Private Sunset Cruise and Clambake

Anniversary cake with Mom and Dad

I felt like I struck gold when I laid eyes on Captain Ed Gensinger’s 75-foot yacht “Cigarette.” My sister and I had been looking for a special place and unique experience to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.

We wanted to do something on the water – my wish being a sunset cruise/sail for the family (10 people), with a catered dinner. Our budget was $1,500. I researched EVERYTHING that had to do with boating from the Hamptons to Connecticut, to Cape May and everything in between. Nothing was working out – everything was either much too costly, or wasn’t private, or didn’t work with our timing. I was about to give up when the angels heard my prayers.

The lobsters could not have tasted any better!

Enter Capt. Gensinger – the born-and-raised Jersey guy who couldn’t be more personable and accommodating. The International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, Rhode Island, had taken care of the 75-foot, Nevins-built power yacht Cigarette for several years.

Jerry Bass bought her, and after cutting her in half, (sounds like a magician, doesn’t it?), trailered her to his shop in Point Pleasant, NJ. After careful restoration that included the installation of a claw-foot tub in the master cabin, Cigarette is now cared for by Captain Ed, Jerry’s son-in-law, since Jerry passed away.

After catching my breath at the yacht’s beauty, I held my breath as I heard the price, and I literally cried, as it was in line with my budget.

Steamers and corn - so fresh and local from Jersey!

My next task was finding the perfect caterer. There were quite a few to choose from in the Brick, New Jersey area, but I had my heart set on a clambake. With a little googling I found On Shore Catering, which specializes in authentic clambakes.

Patty, the owner, was incredibly helpful and assured me there would be no issues. I had doubts that due to logistics, the clambake would be delivered pre-cooked, (it’s usually cooked on-site).

On Shore delivered and set it all up -and they didn’t miss a beat. From the bibs, to cups for melted butter, chafing dishes, lemon wedges in netting. The food – EXCEPTIONAL – fresh and so tasty! Lobsters, clams, baked potatoes, shrimp scampi, penne alla vodka, Cesar salad…. and the cost – incredibly reasonable!

The whole gang at Marty and Flora Feldman's 50th wedding anniversary sunset yacht cruise and clam bake dinner

I have to mention that Captain Ed suggested we have Judi Bonacolta of “At Your Service” on board to help with serving. I wasn’t sure we needed an extra hand, not to mention my budget was about at its end, given the Prosecco, cake, and gift, but we agreed as the price was reasonable.

Boy, were we ALL thrilled we did. Judi was a tremendous asset and didn’t allow for us to attend to anything. She was there to pour, serve and anything else needed before you could blink an eye. Her overall help (and always being available to take group pictures) added to the whole experience.

The Cigarette Yacht - what a beauty!

So, although my sister and I couldn’t afford to throw a party in Nantucket or Newport, we came pretty damn close and the Jersey Shore came through and provided my entire family, especially our parents, the most memorable evening we could ask for.