saudades de Jennifer

I was ‘thumbing’ through the thousands of photos from the trip, thinking about how I’m going to eventually sort of storyboard all of that and – one day – get some media put together in the form of a few ‘best of’ photo collections, some slide shows, and, when I finally get really ambitious (and a bigger, more powerful Mac), videos.

Anyway, I realized of course that I wasn’t going to get very far with that tonight, but looking through all these photos brought back quite a flow of memories from the cruise.  One thing I managed to do was choose a number of photos that could be cropped into decent header photos.  Well, as long as I continue using this blog theme.  It’s probably time for a new one, but we’ll get there.  So I uploaded a few of these and now you should see a different one – or at least a random one – every time you visit the blog.  Also, I started to play with an app, on my Chrome browser, that I had been playing with on my iPhone.  You know, just to tweak a photo with an app for dummies (I love Photoshop, but have never been very adept at using it).

So, the pic of the day today is one that pays homage to the sailing posture of this boat, to my gorgeous admiral, to the week-long passage from Fatu Hiva to Tahiti, and, of course, to Jennifer.  I miss Jennifer.  She’s stuffed in a bag under my bed, but I know she wants to get out, stretch her fibers, and carry this lovely blue boat forward again.  Thanks to Niklas from Espumeru for this photo – this was just before we ran the gauntlet of stringing through the Tuamotus atolls on our way to landfall at Tahiti.

More soon gang.  Some interesting weekend activities coming up – should be fun, and should give us a bit of visual material for the ol blog.  Ciao!



The color of Alu on gray

No sun yet, but this is typical Alaneda in the morning. In probably an hour or so, this same pic will be the color of aluminum (the masts) on Blue, California blue sky blue.

That’s what I get for taking my eyes of the job search stuff on the screen in front of me, and looking out the window…..


Flotsam and Jetsam

Some of you may have heard about this rescue in other media, but today a video was posted showing the rescue itself.  To read about what happened, one of the best sources I know is Latitude 38, and here’s their link:

As coincidence would have it, the one to first report it was our virtual friend Bill from “Raptor Dance”, whom we’ve never met in person but who’s given us plenty of virtual advice over the years through a sailboat owner’s group on Yahoo.  He’s also the reason, so to speak, that we’re in Marina Village Yacht Harbor at all – he suggested it to us in one of his many emails, and we’re glad that he did.  But I digress.

Here’s the video that was posted showing the rescue as it happened.

You can, of course, watch it on YouTube.

This gives Larissa and me the shivers – because we know what these long ocean crossings are like and though we never discussed them all that much, I know that scenarios like this (and much worse) went through both our minds, before and during some of our longer crossings.

Thank goodness (and thanks to good planning) that they had a satellite phone on board, and that the cruise liner voluntarily participates in the AMVER system (originally known as the Atlantic Merchant Vessel Emergency Reporting System), which has been responsible the saving countless lives since its inception in the late 1950s – this, also, as reported by Latitude 38.

It is of course a great shame to think that this lovely vessel is out there in the Pacific, unaccompanied – a very sad scenario we prefer not to think about at all.  But that loss pales in comparison when you consider the three souls aboard that were saved in this ordeal.


The goings on.

IHey ya.  What’s going on in your world?

Well, ours is busy enough for the moment – still spending most daylight hours on the job circuit: research and contacts and networking here and there.  Severa irons in the fire at the moment, hoping for a score.  Still feeling very optimistic – how can you not, with so much great stuff going on in the Bay Area.

Aside from the search, our daily routine continues – and yesterday that included a trip into the Estuary with Walk On.  It’s good to get the boat out once in a while, keep the ‘bits’ working, stretch her legs and all that.  Actually, she could have done a lot more stretching yesterday.  I did’t get her out onto the bay for sailing, but that will likely happen soon enough.

Instead, I just wanted to give the Yanmar a little workout.  So, I went to the fuel dock @ Jack London square for a pump out.  Typically, we use the ‘land heads’ here at the Marina, but I wanted to practice the pump out thing because we’d never done that on our cruise.  It was easy.  Then, I motored slowly up and down the estuary, testing that all was well with the engine and propulsion system, going fast, going slow, going forward, going in reverse.  It was a gorgeous day out, and so I took a few pics, this time from the water…

This is the Encinal Yacht Club, seen from the water.   This is where Jeff and Sandy took us for MNF and Canadian Thanksgiving celebration last Monday.  If we do join a Yacht Club in the area, it might just be this one.  We’ll see.

Check them out online:

A shot looking across the estuary from us: Oakland.

Right next to the Encinal Yacht Club is the Oakland Yacht Club.  This one seems much bigger – at least in terms of boats actually moored at the Yacht Club.  We haven’t visited here yet – as YC visits haven’t been high on our priority list…

The Marina Village Yacht Harbor, where we live, is actually split in two.  To the east of us (left side of this photo) is the larger, main part of the marina – this larger part having probably more than 600 slips.  Then there’s a break in the continuity of the MVYH facilities, caused by these four gigantic slipways, or ramps.

I still haven’t found out their complete history, but these large, gently sloping ramps, or slipways, were used to built Liberty ships and even some Empire class ships before and during the WWII ship building frenzy.  It is said that there were so many of these slipways in the Bay Area that back in the day, they’d splash a Liberty ship every day of the year.  That’s a lot of ships!

Anyway, the ‘land’ or street-side of these ramps, which ramp up above street level, have now been converted into office space.  It’s also where our restroom, shower, and laundry facilities are located.  More about these structures some day when I have a chance to research the whole thing better.  It’s something, however, that I know my Mother will like to see and ponder when they visit.

So, looking west, or to the right of this photo, you see another basin of boats.  This is the area we call home.  Everyone else calls it “Gate 11”.

This is the Gate 11 basin, with a hotel in the background – it’s the Extended StayAmerica efficiency studios.  We’ve heard mixed things about it, but have never stayed there.  When we’re in our slip, the building is right in front of us, causing and early evening shadow when the sun is headed down to the horizon.  😦

Right next to Gate 11 is another marina… except this one is composed not only of boats… yes, those are floating houses you see.  They’re connected to the shore by ramps and walkways, just like we are – but they’re floating houses that can’t really serve as boats (opposite of our ocean-going cruising machine that also serves as a house. he he he). Some of them are quite nice looking – we’ll have to get some better pics.

Friday night we went to nearby Castro Valley for a family dinner.  Family?  Yeah!  Turns out part of the extended family on my dad’s side includes Lucy, and Lucy lives pretty close to Alameda.   I’m still trying to get my head all the way around the genealogy, but Lucy tells me we’re double related.  Wow, double!  We have the same great great grandparents, from my grandmother (Rosa Rupil) and from my grandfather’s (Martino Martin) side!

Anyway, Lucy was nice enough invite us over for dinner at her house, with husband Denny and son Chris.  A bonus was that Lucy’s sister, Bobbie, was visiting from San Diego with her husband Chris – a fellow ND Grad (class of ’73) and Navy Veteran who was stationed, more than once, at the Naval Air Station right here on Alameda!  SMALL WORLD.

We had a stellar dinner of gnocchi alla romana (semolina baby!), wonderful polpette, salad, wine, desert and even Limoncello & homemade grappa from Val Pesarina!  Wha t a treat.  We got around to talking genealogy and Lucy broke out some old photos – hoping perhaps I knew one or two of those faces in black and white.  Lucy is on a quest to piece together more and more of the family tree and while I couldn’t help right then and there (I didn’t recognize them), I will assist her in the future – just as soon as I can dig out my own tree they gave me up in Val Pesarina.  I don’t know where it is!

I did, however, recognize some of the pics: here they are!

This is Elda & Severino Martin, aka Agna (Aunt, Zia) Hilda and Barba (Uncle, Zio) Sam.

I don’t know when this pic was taken, but their kids Lucy, John, Paula & Sevy probably know – anyway, wonderful people and so many great memories for me.  She used to take my college compositions in Italian, correct them with a big red marker, and mail them back to me at ND.

On the right is my Uncle Red, aka Ido Martin. I THINK, but I’m not sure, that it’s Uncle Leo, aka Lio Martin, on the left.  Dad, help me out.  Maybe I can get Lori to take a look.

Another shot of Ido, my Uncle Red.  Miss this one too!

And here they are, the Arizona Martin boys… That’s Dad on the left, and Uncle Hugo, aka Ugo, on the right.

Handsome boys, right?

We had a great time, and thank Lucy and family for the wonderful reception.  Looking forward to doing more genealogy work with her!


How to follow up with a busy Friday?  How about a musical Saturday?

Tonight we’re headed to the south bay to meet up with Angela & Anthony and the girls… and then we’ll head to a place called Shoreline to see a concert… JOURNEY!  Take me back to the 80s……..

our Fleet Week pics!

What a great weekend – super weather for our first ever Fleet Week.  Saturday we watched from ashore at Aquatic (Maritime?) Park, down on the water in front of Ghirardelli Square.  Sunday we watched from the water, anchored in the park’s small cove aboard Dave & Caty’s “Timeless”.  We were lucky and got to see two great shows.

Here are some of the pics, hope you enjoy them:

Spotted! CG ORCAS using Ship Finder!

It’s gonna be busy, beautiful day on the bay. While we won’t be out there with Walk On today, I still can do the ol AIS tracking via iPhone app…. The next best thing? 🙂

Spotted! CG ORCAS using Ship Finder!

Sent from pinkfroot

Off to see the angels

Like a lot of people, Lara and I are headed to see the Blue Angels, the fleet of ships and other aircraft as they all parade and perform for the public. It’s Fleet Week, and it should be a lot of fun.

Looks like it’s going to be a nice day for it.



R.I.P. Steve

Thank you Steve, a billion times thank you.

Thank you for my Macintosh Plus, in 1987, thanks for my iPhone, last week, and all the other visionary things you gave to me, to us, oh so many of us, in between – not just your ideas and products, but also your inspiring legacy which we can only hope will continue uninterrupted for a very very long time to come.

We should be so lucky.

Rest in Peace Steve Jobs.

Grandi! Mickey & Giorgia

Ok, I promised a few photos of our sail with Mickey & Giorgia, and here they are!  Actually, we didn’t take all that many, as we were busy sailing & enjoying ourselves.  It’s always a pleasure to sail with people who not only enjoy it, but who have experience doing it.  M&G, talented sailors and boaters themselves, were no exception.  Ok, so Mickey has a stinkpot in Italy, but Giorgia is a true-blooded sailor, and so is even more than the better half of the couple.  🙂  Grazie amici!!!

Click for the larger version, as usual… Ciao

Caput Mundi – if only teleporting were already ‘available’

Chatting with a friend in Rome today caused me considerable nostalgia about Caput Mundi, and so many wonderful years there.  Then I came across this rather by mistake, and had a wee tour of this place I used to call home.  Congrats to G Earth for 1B downloads today.  Unbelievable.  Then again, I think I’ve downloaded it like 4 or 5 times myself.  🙂