Beach YC hosted Sunday Sailors, Alamitos Bay YC decommissioned their race committee boat Patience with full honors and Shoreline YC was beating the odds with their annual Casino night.
Thank you Long Beach for looking good every day — especially when we have guests in town, you made us a Maiden-worthy stop on her incredible world tour.