Chipole’s or Scoma’s

Sept 12

After an absence of a week Donn has rejoined RD. I dinked in from the center of Aquatic Park, where RD was resting comfortably, to shore and met Donn and his partner Jee. We had separate agendas and agreed to meet at 7 pm for dinner.

All the voyaging sailors I know are on a budget. They forgo tours and events because of entry fees. The word passes freely amongst us as to which stores are cheaper for provisions. We keep our wine costs per liter low by drinking the black box varieties. And we are especially astute about fuel purchases. Yesterday I called and inquired about the price of fuel at every harbor fuel supplier in the San Francisco bay area. Then I motored for 45 minutes to purchase 105 gallons of diesel fuel at $2.84 with the 100 gallon price break. Considering that I could have purchased it in San Francisco at $4.00 per gallon, it was a worthwhile exercise.

Call us financially astute or call us “cheap.” We don’t waste precious water, and we don’t waste precious money. But all this financial artistry goes by the boards on two types of occasions. The first is repair and maintenance. We have to have enough money to keep going and sometimes a large maintenance requirement gets in the way. Our inverter failed last week and the hardware repair cost was $1,700 and the associated labor was about $600. “Cheap” doesn’t protect us from these expensive extraordinary costs.

Our other extravagance is associated with celebration. And so it is this evening when Donn and Jee and two of his local friends and I chose to have dinner at Scoma’s, perhaps as close from fish to dinner as you can get, and the most famous restaurant on Fisherman’s Wharf at Ghirardelli Square, where the evening wait quickly builds to two hours.

Our appetizers, our dinner and our wines were all 10 on a 10 scale. It was elegant; it was joyful; and it was extravagant. As my friend Chris quipped:

any table with nice wine glasses means it’s gonna be fun!

And it was.  I dinked back to RD with a broad smile on my face.

Some days we live the elegance and extravagances of Scoma’s, and some days we live on the Chipole budget. It’s all part of the grand adventure.

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