Post 49: Gaining Independence

~Jen~

Per usual, I’ve been a slacker on the blog front.  So, I’m going to combine a couple of boat adventures.

Father’s Day- Sunday, June 21st

Rather than spending money on stuff (aka gifts) this Father’s Day, we decided to spend time on a new experience.

Our trusty crew Brad Johnson joined us once again for a big first– sailing in the Pacific Ocean.  It’s quite fitting as Brad was also around for our first adventure aboard Gone Tomorrow. Although we felt slightly guilty stealing Brad away from his family on Dad’s Day, we couldn’t have been happier to have him along.

Out with the Tide, Motoring Under the Bridge

Don’t get me wrong, I love learning to sail in the San Francisco Bay but seeing the same loop over and over again can get a bit monotonous. We made the decision to get up early to leave with the tide; we motored the heck out of our boat, heading for the Golden Gate Bridge. This way we could spend more time beyond rather than taking hours sailing just to get to this iconic landmark.

Brad Enjoying the Adventure

We motored out all the way to the last channel marker before hoisting our sails.  With 3 foot swells at 15 seconds apart and light winds, we put out our full mainsail removing our double reef.

It. Was. Glorious.

Wing on Wing

Sunshine on our faces, the breeze in our hair, we all fell in love with sailing just a little bit more this past Father’s Day.  We sailed all the way back in under the bridge, before having our asses handed to us in a “welcome home” gesture from the Bay.  Lesson learned, we need to reef prior to heading under the Bridge unless we want to see our toe rail under the water. I mean, what would a day on the Bay be without a teachable moment from Mother Nature? All in all, it was a successful, enjoyable, exciting new adventure; we can’t wait to head back out.  Half Moon Bay is calling our name.

Sailing Back into the Bay
Sailing Back into the Bay

Independence Day- Friday, July 3rd through Sunday, July 5th

Let’s Celebrate


Our buddy Graeme just finished sailing his Cal 25 from Baja to Panama and flew back to the Bay Area on July 3rd.  We figured this was a perfect excuse to gather friends to celebrate his return as well as our country’s independence. We rallied the troops from Pacifica to Reno in order to join our celebratory mission.

It was a fun filled weekend including time playing at the beach, dragging anchor, rowing folks from the boat to shore and back on Chloride, watching fireworks mostly covered by fog, drinking a bit of Wild Turkey, eating ribs, eating chicken, eating fresh guacamole, eating, eating, eating…

We’re on a Boat
The Men of the Galley

It was great to learn that S/V Gone Tomorrow can comfortably sleep 7 as long as those 7 folks don’t mind close quarters, don’t care about showers and really enjoy each other’s company.

The Independent Crew

A special thanks to Graeme for inspiring the weekend as well as to Raine, Devon, Steve, Anne, Sam, Ashley and Greg for joining in the fun. Also, I feel the need to confess a failed Scurvy Cure attempt of the Oh Say Can You Sea. Great name, gross drink. Luckily all escaped without the Scurvy.

Post 47: 24 Hour Adventure

~Jen~

Since our little tribe has returned to S/V Gone Tomorrow (Ruby and me from Yosemite and JD from Orlando), it has been a bit hectic.  JD is working MUCHO; I can’t remember the last time we had 2 whole days to spend together as a family.  Weekend, what??  It’s amazing how rejuvenating a night away from the dock can be, so we decided to take advantage of a 24 hour adventure window.

On Friday, JD got back from work around 7:30 pm.  As it’s so close to the Summer Solstice, the sun isn’t setting until about 8:30.   I had the boat prepped and ready to go; all we had to do was unplug from the dock, throw off the bowlines and head over to Treasure Island.

S/V Shawnigan was expecting our arrival.  We rafted up on their port side and took in the scene that was unfolding around us.  It just so happened that the Summer Sailstice from the Washed Up Yacht Club was going down.  Talk about a party.  This raft up included two boat weddings, tiki torches, a floating dance floor and trampoline as well as a booming sound system.  As our new friend Heather from A Fine Day for Sailing said, “Who needs TV when you can watch this?”   We hung out in Shawnigan’s cozy, covered center cockpit and watched the shenanigans taking place around us.

The Beginning of The Washed Up Yacht Club’s Raft Up

We hopped back on Gone Tomorrow at around midnight while the music was still going strong.  The bass from the music traveled across the water and could be heard clearly inside our boat.  JD and I threw our own impromptu dance party  before climbing into bed in the aft cabin.  The music went strong for several more hours, and my dreams were permeated with random bass lines throughout the night.

Enjoying our Saturday Morning

The morning brought a relaxing pace of coffee drinking and chatting.  It is so nice to find such a wonderful sailing community here in the Bay Area.  Each person we have met has their own story to tell and interesting tidbits of knowledge to share with our little tribe.  Since we are learning by doing, I appreciate the fine folks that have a deep understanding of sailing and are willing to share their insights without judgement.

Having Fun with Bjork the Canoe

Eventually the time came to pull up the anchor and head out for a few hours of sailing.

S/V Shawnigan heads to Sausalito

Once we left Clipper Cove, we realized how hard the wind was blowing.  There were little white caps across the bay, and when I checked the weather forecast I figured out that there was a small craft advisory.  I have to admit that I felt a little “bleh” as we beat into the wind.  It was a great lesson to truly learn the difference in how it feels to sail into the wind versus to sail downwind.  As soon we turned the boat around to head back towards the marina, everything felt a wee bit calmer and a whole lot more manageable.  My “bleh” feeling turned into a pretty darn big grin as I steered us home with gusts up to 35 knots.

Hang on!  Dressed for Success in my PJ’s.

JD and I have decided it’s time to step it up on the learning front.  We feel like we are managing just fine, but it’s time to gain some more knowledge.  We chatted about how to do this while sailing back to the harbor as we don’t quite have the cash flow to throw down on sailing lessons at the moment.  Instead we are going to start by reading nightly the plethora of sailing books we have on board, bit by bit, one chapter at a time. We’ll either learn something or help ourselves fall asleep easier.

Time will tell.  Man overboard drills, here we come.

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