Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cityscapes and Projects

 We are getting ready to leave San Francisco this morning. It’s been a good rest and a fun bit of city time. We did not do any major sightseeing, except all the people watching here at Pier 39. This part of the trip is definitely travel oriented, and getting to sleep in new places. Whoever said cruising is having a chance to work on your boat in exotic places has been here!

An extra-large large crowd gathered alongside our boat on Thursday morning to get a glimpse of the Space Shuttle flying in over the Golden Gate. It took several passes over the bay! Amazing!
 Thursday was spent with more laundry and boat maintenance. The oil change (which back home takes about 30 minutes) turned into a 6-hour extravaganza. The electric pump that Lanham has mounted to the engine room wall did not operate, not enough gusto to suck up the oil, hmm….  No problem, we have a spare on board, and it’s heavier-duty. We’ll replace it.
Luckily, that involved a trip to a hardware store. Using google-maps, we found one within walking distance. A couple miles up and over the hills to Polk Street Hardware was a welcome venture into a hip neighborhood in the city. Not only did we get the two brass plumbing fittings we needed, but also lots of galley goodies, including a new cutting board, new pot scrubbers, a collapsible salad spinner, silverware strainer, and heavy duty reusable trash bags that we think will be super useful between passages in Mexico. Maybe it was a case of retail therapy, but we split up in the City People’s style hardware store and shopped on whim!

Okay, back to the boat by 5pm, replace and plumb the new pump, turn it on, and no… no sucking oil… We are still puzzled by the whole system… which has worked in the past. We ended up pumping it out with a small hand pump. Fresh oil in and ready to go. The mystery of the oil change pump is yet to be resolved. This event wasn't even photo-worthy!

Also, yesterday Melinda got to pose as an adventure-sport rock star by getting hauled up the mast. We needed to retrieve the spinnaker halyard that had popped off during one of our deployments. Sorry no photos, but the tourists walking the pier certainly got photos. It was a great view from the top and a quick job to get done.

We have been meeting other cruisers – two different couples who are headed the direction as we are. One was here a few days ahead of us and in typical small world fashion, we discovered we lived about 4 blocks from them in Seattle, and their two daughters played sports with Anna and Ellie in high school. The other couple is from Astoria, Oregon, and did this trip 17 years ago for a 3-year jaunt through the Panama Canal, and now in retirement are doing it again with no plan to return…. Hmmm… We know we will be running in to both these boats down the road. Nice to be meeting the new neighbors!

On Friday, we decided to adventure out of the pier 39 circus marina and noisy nightlife scene to anchor out, maybe a little peaceful swinging on the hook for a night. Then we would be back to the marina to meet Keith at his arrival on Saturday afternoon.

We sailed over to Angel Island and found a good cove in which to anchor right off of the State Park housing the historical buildings that served as the detention center and immigration processing for the West Coast. 
The wooden building is the detention barracks. 200-600 people were housed there at a time.

Took this with Anna in mind. A case she has surely studied.
We went ashore in the kayaks and had the self-guided tour of the memorial to ourselves. A great quiet evening with steaks on the grill and a less rocky night’s sleep than at the pier.

This is a very well-done memorial to the many immigrants who spent time here.

Loved this tree. 

Beautiful morning… coffee… and time to weigh anchor and head back. Not so quick… the anchor chain was fouled on old pilings on the bottom.

Five hours later, after Lanham dove multiple times and was tempted to cut the chain with a hack-saw, we managed to get the anchor up, unattach it from the chain, and then yank the chain free with the boat.

Exhausted and sun-struck we got back to our “safe” slip here at Pier 39, got cleaned up and groceried. Another day, another lesson. It was a good place to practice diving on the anchor. We used the “sea breathe” rather than the SCUBA tanks. Lanham was ultra cautious given the 2 kt. current and poor visibility. I am secretly happy that we got that “first” fouled anchor out of the way!

Keith arrived on schedule, found us at the pier and we whisked him off to have dinner with our Seattle friend, Craig, and his sister Theresa’s, family. Craig was in town for a conference. We suggested we meet back at Fog City Diner, within walking distance and we had a great time and a well-deserved meal!

Today it is off to Half-Moon Bay. Leaving about 8 am for a 5-hour trip. Then we plan to go offshore for two days to scoot down to the Channel Islands where we will slow up and enjoy some anchorages. Probably will not come ashore again until Thursday or Friday, and plan to arrive in San Diego by Saturday or Sunday. We are excited for the next leg. It should be less bumpy, but we are trying not to have expectations. This is a challenge and a good first boat-life lesson. We can be sure that “it will be something…” but probably something different.”

Upon departure, Anna sent us a wonderful set of quotes. The one that already fits best is:

"Cruising has two pleasures. One is to go out in wider waters from a sheltered place. The other is to go into a sheltered place from wider waters."  -Howard Bloomfield

So true. It’s been great to be here in the big windy bay, and we are ready for the wider waters and the next sheltered place.
‘Til then,
M and L
P.S. We'll turn on the delorme tracking as we head down the coast... for as long as the batteries hold.


  1. Bon Voyage 2! Saw you all on the webcam early this morning. Glad the S.F. time went well with the lessons and fun(?) ever constant! Thanks for all the good updates and enjoy getting back to the wider waters!

  2. I'm glad you had those two learning opportunities with the pump and the anchor. Just shows how resourceful you are that you got both jobs done and you're on your way. Have fun and use that sunscreen! Be safe! Love, Weeze