June 05 – Sausalito
Once again the weekend passed all too fast.
On Saturday afternoon RD took Donn, Jee, Richard and me for a sailing tour of the Bay. The weather sucked when you were in it, but it had a certain ethereal beauty when you were looking at it from inside a glass cage (which you can do comfortably on
On Sunday Donn was in his usual form of leader of the RD support team, and the troop descended on me to clean the boat, offer up snacks, sprinkle a few laughs about, and then “POOF” they departed as quickly as they had come.
I single-handed RD back across the Bay to our favorite Sausalito anchorage in 30+ knot winds. I chose a longer route but one in the lee of Angle Island. So often the best sailing route is not the obvious or shortest line. It’s always a bet, but today it turned out to be a good choice.
I decided to dink to town for dinner and to get this blog post published. I was thinking regressively — of a Denny’s dinner — you know — meat, mashed potatoes and a veggie that fills a dinner plate. But this is Sausalito, and you can’t order such a meal in this upscale community of refined tastes and prices. So I enjoyed my pasta with complex ingredients I don’t recognize, and garlic toast. Maybe in Coos Bay I can get an old-fashioned “meat and potatoes” meal.
The San Francisco Bay Area is an awesome place to live or visit, and I have enjoyed my time here. Now that I have refreshed faded memories, visited old friends, know favored restaurants, the bus system, dinghy docks, and how to get to the library or to Starbucks, it is time to leave.
Tomorrow begins a new and final challenge to this adventure — sailing north along the coast to Seattle this early in the year, when prevailing winds are on the nose and storms predictably march one after another south from Canada along the coast. It’s a game of matching wits with Mother Nature. Poor weather prediction, long distances between safe harbors, and hazardous entrances all add to the risks for the mariner. The problem is that the game is not fair. Only she knows the rules, and she occasionally unexpectedly changes. And you get severely flogged for nothing more than guessing wrong.
You can get pinned down in a port or anchorage for a day or weeks. Between storms there may be a weather window of unpredictable duration. The best you can do is run north during a weather window and hide before it closes.
There is no doubt that in this environment setting a firm date for an arrival in Seattle is a bad idea. “Pressure to get there” is the number one killer of recreational pilots and mariners! Hopefully I am wise to this fatal error. However I secretly want to get “home” before the fourth of July.
It looks like the best bet for my crew “Tommy” and me is to leave tomorrow before noon and run at best speed for two days/nights and duck into Eureka no later than Wednesday at 2 pm. But there is an old Irish saying’
If you want to make God laugh, make a plan.
So we’ll play Nature’s game and welter along and see how it turns out. Bodega Bay is our backup.
I leave you with a pot pourri of iconic Bay Area scenes that only a mariner could love. I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoyed living them.