Sunday, July 14, 2013

A little vacation by the Bay

Me and my Modesto Bee souvenir shirt

Pat getting ready for a cool day of sanding and oiling teak

Alameda, Ca -- Pat and I are staying aboard s/v Good News for a few days, mostly filled with the work any owner of a 32-year-old boat will know well (sand, clean, varnish, paint) but also a few happy breaks.
The weather deserves kudos after baking in the summer heat at home. Temperatures have ranged from the low 70s to the high 50s, with good fresh breezes every day.

We actually went sailing yesterday, Saturday, though we started late and stayed in the estuary. We did explore some new areas for us, moving south past Coast Guard Island to the bridge and back.
The photos are during a work break on board the boat. Pat says the shirt looks like I bled on it, but that is merely old deck stain. It IS my painting shirt.
Looking across Marina Village en route to breakfast
We've met new neighbors on the dock, including a couple packing up to head down the coast for Mexico. Local lore says all you have to do is sail out the Golden Gate and turn left. They leave in two weeks. Ate well at the Oakland Yacht Club, and at Ole's Waffle House.

Today being Sunday, we declared it a NO WORK DAY and went to San Francisco for a full day.  We started a bit late but with good intentions to attend Sunday worship at Noe Valley Presbyterian Church. Our friend Dianna Cheifetz is pastor and we wanted to hear her as she is a super preacher and person. We found the hospital parking garage (services were being held in the chapel) but discovered we were locked out of access and had to give up and drive out into downtown traffic and find something else to do.
We found the Buena Vista Cafe, overlooking the Aquatic Park and the cable car stop, and had bacon and eggs and good company (a young couple who communicated through sign language and their three-month old baby).
We bought Pat a cheap fleece (they are still a bargain) to hold off the cold wind and walked out onto the dock at the Maritime Museum to watch the preliminary race for the America's Cup.  Our timing was perfect, though the "race" was not a race as only one boat was running the course due to an accident a few weeks ago which wrecked one boat and killed a crew member. The race was supposed to be an elimination heat, a warm-up for the real deal in September.
America's Cup challenger running the course off Aquatic Park
Still, it was a thrill to see one of the fastest sailboats in the world ripping down the Bayfront. The America's Cup boats this year are 72-foot Catamarans, probably the highest tech boats in the world. They routinely go over 40 knots per hour (that's about 50 mph) by riding up on foils that lift the entire boat (both hulls) out of the water. You can see this by checking YouTube. It is both scary and thrilling.

We met an interesting couple from Tampa Florida, that have traveled the world to see every America's Cup race in recent memory, only to get here and find that due to the accident and the extreme expense of putting teams together they won't see any real competition during their stay.
There are a lot of ticked off businesses and people in San Francisco because of the problems with the races.  Simply put, even before the tragic accident a few weeks ago, about half the normal number of teams were competing. To compete used to cost sponsors about $150 million. This year's teams, because of the boat design chosen, are paying in the neighborhood of $500 million. Yep, that's a half BILLION dollars.  Larry Ellison of Oracle is the host team, and while he can afford it, not everyone can or thinks it is worth that.

We had our brief look at the big time race, and then went back to spend a great hour at the San Francisco Maritime Visitor Center. It is a National Park Historical Site, and tells the fascinating story of how San Francisco developed along the bay.
Rev. Jeff Cheifetz and son's self portrait

The gallery was crowded for his first San Francisco reception
Then we found a cab and went to a reception for a great San Francisco artist name David Cheifetz (look him up on the Internet). The art was great, he and his wife were charming, and their parents Jeff and Dianna were at the gallery so we had a good brief visit. David is a rare talent, working mostly with still life that are luminous, almost startling, better than reality.

We walked down from Russian Hill to the parking lot ($33 for five hours) and drove along the waterfront in bumper-to-bumper traffic to come back across the Bay Bridge. We stopped off at the Oakland waterfront for dinner at Quinn's Lighthouse (yep, you can find it on the Internet). Crabcakes, fried chicken, salad and fries and a Sangria and a Guinness and the home to the boat.

All in all, a very full day. I may sleep in tomorrow.
At the Maritime Museum we found this Chevy just like the one I learned to drive in...  My Aunt Betty, bless her, let me drive at night in pouring down rain to my first job as a drummer in a band. What was she thinking?


Michael J. Fitzgerald said...

An ideal sailing day... aaaahhhh.

Anonymous said...

When do we get a ride on that boat. Enjoyed reading.

Henry & Ruth

Lynda Bogart Stilley said...

Hi Sanders and Pat: Howard and I are friends of Bob and Kathie Maxwell and they sent us a link to your blog. We are also in the Bay area in our motorhome, staying in Petaluma, and have enjoyed trips to the City to watch the America's Cup race action (or non-action as the case may be). We no longer own a sailboat but do manage to bareboat charter every once in awhile. Lynda

Bob and Kathie said...

Sorry you and Lynda & Howard weren't able to make a connection. Maybe next time. Kathie