Post 11: Our First Adventure Aboard Gone Tomorrow

Sunrise over the City by the Bay.
Sunrise over the City by the Bay.


Today was pure bliss!  We got up to a beautiful sunrise, started our engine and headed Northeast across the bay.  We saw sea lions and porpoise and talked about all of the things that owning a sailboat in the San Francisco Bay was going to open us up to.  Brad took the helm for a bit while I moved around our boat exploring her and taking photos.  Jen sat with little Ruby, smiling and taking photos of her own.  Ruby was a trooper.  It was quite obvious that she did not like being wrapped up in her foul weather gear and tightly smushed into her pfd but she didn’t protest a bit.  Not even a peep.

Snug as a bug in the middle of the bay.  Golden Gate in the background.
Snug as a bug in the middle of the bay. Golden Gate in the background.
Ruby was a trooper. Jen had her wrapped up tight and I was happy as could be back at the helm.
Ruby was a trooper. Jen had her wrapped up tight and I was happy as could be behind the wheel.
Brad, our trusty (or trusting rather) crew takes the helm.
Brad, our trusty (or trusting) crew takes the helm.

The current was behind us and we motored our way up through Raccoon Straight.  We went under the Richmond Bridge and we navigated the channel into Loch Lomond without a hitch.  I stayed very close to those navigational markers which indicated where the deepest part of the channel was.  As I’ve said, our boats bottom (keel)  sits (draws)  6 feet, 7 inches  under the water line.  In many portions of the channel the depth finder showed only 8 feet of depth!  Yikes!  We floated into our marina at almost exactly 9:48 am – high tide.  As we passed into the marina through the breakwater I was at the lowest speed the engine would go, even practicing putting it into neutral to see how long it took the boat to slow down on her own.  It felt so frikken cool bringing OUR VERY OWN SAILBOAT into the marina for the first time.  Unforgettable!  As I got closer to G dock, where our slip is located, I felt an odd mix of comfort, confidence and anxiety.  Our slip is right near the end of the dock, closest to the channel we were moving through, making it necessary for us to basically make U-Turn type maneuver in a very tight spot.  I slowly swung the nose into the aisle, stayed very close to the boats on the far side from our slip and with the precision of an old salt, maneuvered into our slip without touching either side of our 14,000lb beauty to any point on the dock.  I was so proud.  And then…uh…at that very last moment I accidentally put the transmission in forward rather than reverse and attempted to climb our boat up onto our dock and feared that I would take out the fire hydrant that sits near the front of our slip.  YIKES!  Can you imagine?  Here I am people!  Your new neighbor has arrived!  Water spewing 50 feet into the air.   Luckily, that didn’t happen.  It wasn’t a hard hit and I think it actually relieved a fear of Jen’s about the consequences of bumping a dock.  It definitely taught me how important it is to know that up is forward. Down is reverse!  I think.  Note to self: Get a label maker.

JD at the helm.  Feeling proud and exilerated.
JD at the helm. Feeling proud and exhilarated.

Gone Tomorrow is ours now.  We absolutely love having a boat and I can’t wait to get to know more about her.  What a process.  Dang!

Update from Jen: Down is FORWARD, Up is REVERSE!!!  In other words, hammer down and back it up.

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Tight Little Tribe Sailing & Travel

What a journey! We met at the Grand Canyon, when we were both Adventure Tour Leaders, had a wedding in a Blues Museum in Memphis, then along came little Ruby. We can't tell you how many times we were told we'd have to settle down. Even though things did indeed change, we're determined to keep on living a life of adventure! Our daughter was one year old when we first got into this sailing world and we feel very fortunate to be raising her in such a supportive environment. From moving aboard our first sailboat to our first haulout, to mechanical issues and dragging anchor far up a river, we're sharing our story and learning a lot in the process. The places we've been able to go so far on our boat have been great, but it's the people we're surrounded by who really make it amazing. We love this tight little tribe of nautical adventurers. Come join us!

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