a very good week, indeed

Sitting down at the Nav Table, which is also our work desk, I’m feeling a sense of happiness and peace.  It’s quiet, I have that ‘good tired’ feeling after walking a pleasant 18 holes of golf, and it’s just me at the moment – a nice day with some nice new age tunes, and (FINALLY) a comfortable chair to sit here in… friends and crewmembers that have spent time on the boat will remember that there’s never been a comfy place to sit at the Nav Table.  Now there is.  It’s a great feeling, almost like getting a new starboard half of the salon… and it was half off at the office supply store.  🙂

But this moment of relaxation has allowed me to reflect on 7 very very good days, notwithstanding the unmentionable ‘J–‘ search situation.

Beginning with last Friday, it’s been a fantastic 7 day stretch.

Friday morning – while waiting for the line at the fuel dock and pump-out station, this is the Alameda side of the estuary: the Pasta Pelican restaurant.  Free moorage while you eat if you bring your boat in for a meal.  

This is the Oalkand side of the Estuary, with downtown Oakland in the background.  In the foreground, at water’s edge, is the Fuel Dock and Pump-Out station of Jack London Square.  What is even harder to see the ‘line’ we’re waiting on: 5 US Coast Guard RIB boats are refuelling.  FIVE of those guys snuck in right before we got there… so we had to hit a holding patter and wait until we could get into pump out.  It all went without a hitch.  But that’s boating – never be in a hurry, you’ll just be frustrated.  

Friday evening our new friend Amanda came over with her 2 lovely children, Zoë and Noah.  We enjoyed good chat and fellowship and a quiet eve as we played with her kiddies.  I wish I’d taken more pics, but we were busy holding newborn Noah and playing with an ever more exuberant Zoë (she’s 18 months, I think)

This is Zoë, and I think she’s adorable (and a stylish dresser too!)

Saturday the Castellino family came aboard for a lovely day out on the bay.  I’d say daysail but I’d be lying.  It was flat calm and nearly wind-less all day – but it did make for a great ‘motor’ out of the Gate and everyone had a good time.  Ang & Anthony’s twin girls, Alexis & Ashley, had a blast I think – and they both were great skippers on the helm.  In fact, I didn’t do much steering all day long!  How much do you want to bet that Anthony starts looking for his next sailboat…

Saturday morning, looking like a good day to take the boat out!

Alexis and Ashley, doing the bow pose.  We loved having them aboard, because they enjoyed it so much!

We saw an America’s Cup boat, which is always a thrill for a sailor – for me at least.  This beautiful black monohull belongs to Oracle and carries the number USA 76.  Oh yeah, and that’s Alactraz Island and the Bay Bridge in the background.  

A view of the gate, from the outside.

Lara and Angela hanging out on the foredeck, enjoying the view. 

Headed back into the gate, looking north towards Sausalito and Tiburon.  

Measuring up the bridge….

This boat was on a downwind leg of a regatta and had a big bright shamrock in their spinnaker.  I took it as an omen, as the ND-USC game was coming up.  Apparently they didn’t see it in South Bend… 

Thanks to the Castellinos for coming out – hope they can do it again soon.  Ashley, Angela, Alexis and Anthony!

Saturday night we headed into the city for a yummy dinner and a bit of a family reunion – with cousin David & wife Jean in from Pittsburgh, we hooked up with them and Jason and Amanda at a cool seafood restaurant, Anchor & Hope.  It was great to see D&J again after so long.  It left us longing for a trip soon to the Burg.  Alas, we didn’t get any pictures.  Perhaps the ND loss to USC was stinging too much to make me want to pic up the phone and play photographer.

Well, I did take one pic on the way to dinner -heck, we were stuck in traffic for like 40 minutes just to get to the Bay Bridge… might as well snap a shot.  😦

Sunday another boat outing – this time with Thais & Kyle and newly arrived friends Amauri & Greicy.  There was more wind than Saturday but alas not enough to really get the rails in the water.  Upon returning to the marina, we did an impromtu barbeque and really closed out the weekend in style.

Greicy and Amauri having a good time on Sunday.  So good to see them again!  There were supposed to be more pics, but Thais never sent me hers.  (hint hint!)

Monday night I met up with an old business ‘colleague’ from SF/Switzerland and Rio and did some networking with a bunch of startup guys who are all now on the ‘ready to crew’ list.  We had a lot of fun at the Nopa restaurant and I’m looking forward to more meet & greets with them.

Wenesday was a special day – for me at least.  One of the 9 Mikes here at Gate 11, Mike Elsey, is an avid golfer.  We’d been talking about it for months, but he finally got me out on the course.  We started at dawn in the cold fog and continued through 27 holes by the time it was over.  There were some good shots, a great shot or two, and then all the others – kind of par for the course for me.  But I do love to get out on the links.  I hadn’t walked 27 holes in a looooong time.

This from the first fairway – we teed off before sunrise!

This is Mike on the first green.  A great day!

The fog starts to lift… 

Today, Friday, another special day… as the same group was getting back together, I got permission from the Admiral and took advantage of the opportunity.  Today we walked 18 holes in perfect weather and I shaved about 4 strokes off Wednesday… progress!  We played again with Shannon and Lester, also locals and avid golfers.  I don’t know who wrote the book on swings, but if you watch Shannon’s effortless, smooth swing, you’d think that she inspired the book. This lady has been playing for only 14 months and tears it up – from the blue tees with the guys!  Again, a great 18 holes on the links.  Thanks to Baby Cakes for allowing me to go.  🙂

Another great sunrise, another great day to play golf!

Now I’ve got to do some boat chores, set up some meetings for next week, and hope that all those HR departments and hiring managers that are looking over my CV are thinking… yeah, this could be the guy!

Ciao gang – more when we can get in here!  If we don’t before Monday, Happy Halloween!

Stella says “Happy Halloween” and ‘Come play with me!’



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