Some thought they saw a ghost boat on the bay when the Chablis sailed into Morro Bay Harbor on April 5, 2007.
Co-owner Annie Clapp recalled several locals’ reaction after a serendipitous encounter launched her business and brought the dinner cruise boat to Morro Bay.
“My former partner, Zoe Andres, was in San Francisco. By chance, she met the executive chef of the Belle of Humboldt Bay. She discovered former Tiger’s Folly I. Captain Yost had built the replica in Humboldt. It cruised there for years, then somehow made it to San Francisco. We bought the Belle and renamed it the Chablis. We had our first dinner cruise on April 12, 2007.”
Clapp and her sister Shasta, who serves in the U.S. Navy, co-own it today. Andres took a fulltime job, but her family still works with Clapp regularly.
Zoe Andres’ son, Avery, “is my star helper,” Clapp said.
The Chablis charters private parties, celebrations of all kinds and Saturday brunch.
“Awhile back I was missing Sundays being with my family,” Clapp said. “I realized many of our customers are tourists and leave Morro Bay Sundays, so we tried out Saturday brunch. It works well for everyone. I now have a day for God and family.”
She will soon be Captain Clapp. She has passed all her testing.
“Booking captains has been the biggest challenge. I have several on call, but if they are busy, like banjoist Gary Ryan, or (they) can make more money fishing, they can’t work for me. I’ve had to cancel bookings.”
Recently the Chablis hosted Jerry Criscione’s family from Lompoc. They were celebrating wife Pat’s and son Terry’s birthdays. A sister had flown out from Long Island to be part of the family reunion.
Criscione said, “Thirty years ago we cruised on Tiger’s Folly. I thought it would be nice to stay closer to home.”
“I like brunches and rehearsal dinners best,” Clapp said while training Arthur Able to customize omelets.
Morro Bay Coffee on Morro Bay Boulevard is their other business and commercial kitchen.
Clapp’s husband, Rodney, prepares all the food and pastries for both businesses.
He was trained at Western Culinary Institute in Portland, where the couple met. They’ve been married for 19 years.
“He’s not crazy about the boat,” Clapp said. But she added that he loves to cook and is home for Justin 22, Meagan, 15, Noah, 13, and Samuel, 10.
Clapp’s sunny personality works to make everyone enjoy their bay cruise.
“My goal is for every Morro Bay visitor to see its beauty from an awesome viewpoint: the Chablis’ deck looking back at Morro Bay’s Embarcadero.”
For information, call 772-2128 or www.chabliscruises.com.
Reach Judy Salamacha at email@example.com or 801-1422.