The Long Goodbye, Part 1: Alameda to San Francisco
Since we don't have to be in San Diego until late October, we're taking our time leaving the Bay Area. The only other date on our calendar is September 17, when our daughter, Kelly, moves into her dorm room at UC Santa Cruz. We're going to get a slip in the Santa Cruz Marina so we can deliver her belongings and help her move in.
Sept. 9-11: Encinal Yacht Club, Alameda. We spent two nights on the guest dock at the Encinal Yacht Club. The facilities and the people there are quite nice. The first morning (Wednesday), we spent about an hour driving Kelly's car all around Alameda, taking care of extremely-last-minute errands, including dropping off our dock step at the Blue Pelican, for consignment. You know you're really leaving the dock when you sell your dock step!
Later that day, we attended a seminar hosted by the Baja Haha organizers, about the procedures for legally bringing your boat to--and keeping your boat in--Mexico, presented by the Harbormasters at the El Cid Mazatlan Marina and Paradise Village Marina. We didn't win any of the raffle prizes, but we did potentially reduce some future expenses by making a reservation at El Cid Marina, taking advantage of their low rates and their Baja Haha special.
After the seminar, we moved upstairs for the Crew Party, which was very low key (surprisingly low key given this crowd). Skippers looking for crew and crew looking for rides sought each other out over drinks and hors d'ouvres. The process reminded me a lot of the scenes in local bars during my college days. Eric and I weren't looking for crew, but I hope many happy matches were made that evening.
Sept. 11-13: Jack London Square, Oakland. On Thursday (Sept. 11), we set out for the long trek across the Estuary to Jack London Square (it's maybe a mile), where we pulled alongside their guest dock and tied up with SCOOTS' stern facing west for a great view of the water. A little while later, we took a long walk through downtown Oakland to visit Sweet Maria's, the source of most of our on-board green coffee bean stash.
As the next day would be our anniversary, Eric and I considered having dinner at nearby Il Pescatore, the seafood restaurant where we had dinner on our wedding day, but we opted instead to dine in SCOOTS' cockpit, enjoying the ambiance of our waterfront table.
Sept. 12-13: Pier 39, San Francisco. The next day (Sept. 12), we spent a leisurely morning strolling around Jack London Square, checking out some of the shops, and chatting with some of the crew of the Hawaiian Chieftain, a big square-rigged schooner that was docked along the waterfront.
We left Jack London Square after lunch and headed toward the San Francisco cityfront. The wind was nearly calm, so we motored until we were almost to the Bay Bridge, where, in a fit of optimism, we put up SCOOTS' main and jib. We drifted slowly under the bridge, and then POW! the wind filled in. In less than two minutes, we were scooting along the cityfront with 20 knots of wind and choppy whitecaps, dodging ferries, racing boats, and tourist boats.
After being photographed by dozens of tourists on our way in, we tucked into Pier 39 Marina, where we had a guest slip reserved. Our slip was on the dock nearest the sea lion dock, so we had a front row seat to watch their antics. Kelly and her boyfriend joined us later, and we all sat in SCOOTS' cockpit enjoying the unobstructed views of Alcatraz, the sea lions, and Forbes Island. What a great place to spend our last night in the Bay Area!