Badabing badaBOOM

The 1st night of our stay at Pier 39 (the side where sea lions took over docks – click on the link for more of that story),

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we wandered down the street toward Ghirardelli Square and stopped at Boudin Bakery – with a restaurant, store, plus history museum, AND you can watch the various types of bread being made…of course, they pipe the marvelous smell of baking bread out onto the sidewalk so we just HAD to go inside.

We had cafe’ lattes and bread for dinner…don’t snicker…

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Later on we strolled back to Ms Maggie, looking forward to a relaxing evening.  Rick turned on the TV to see what over-the-air stations we could receive, dismal selection, btw.  The closest SF station didn’t even come in!  The next day, I went to a store and bought a larger antenna, which had better reception.  Rick stayed on board cuz he was still feeling the effects of the hit on the head the day before.  Criminy, was that just yesterday!?!

There was a lot of waveage (our goofy word for the effects of waves on the boat, there’s a history to that word.  I won’t go into it now), not only from the tour boats heading in and out of their slips, but also just from the bay, itself.  Most of the marina isn’t protected by an actual sea wall, but with vertical piers pilings/logs which don’t keep out the swells, I suppose they reduce them somewhat.

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We were rising and falling and being shoved from side to side at an alarming rate.

We’d put out all our lines to keep the effects to a minimum and previously checked out how the other boats had tied up to see if they knew something we didn’t.  One boat – Wine Therapy – had huge bungee cords with little tires to absorb shock on the lines.  The  other boats seemed to have regular systems in place.

Now, its 10pm and we’ve gotten a little used to the rise, fall and swing from the swells.

Then, BOOM!  One of those sounds that makes you jump out of your chair.  Not to mention that we almost fell off our chairs with that waveage!

We race outside (like, its only 2 steps) and discover that 1 of our dock lines has snapped!  Fortunately, only a dark scuff is on Ms Maggie, no real damage.  Rick finds more lines – not dock lines, but at this point we’ve decided anything will help – and double ties some areas to build strength.

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Rick holding the snapped line

There’s no chandlery close by, so next day we head over to Orchard Supply Hardware – only 4 blocks or so away (I love OSH).  They have a selection of dock lines and we buy more lines – more than we think we need (that’s the way I roll).  Fun fact:  the word ‘chandlery’ originally related to the business of making candles.

We stay another night on the wrong side of Pier 39 and have no other mishaps.  The last few days of our ‘Baycation’ will be on the ‘right’ side of Pier 39, where we’ve stayed before, so we don’t expect any problems there.  We have excellent breakfasts each morning at the Eagle Cafe and the Wipeout Bar and Grill, eating outside both times, of course.

Monday morning we are headed over to Angel Island.  Angel Island has a rich and varied history so the museums are fascinating.  There are hiking and biking trails, 2 cafes, marathons, live music, tent camping and you can only get there by boat.  Ferries come and go all day long, its worth the trip.

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Fisherman’s Wharf isn’t far from Pier 39…we are headed to the far side of the island

Next up:  How to look like an idiot trying to use one of these 😉

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Its a mooring buoy

 

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A lovely, calm day on the water

Day 2 – We are motoring calmly towards the San Francisco Bay after spending an unexpected night at the Pittsburg Marina.  Btw, they don’t charge an overnight docking fee if you are towed into the marina!  That was a nice of them.  It’s a convenient location just a couple blocks from downtown and many restaurants.

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Entrance to Pittsburg Marina

First, of course, there was coffee at the KiteBar Cafe   (side note:  The channel is a favorite among windsurfers, no small wonder since all the flags were pretty much flying straight out from the flagpole!)

THEN we are motoring calmly towards the San Francisco Bay after spending an unexpected night at the Pittsburg Marina.

Not much happens on Day 2 – which is a pleasant, peaceful, sunny day on the water.  Motoring along there are fascinating things to see along the water’s edge.  Cranes (the mechanical ones, not the birds), abandoned docks, derelict houses, dredging equipment.  I am glad to have a personal computer in my pocket so I can search out all these interesting things.

Like this one: SP Ferry Terminal Remains.  Oooo, and there’s free parking!  See what I mean, the things you can learn from having a personal computer in your pocket!

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SP Ferry Terminal Remains

Here’s   East Brother Light Station   Its a B&B on a big rock, although you can simply visit for the day, as well.

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East Brother Light Station

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Isn’t that a cool building?  Now its a B&B, for about $495/night.

Here’s a bridge.

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Yeah, its a bridge, all right.

 

Here’s a seal basking in the sun.

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What a fuzzy picture, darn…

Here’s where ferries go to die, I mean rest.  Really I have no idea what the future holds for them, I shouldn’t be jumping to conclusions.

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Ferries napping

Arriving at Pier 39, we start into the marina – the right side, not the left side – which is an important distinction.  Where was I, oh right, we start into the marina, dutifully blasting our airhorn to let other boats know we are headed in – it’s a blind corner coming into marinas, what with the sea walls blocking our vision.

We’re through the opening and oh, great, a large blue and gold tour boat is headed out and they are BIG.  There’s plenty of room, no need to panic, plenty of room, see, plenty of room and thank the good Lord that the tour boat captain is used to dodging boats – boy howdy is he used to dodging boats in the SF Bay!

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Photo unabashedly stolen from their website.

We pull into our assigned spot, tie up with our usual lines and spring lines (this is important and there will be a test later) and go check in.

Ahhh, Day 2 is without incident.  Or so we thought 😉

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Ms Maggie’s proud captain…see her in the distance?

Fleet Week Adventures: Drama & Trauma

Before I tell you about our trip to San Francisco Bay for Fleet Week, I’d like to set the record straight re sailboats.

We’ve rented numerous sailboats and catamarans over the years.  Mostly in the 35-40 foot range.  I wasn’t a chicken on those!  I don’t think it’s sailing, per se, that made me nervous as it was the size of the boat.

Just wanted to put that out there.

We’ve been going to Fleet Week for, I don’t know, 8 or more years?  Once the Maritime Museum had an event on the roof of their building and we brought friends and family to that.  The Museum is practically center stage so that was a nifty spot to watch the air shows.

This time it was on Ms Maggie.  We packed up provisions and such the night before so we could get on the water at the crack of dawn.

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Nah, this isn’t all of it

It was going to take our little turtle-speed trawler about 9 hrs to get to Pier 39, where we were spending our first 2 nights.

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Pulling away from the dock

The water was beautifully smooth and tons of tiny fish were poking at the surface!  I took a video but it doesn’t translate well to the ‘big screen’.

All was fine until we hit fog, which was completely unexpected, we turned a corner of the delta canal and plowed right into it.  Fortunately, it lasted all of about 100 feet but it was pretty dense at the water line.  Weird patch of fog just at that one spot.

We continued down familiar territory for an hour or so before turning left where we usually turn right (towards Stockton).

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We’ve counted 20 or more egrets & herons in our bay

We’d planned on topping of the fuel tanks in Pittsburg and pulled into the Pittsburg Marina in the afternoon, all according to plan.

Then our plan went to hell in a handbasket.

Just about 90 seconds out from the Pittsburg marina the engine noise hesitated, and the engine died, again.  We’d just had it at the mechanics to repair the problem and here we are experiencing it AGAIN!  In the middle of the channel.  Drifting with the current.  Aargh.

Rick yells at me to drop the anchor while he opens up the hatch to the engine and climbs down – wait, that sounds too easy – its more like put this foot here and that hand there, then bend and squeeze down into the hatch.  The problem before had been diagnosed as air in the fuel line so he tops off the filters and hand pumps a little lever to move the fuel through the lines to get the air out.

We are drifting toward Channel Marker 13 (I think it was) despite the anchor.  Slowly…inexorably…drifting toward a marker with sharp edges around it and a stabby metal ladder that will cause damage.  I’m not telling Rick this, he’s got enough to worry about, down with the engine, sweating, pumping air out of a little fuel hose for 45 minutes.

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Painting by William Seltzer Rice.  

Isn’t that a pretty painting? That’s what the channel marker looked like, but scarier…

I start planning how to keep the boat from hitting the channel marker.  Adding fenders to the sides of the boat,  pulling up the anchor and trying to coast past the marker, throwing my body into the path of danger.  Something, anything!

Then, while most boats go slowly by us, seeing that we are in a bit of a fix, one boat roars by and its wake bounces us around and tosses, no, HURLS the hatch cover into the air, smashing into Rick’s head.

I throw him a towel.  You know how much head wounds bleed?  Yeah, like that.  and me?  I’m still not panicking!

He clambers out of the engine hatch to hold the towel to his head and decides that 45 minutes of effort hasn’t helped (I’ve tried to start the engine periodically during this time).  Best to call BoatUS for a tow.  I mean we are literally a stone’s throw from the marina where we got fuel.

The tow boat arrives quickly and finesses us into a slip.  They are so good at their jobs!

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See the matted blood above his ear?  I was nice & didn’t take a photo of all the blood dripping down his face & neck.

During the wait we started calling around to find a diesel mechanic…on a Friday night…at 5pm.

Finally, we find a guy who says he’ll come down after rush hour.  We head off for dinner and our mechanic hero arrives about 8:30.

Long story short – or is it too late for that 😉  He is terrific, knowledgeable, friendly and helpful!  JustInTime Marine (Just In Time Marine)

Richie figures out that the problem is the fuel pump thingamajig which pushes the fuel through the line – its toast.

The pump must be original to the boat so its lasted a loooong time.  Now the issue is finding the part on a weekend…are we stuck here until Monday?

Then Just-In-Time Richie says ‘hey, you trawler guys always carry spare parts.  Let’s see what you’ve got’.  Rick gets the parts bin out and digs through it.  Low and behold, not the part but an entire fuel pump is there!

J-I-T pops it in and voila!  We are cooking with gas!  I mean, diesel!  Wow, thank you, Lowell!  (the previous owner)  What a testament to being prepared!

J-I-T leaves at 11:30pm.  Our wallets are just a bit lighter and our spirits are much lighter!  The next day we sleep in late and then shove off, headed for Pier 39, finally.

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C & H (C & H), pure cane sugar (pure cane sugar), from Hawaii (from Hawaii), growin’ in the sun (growin’ in the sun )

Oh, I forgot to follow-up about Rick’s wound.  He took some pain meds, but we haven’t done anything else.  We don’t feel like trying to find an Urgent Care facility and its stopped bleeding so that’s good, right?  I don’t see his skull when I part his hair so its fine, for now  😉

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The ONLY thing that makes it worth getting up early is a pretty sunrise like this.

Turning a corner, or a page or a new leaf

If you read my last post, you know that our 30’ Islander isn’t the best fit for us.  She’s lovely, but old and needs more work to handle than we (than I) am capable of.

Rick bought the Susurrus (Latin for ‘whisper’) at a time when he needed something to do.  The Great Recession had forced us to sell all our fun toys and there wasn’t a lot of extra money but Rick isn’t the kind of guy to sit around watching TV all day.  He’s a lot like his mom that way.  She doesn’t sit still either and everyone she knows have the beautiful quilts, towels, pillowcases and clothing to prove it!

Here’s a photo of Rick’s mom and our kid, Andrew, with the quilt she made him in 2010.

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But the Susurrus also had sails that needed to be manually hoisted and it was a little small for the amount of travel we wanted to do.  If Rick was going to be serious about making her exactly what we needed, he’d have to spend money on rigging, sails, and the like and it would still be a little small.  4 people could ride with us but would be in the way every time we maneuvered.

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Ingrid and Ron up on the cabin and, I think that’s Ruth in the white coat.  I think there were 7 of us on this trip.

Rick started looking for a replacement boat.  It had to be:

  • comfortable for us to live on for awhile
  • large enough for guests
  • easy to manage so guests didn’t have to be roped into being our crew, although they have to be willing to be roped in
  • able to do coastal cruising
  • not ruined by previous owners
  • cheap

‘Cheap’ was probably the number one requirement, oh wait, ‘not ruined’ had to be number one!  You would be horrified if you saw the things people did to a once-upon-a-time fine-looking boat!

Rick began checking all the on-line boat-for-sale websites, doing his research.  We went to local boat shows and visited boats that were for sale.

People will post photos of their boat that are cockeyed and fuzzy.  Sometimes they’ll post 1 lousy photo, just 1 photo?!?  We went to a boat and the owner had torn out the couch and stuck a double-bed in its place and hacked out a built-in cabinet so he could put in a full size fridge!  He basically turned it into a house-boat and it was uuugly.   We couldn’t tell any of that from the photos, of course. BECAUSE THEY WERE FUZZY!

Here’s a photo of an item someone is selling on Craigslist.  All of their photos are this fuzzy…

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Rick’s research consists of all the usual for-sale websites and boat shows, plus owner-forums.  That way he finds out that if a particular kind of boat has problems with water leakage around the windows, which engines last forever, etc.

At one of the boat shows held in February, Rick saw a 34’ Marine Trader named Ms Maggie that pushed all his buttons.  Right size, right layout inside (location of all the facilities), great condition, but a little more than he wanted to pay plus, there was another big reason not to buy a boat yet…

We had to sell the Susurrus first.  I really felt guilty about that.  You don’t know how much Rick talked about sailing around the world, from the time we first began learning how to sail while he was in college!

We had some grand times with our friends, the Gantts.  We rented sailboats in San Diego’s Mission Bay, playing catch across the water.  And we had these huge water cannons that we’d chase each other with!  Ah, yes, the fun we had pre-kids 😉

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Friends since high school!

Rick posted a ton of photos online and after a few months, a lot of phone calls, a few lookie-loos, and a sale-cancelled-by-cold-feet, another Richard called and asked to see her.

Richard loved the Susurrus and bought her after a test-run up the Alameda Estuary.  That was in August.

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This is Richard looking jaunty as the new captain of the Susurrus!

Rick and Richard also went out once again so that Richard could learn all the quirks that the Susurrus had – engine ‘walk’, outboard not centered, outboard on the ‘wrong’ side of the rudder – and how to get in and out of the boat slip with those quirks, too.  Richard was an ace at it!  He was so enthusiastic about buying the Susurrus that we didn’t feel quite so sad about selling her.

I didn’t feel sad, really, more melancholy that I couldn’t quite seem to be as enamored of sailing as Rick wanted me to be…but I tried, truly I did!

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That’s a photo of our other son, Austin, captaining a 40′(ish) sailboat we rented years and years ago.

Rick kept looking for the right boat, always holding Ms Maggie up as the ideal.  We kept looking at boats and Rick kept thinking about Ms Maggie.  Rick didn’t want to pay so much, though, so he put that thought aside.  He kept looking at boats that cost less and needed work, they needed lots of work.  People ignore maintenance for so long it becomes a huge effort to do the work.  Whether its refinishing the wood or replacing a broken whatever, its like some sort of mental spiral and they need an ‘intervention’ to stop letting the boat slide down into disrepair.

It’s a sliding scale: cost vs condition, right?  Cost goes up as the required repairs go down.  That’s true with almost everything.

We’ve seen some boats at the Alameda Fortman Marina that haven’t moved in years.  Why are they still there?  Why are the owners paying slip fees and not just selling the thing or dumping it?  It’s a puzzle.  Maybe elderly parents can’t sail anymore but the kids don’t have the heart sell it out from under them?  Maybe its cheaper to pay slip fees than it is to dump it?  I dunno.  If you know, let me know…

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So sad…makes no sense to me.

Finally, Rick realized he didn’t want to have another boat that needed quite the level of extensive work like the Susurrus had required.  The Susurrus was a mess, remember?  He didn’t want to spend time, money and energy fixing stuff already rundown.

Here are a couple photos of the Susurrus before Rick got his capable hands on her:006019

 

 

 

 

 

The outside woodwork on the Susurrus was stained PURPLE!  Seriously, some people…

And here are a couple of her afterwards:

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The cushions were made for us by Cindy Trupski, she is one genius sew-and-sew.  And that gorgeous pillow is by Rick’s mom, Jan.

So…we bought Ms Maggie…a full year after seeing her for the first time!   I’ll give more info on that whole process soon.

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I suppose I need to rename this blog “Tales from the Dark Side” since most sailors will be horrified that we switched to a ‘stinkpot’

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Sailing Bliss…or is it…

We both love to sail.  Well, maybe what I SHOULD say is that we both love being on the water.

What we don’t love is:

  • Not sailing cuz there’s no wind
  • Sailing when its blasting 25 knots
  • Not enough hands to help with the work (or not having a boat with the best equipment)
  • Engine is placed on the wrong side of the rudder
  • Me, being a scaredy-cat

No wind means either you sit floating waiting for the wind to show up (becalmed) or you start the motor.  OK, starting the motor means you give up.  So let’s wait a little bit longer for the wind, LOOK, that boat over there is starting to move, so we will, too, yes, we will, too…just waiting for the wind, just waiting…damn, just start the stupid engine.

Blasting 25 knots?  You need to reef the sails (shorten them, making less surface for the wind to catch) or you take them down completely.  There’s also the ‘me being a scaredy-cat’ inserted here.

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Its nasty waves, bashing against the boat – it’s a good little boat, though.  Too much wind on the sails and it naturally turns into the wind a little bit, like a safety feature!  The problem is more than you really have to pay attention to what you’re doing, either steering or manning the lines, and it gets hard on the feet and knees to be balancing while heeling all the time.

When only 2 of us are handling the boat, it can be really tiring.  The lines have to be pulled in and let out and tightened and let out and pulled in and tightened and the main has to be pulled in and let out and tightened and the traveler has all those things to be done to it, too.  I couldn’t find my sailing gloves so I was using my motorcycle gloves.  Can’t possibly pull on those lines all the time with my bare hands, I felt like the skin was being ripped off.  Plus, here’s another little complaint, while pulling on those lines I have to brace myself on my knees, the nerves of which were damaged in a car accident (not our fault) so that was painful, really painful if I didn’t do it right.

Then there’s the time I destroyed the steering, cuz I’m a dope.

We were sailing with Rick’s parents, his brother and sister-in-law, Ron and Ingrid and nephew James.  I can’t remember what we were trying to do, oh yes, it had gotten very windy so Rick and his bro (who is good on a sailboat) were on the deck of the boat (and I had my heart in my throat because of the wind chop), trying to take down the sails so we could stop in at Angel Island for lunch.

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Info re Angel Island here

Its a great place to visit!

Anyway…I’m at the helm, idiot that I am, I forget to give the boat a little more throttle so to keep it headed into the wind so they can get the sails down.  I’m struggling with the wheel and feel it ‘pop’ and lo, and behold, no steering!  Oh, yay.  Again, no steering.

I had pushed it too far and the blankety-blank cable had popped off the sprocket again!  Criminy.

Now we are in a little harbor at Angel Island with no steering.  But this time, we had the emergency rudder right at hand!!!  See, we DO learn from our (I mean my) mistakes!  My hubby slaps it on and we wander over to the 10 minute dock at the marina and decide we don’t care, we are having lunch and we’ll deal with it all afterwards.

Now, lunch is over and we are trying to figure out what to do, we are a couple hours out from our home marina and the wind is crazyCRAZY and we have to use the emergency tiller.

Rick decides it would be better to motor home than to try to sail using the emergency tiller.

The chop is so bad we are very glad we aren’t sailing.  Yet it’s not so bad that some racing kayakers aren’t out in it.  I can’t believe they are so far from shore in this weather.   They’re pretty spread out but, naturally, it seems we are on a course to hit one.  Weird how that works, all this space and we have to avoid the kayaks.

Fortunately, the way into the marina is via a long, very sheltered estuary and we have all recovered enough from our ordeal to set our sights on dinner at a restaurant in the Jack London Square on the Oakland waterfront.  A lovely end to our adventure.  Jack London Square info

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By the way, we figured out how to fix the blankety-blank problem with the steering cable.

Picture a bicycle gear and chain.  The bicycle chain looks the same along its entirety.

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Pretty cool, actually, turned into a chandelier, right?

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Anyway, the steering chain is similar except it ISN’T the same along its entirety.  So, if you turn the wheel far enough the chain becomes a plain cable which no longer meshes with the sprocket and it slips off.  Stupid design.

So, MacGyver, I mean Rick, put a clamp at each end of the chain where it attached to the cable so it can’t be pulled past the clamp and pop off the sprocket.  Genius, I say, genius!  In the Zombie Apocalypse, this guy is one you want to have around!

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Get your ZA Survival Kits here

Now, I was much more comfortable on the boat, one less stupid mistake for me to make!

Why is the engine in the wrong place and what does that mean?  Ours used to have an inboard but it disappeared long before we bought it.  We could add an inboard for a huge amount of money or add an outboard off the stern of the boat for a lot less money.   Here’s the post on the outboard engine

When the propeller is in front of the rudder, you can steer more easily cuz the water is being pushed into the rudder, then the rudder gives it direction.  When the propeller is behind the rudder, you get less effective steerage.  You are aiming the rudder and then pushing the water with the propeller.  The rudder doesn’t have a lot to work with.  Rick got used to it but it meant getting into our dock slip was a bit more of a challenge.

Why am I such a scaredy-cat?  Well, you can easily die within 15 minutes if you go overboard into the San Francisco Bay.  It’s that cold!  June temp is an average of 52.8 degrees F (11.5 degrees C) .  I don’t want anyone up on the deck for any reason and on a sailboat, that’s an impossible thing to ask.

Even Rick, the most sensible, calm person, who knew how to handle himself with ease, would go up to the front to raise the jib or the main and I’d be a nervous-nellie – dumb, I know.  I tried not to show it but he figured it out :-\

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Maybe I’m such a baby about it because there is no easy way to retrieve a person who’s fallen in.  Especially when you’re with people who are newbies.  YOU! Throw out the cushion!  YOU, don’t take your eyes off the person, and YOU take the lines!  While I’m going to a beam reach and counting to eight and flipping a U-y and coming back around, aiming for upwind of the person, releasing all the lines and letting the boat drift into them >whew< I don’t mean to insult anyone reading this (particularly those we took out with us) but it’s a big responsibility and I felt that burden – needlessly, it seems, since no one fell in.  I used to rehearse it in my head all the time.

Maybe it would be better if I was sailing in a warm place; you fall in and you love it! file000825896197.jpg Leave me here…come back for me on the return trip 😉

Last Little Bits

There were a few things that Rick didn’t do in the shipyard because he could do them once the boat was in a slip – like installing the new ceiling and carpeting the floor.  After that it was maintenance and some new equipment where needed.

The first task was the new ceiling.  He went to Southern Lumber which specialized in unique woods and purchased 2 sheets 1/8” birch veneer plywood – sadly, the Southern Lumber owners retired.

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Exterior grade plywood.   Rick had the original mahogany trim pieces from the old ceiling and decided to cut out the plywood in the same shape that the old ceiling had taken with all the mahogany rim.  He didn’t want a dark ceiling since there was enough dark mahogany and semi-dark upholstery in the boat already.  He wanted to lighten things up but didn’t want stark, glaring, plain white.  He put 3 coats of polyurethane on the birch plywood leaving its naturally light tone.

He made a template of each of the pieces he needed, cut them each out a bit oversized and trimmed them down until they fit neatly in the space.

He had a whole lot of ceiling light wires to poke through holes in the plywood.  He made some light pine trim to go down the length of each side of the ceiling.

Being a YouTube University student, he saw where one fellow did the shiny insulation foam on his ceiling when he did his boat and thought that was a great idea so Rick went to Home Depot, got a roll and tacked it on the ceiling before installing the ply.

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As you can see from the pic’s, it came out pretty nice for an amateur hobbyist.

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Now it’s time for the carpet.  He’d not cleaned the fiberglass floor from all the goober of his construction activities – a little stain, some polyurethane – because he planned to lay in some carpet.  He purchased nice-looking deep green carpet exterior grade at HomeDepot, cut it out and installed it with Velcro strips so that, if it got flooded (happened twice), it could be removed and dried out without getting moldy.  He also put carpet on the shelves behind the settee and dining table.  It came out looking very nice and clean.

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The only left was getting the curtains…ah, yes, the curtains.  There weren’t any.  But Rick had gotten some lovely Tommy Bahama material that was used for the cushions and some pillows and he was antsy about getting curtains.

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I’m not much of a seamstress, nor am I a tailor.  I’m more of a, ummm, constructionist?  I’m good at creating the costume that will be used a few times.

But I did make some ‘curtains’ to go in the V-berth to hide the ugly white sides.  They were gathered, stapled at the top and simply hung.  Don’t look too closely at them and they are perfect!

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Rick wanted curtains for the main cabin and the head (bathroom, for you landlubbers).  So we talked about how to hang the rods and what style of curtain, etc.  Rick’s mom sewed the boat’s logo on some swatches of material to be inserted into the curtains.

We measured the areas and I started sewing.  About a year later.  So far I’ve sewed one side of the curtain for one window.

But, hey, he hasn’t purchased the stuff to actually install the curtains so it’s all good, right?  😉

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The America’s Cup

When Rick heard that the America’s Cup would be held in the San Francisco Bay he decided he would see it from the water.

When we purchased the sailboat Rick had given himself a deadline that we’d have enough done to be able to be out on the water for the America’s Cup.  At the time, the race was a year and a half away, plenty of time!  But we barely made it.

Being fed up with the old motor (purchased second hand anyway, screw being frugal) Rick went to the Oakland outboard shop and purchased a branch new 15 horse Mercury kicker motor – called a kicker because it is specifically designed with high torque pushing a heavy boat using a small engine.  Hmmm, maybe it should be called a ‘pusher’ instead?

We installed it using all the same hookups as the old Merc had but now it was New and Dependable!

Rick and I took it out sailing a few times to get a feel for the boat, how it handled in chop and how it floundered around when there’s no breeze (give up and motor, already!)

America’s Cup was in September so Rick invited some family members, including his parents to come along with us.  Rick’s mom loves sailing and insisted on dragging Dad with her.  We headed out.  We motored around to the City side of Treasure Island and decided that now was not a good time to try to sail.  The crush of boats was incredible.  We all had the same idea.  Even ski boats were out there trying to catch some of the race.  We motored over to the Turn 2 buoy (southeast of Alcatraz Island) … where we puttered around very slowly like every other boat in the crowd, trying to avoid each other while staying in position.  Well, most of us tried to avoid the rest of us.

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Our best example of a close call was when a 50’ plus sailboat under full sail, UNDER FULL SAIL!, going about 10 knots sailed through the spectator fleet expecting everyone to get out of his way because we are “under power” and he is “sailing”.  He missed other boats by maybe 5’ with all the other captains screaming and honking at him as he went by – and he barely looked in our direction!  (This happened again when we went out to see the Blue Angels – tons of boats, all motoring at the slowest speed possible, basically staying in one spot’ish and some jerk sails through us.  Keep in mind we were hunkered out of the way as close to the sea walls as we could be and he has to be sailing right there…where we are…jerk…)

 

This is how qualified that guy was to hold a steering wheel in his hand!

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Side note:  Look how cool the Blue Angels look against the Golden Gate Bridge!

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All in all it was great fun to watch those big America’s Cup boats come flying around the Number 2 buoy, staying up on their hydrofoils around the turn going as fast as an offshore power boat.  You can see the guys on board leaning into the turn like they’re in a sports car.  Wow.

It was one of those once in a lifetime events that we were glad to be able to see in person.

Rick can check off another item on his Bucket List 😉

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