While June 21st is the start of Summer by astrological measurement and the Augustan Calendar, us preps get off to an earlier start. Every Memorial Day Weekend, we break out our whites, seersucker, and pastel prints for the Summer. While we treat this weekend as the beginning of the warmest time of the year, the weather patterns don’t always favor our plans for leisure.
This past weekend, I was lounging in Chatham with my friends from Pomfret, Groton, Phillips Andover, Westminster, and Nobles. Our most challenging decision involved choosing whether to day drink at Chatham Bars Inn or Wychmere We celebrated our final night in quintessential fashion. While I grilled out for the gals, my friend mixed up some cocktails for overconsumption in the parlor. He is an alumnus of the Harvard School of Mixology and did not disappoint. Following a few stiff rounds, us gents decided to head out and start a bonfire on the beach. What could be a better night cap to the final evening of the weekend?
Upon collecting fuel for the fire and arriving at the beach, it began to rain. Time was of the essence, and we had limited resources. Naturally, I took charge.
Here is a list of instructions which may help you the next time you are tasked with starting a beach bonfire even if you have limited resources and subpar conditions.
Step 1: Acquire some industrial sized palettes. Preferably of the seafood market variety.
Step 2: Find a secluded beach area. Preferably private.
Step 3: Dig your fire pit.
Step 4: Line the base of your fire pit with sand, rocks, or wet seaweed to prevent your fire from increasing in surface area. You don’t want to burn your beach house unless of course you have a fat insurance policy you can leverage to buy a house with a better view.
Step 5: Collect small sticks, lint, dry seaweed, and newspaper for tinder (not the dating app).
Step 6: Separate tinder to increase surface area and airflow.
Step 7: Place tinder underneath a corner of the palettes.
Step 8: Add a splash of high proof alcohol (Don Julio works like a charm).
Step 9: Collect larger pieces of dry drift wood, logs, or whatever other fuel you can find (private property signs always make for phenomenal fuel).
Step 10: Spark, blow, and watch it grow.
-Marshmellows roast best on embers, not flames
-Don’t use towels or blankets if it’s raining
-Remember to bring a stocked cooler, but don’t waste all of the Goose on a fire you can start with nautical resources