Week Four - San Francisco
(trouble with internet - will do my best here to get as much on as possible)
Thursday October 19th, 2006
I love waking up in the morning and from the comfort of our aft bunk, I can look up through the hatch and see what kind of day we will have. As the day gets brighter, I start to see a glimmer of yellow and then bright blue. Another gorgeous day in San Leandro is beginning. We were to be leaving today. However, as one thing lead to the next and we started on that freezer again, we are finding ourselves here yet another night. We can only leave on high tide and we missed our high tide today. The entrance leading to San Leandro Marina is a very shallow bay and even with the markers available for a good mile and a half if not two to lead your way, we need to leave on a high tide. We did accomplish more again today, so not a total loss. We know that our time is short now and there are still things we need to do to prepare for our trip offshore and things we want to do before leaving San Francisco. As week four here begins and we had said we would spend three weeks in San Fran, "We have to go!" Soon, right! J We will keep you all posted. I will miss having the email access right on the boat. Everyone will have to wait in anticipation until we arrive in Hawaii before hearing about our trip across the sea! We were finally able to get in touch with Tom whom we bought our freezer unit from. He is sending us a new unit through FedEx and it should arrive Saturday. So, yes we are here a couple more days. What started out as a couple days has turned into almost two weeks here in San Leandro. We will utilize these next two days to get the reaching pole ready and finish off other jobs on the list, then hopefully we can go to the aquatic park, do our last bit of tourist sight seeing and then head off into the blue.
Friday, October 20th, 2006
Well, we were all a little bit lazier than planned today. We all relished in yet another day where we could have an endless supply of hot water in the marina showers. We puttered away at jobs, including the reaching pole, but with a cold trying to grab hold of me, it seems that the two boys have been somewhat attacked as well. I took a trip with Barb to town and she asked "How is it that I always have so much to pack down to the boat?" I was just accompanying her and somehow ended up with a flat of water, a case of pop, and a bag of groceries. I don't know how this happens. J We all headed over to Barb and Barry's boat for dinner. Barb cooked up her signature dish of chicken cacciatore. She started off the meal with French bread and a spinach salad fixed with proccuito. Jon was in heaven with the salad alone. There was plenty of wine and laughs with dinner as well. This would mark our very first dinner on another sailing yacht. I don't think we shared this with them? We had a wonderful night of food and friendship. I have found a new friend in Stimpy, their cat. In fact Barb told me that the last time I was over and gave Stimpy a scratch over, he followed me out of the boat and down the slip. I guess he did not want me to go! J I was able to get Maxi to tell me "What do good girls get?" – "Cracker!" but she would not 'slap me four' without Barb around. I sat with Clem and Peaches for awhile as well. The birds fascinate me. A great evening we will remember. Thank-you again Barb and Barry for everything!!
Saturday, October 21st, 2006
Barb drove me to FedEx Kinkos to pick up our freezer unit this morning. We are happy to say after another few hours, with the removal of the old evaporator unit, the installation of the new evaporator unit and re-insulating the pipes etc…we now have a working freezer! Yeah! J
Sunday, October 22nd, 2006
Woke up to frozen water in our water containers we placed in our freezer last night! Yeah! Now the test will be to see that we can keep the unit operating and just how much 'juice' she is going to require to keep going. One last shower and some groceries bought and we are on our way today. I still can't believe we have been here two weeks! We came down with the thought of staying a few nights. We have enjoyed our time and we have been able to get a lot done though. I will miss our new friends. I told Wade and Jon that we could only stay in a port for a few days from now on. I miss people otherwise. Sharon shared some beautiful roses with us before we left and her contagious laughter and smile. Barb and Barry came out to day goodbye with a weather fax in hand for us. We are so thankful for all they have done for us. Maybe we will meet up with them in Fiji some day – who knows! I watched Barb standing on the end of our slip right to the last moment of sight as we turned away from H dock. I have enjoyed the time and will miss Barb's craziness! J We left in great weather under a blue sky. There were just a few feathers of cloud to help with better pictures. We took a diversion from our course so that Wade could get a better look at some Navy ships. I made us all tacos for lunch. We keep checking our freezer to make sure things are getting cold. We thought we would have a hard time filling the freezer and should fill it gradually. Well, so much for that theory. We have pretty much filled it! Back in the aquatic park we have Alcatraz on our list and the cable cars. We should have an exciting day. We might even end the evening with an Indian dinner at a great restaurant we saw. For now we have settled in for the night with Barb's lamb lentil soup. The boys could not stop talking about how good the soup was and after every other bite either Jon or Wade would say, "Thank-you Barb" as if she could hear them. Jon asked me, "Do we have any lentils?" I had to reply with, "no." Jon replied back, "We need to make this soup!" Thanks Barb. Well done!
Monday October 22nd, 2006
There are defining moments in our lives, some small and others large. I guess what makes the moment defining is who you are and what you stand for is brought to question or is tested. We headed off this morning to do the highly anticipated tour of Alcatraz. When we arrived at the ticket booth there were picketers. Hornblower (Alcatraz Cruises) has just received the 10 year contract with the National Park service and instead of hiring the current skilled union workers they are filling positions with unskilled youth, who will be working part time with no benefits. The union members are protesting and are fighting for their jobs. None of us felt that our enjoyment of experiencing a tour of Alcatraz could outweigh these workers plea to keep their jobs. So we let them know that we had come all the way from Canada and were looking forward to going to Alcatraz but we would not be crossing their picket line. With a round of applause we walked on to fill our day with other adventures. Even though we knew our decision to not go to Alcatraz was not going to change their situation we just would not have felt right crossing their picket. We went to West Marine instead. Way more exciting!! J and bought yet more necessary items for the boat. Our boats needs are going to break our bank! We then bought the last of our provisions and headed back to the boat for pizza. Not as an exciting day, but a beautiful one and we once again walked several miles.
Tuesday October 23rd, 2006
We are in full swing getting the boat battened down for her next long journey. Nerves are a bit at the surface as to what the unknown journey will be like, but we are very excited all the same. Everything is finding a safe place on the boat; well almost everything and things are much better organized for this trip. Our freezer is full to the top. You wouldn't get a pad of paper in there now!! J We know how to stock-up that is for sure. We do hope to catch many fish as well though, but want to be prepared for the journey. We will either look back and say, "Way too much!" or "Thank god we brought all that food!" We will see. We left our free anchorage in the Aquatic Park late this afternoon. This was one of our first places along the beginning of our trip, now behind us. The wind was up and there was a good chop. Sonadora handled herself well enough that you would not guess the sea conditions from below decks. Wade and I were chatting as we were coming up on a cautionary yellow marker at the edge of Sausalito when there was no rev to the engine anymore. The boys twirled and became MacGyver's before my eyes. Within minutes they learned the reason was because of a broken throttle cable (wear) and had the jib up for motion. The current is strong as the waters curl around from offshore and from under the Golden Gate Bridge and into Sausalito. The boat was moving steadily towards the land, but before any panic could even try to creep in under the skin, the guys had the throttle of the engine under control manually and we motored in to harbor and to our anchorage with no problem. Once we chose a buoy to tie to, I was at the wheel, Jon had the throttle cable under control with a pair of pliers and engaged the throttle hand in forward or reverse, which ever was needed and Wade was at the bow with Al's gaff to grab the buoy. Even with the throttle arm sticking into reverse we still had little problem. A great team. All of this done in time to see a great sunset while eating a pork roast dinner! J
Wednesday October 24th, 2006
I woke up this morning to question where we were. The boat was so still, I would have sworn we were tied up to a dock. Then I remembered we were in Sausalito, anchored and remembered that when we pulled in last night we were in 7 feet of water. Were we on ground?? No, just a very calm morning. No wind, not even much of a ripple on the water. No boat traffic, just a gorgeous orange glow over San Francisco as the sun rose. The day can be summed up with:
Walk, walk, walk, buy, buy, buy, work, work, work.
We are so needing to go! A few more tasks tomorrow, diesel fill-up and away we go. The average time for the crossing is 22 day. Some have done the journey in 16 days and others more. I hope for closer to 16, although I may find the journey to be more than anticipated. I will be in touch when we reach Hawaii to let you all know how the journey turned out. Send us good thoughts and love to all.