And what a kickoff it was. Our club (Clover Island Yacht Club) has several organized cruises every year and one of the first is our twice-annual cruise to Fishhook Park on the Snake River. We went this weekend and a good time was had by all. The first Fishhook Park cruise is planned for the weekend prior to the park opening to the public and then later in the fall we do another, usually the weekend after the park closes to the public. This way we have the park all to ourselves and don’t have to fight for space on the dock or at the gazebo where we do all of our cooking and most of our laughter. Six boats went up Friday morning, passing through Ice Harbor Lock around 10:00 a.m. That’s another nice thing about going up early in the year, the locks will pass you through when you get there. They have not set up their lockage schedule yet. The group of us who went up together wanted to go through the lock a bit ahead of the rest of them because winds were forecasted to kick up to around 25mph with gusts to 39mph later in the morning. As it turned out, the winds never materialized, but nobody was disappointed. Here’s a shot of my favorite deck hand as we were in the lock..... And a shot of some of the other boats as we got to the top and were about to exit the lock…. Our club has gone to Fishhook Park for so many years we have the setup and teardown procedures down to a science. Within just an hour or so of our arrival we have strung tarps around the covered shelter at the top of the docks in case the winds kick up. This shelter is our “headquarters” as you will see… After awhile the clouds went away, the sun came out and the partying began….. Here’s a shot of our cooking crew preparing dinner. We had beef and chicken tacos and my “world famous” homemade spaghetti sauce. I had made the sauce for one of our club’s Friday potluck dinners and everyone insisted I bring some to Fishhook for this cruise… There’s always so much food that if anyone goes home at the end of the weekend hungry, it’s their own fault… We always have a bonfire but because we must make sure we don’t burn any of the grass, we put the fire in a steel fire pit bowl, which we put on top of a clean garbage can which sits on a 2’x2’ concrete slab which then sits on a pallet. Things are starting to get warmed up at the bonfire as you can see by the chairs… We ended up with 9 boats joining the cruise. Six of us went up Friday morning, two joined later in the afternoon and one joined later that evening. All things considered it was a great weekend. The winds never did kick up, much of the weekend was spent under sunny skies and temps in the high 70’s to low 80’s. But all good things must come to an end. Here’s a shot of GW relaxing in the lock before we started our trip down… I wanted to post a photo of this Nordic Tug. The owners got it a couple of years ago but this is the first time they’ve joined up in the Fishhook Cruise. After we got out of the lock on the way back down the Snake River we passed by this tug with three barges… What a great group of people to have as friends and what a nice time we had hanging out with them.