May 31 – June 3
I stayed in the boathouse for a few days to make some watercolors (see previous blog entry). I found a folding table and set up a nice studio for myself. Right outside my window I could see waves and the Marin hills rolling by. Under my feet was either mud or water depending the tide. I felt very fortunate, being able to stay in a spot like that.
These watercolors are for sale for $375 each. (12” x 16”, 140lb cold pressed paper).
If you’re interested, email me and we’ll make arrangements (firstname.lastname@example.org). I’m planning to make more of them as I go.
On Sunday the yacht club put on a special display, just to keep me entertained. A wide variety of boat sizes and shapes got out there and didn’t seem to be put off by the usual windy conditions. They where hiking out in trapezes and put spinnakers up to get the most out of the breeze. All boats are stored in a fenced area and are launched off the end of the dock for every outing.
Once in a while I took a trip, like taking a drive to Drakes Bay at the tip of Pt. Reyes national park. The wind was from the northwest and the waves were bending around the headland to end up crashing on the beach from the south. The strong wind was now opposing the breaking waves. This made their tops blow off in a big white plume, which was quite a treat. Someone pointed out a gray whale spouting white puffs in the air. I hadn’t seen those yet on this trip.
In trying to visit the lighthouse I ended up in thick fog so I never saw it. In about half an hour the fog had started as a narrow cloud a few miles long, right over the beach and ended up covering everything except low above the water, where the sun was still reaching. Strong wind gusts rushed down the cliffs hitting the water, whipping up spray (williwaws?). At one point I was staring just about straight down a few hundred feet at waves breaking on the rocks, while around me fog kept me from seeing much of anything. Some small deer were grazing on the steep slope like it was a regular meadow. It reminded me of trips in Scotland were I got stuck in fog hardly being able to find my way back to my little hut. Somehow the whole area made me think of Scotland, with bare smooth rolling hills surrounded by cliffs and ocean. All that was missing was an occasional castle popping op here and there.
On my way back from the lighthouse I ran into a herd of Elk. They were grazing on a ridge with fog in the background. Two bucks were sparring a bit, which was fun to watch. They kept a close eye on me and I was glad there was a fence between me and them, because I had heard they can be aggressive at times. Fortunately they took it out on each other.
One night I went to Pt. Reyes Station for the Western Weekend where there was going to be some barn dancing. There was a live band and a good caller. I had a good time line dancing and square dancing with the locals.
After my stay at Inverness I drove to Sausalito. I knew that parking there with a trailer was a problem. You can’t park a car and trailer for more than an hour on public streets! Just as I was debating what to do, a guy on a bicycle stopped to admire Fetch and asked if I was looking for a place to launch. I told him, I was actually looking for a place to park the rig and stay the night. He said I could just follow him and park at the marina where he keeps his boat, where parking for the night wouldn’t be a problem (for free) and I could even use the bathroom with showers! Good old Fetch had done it again. I won’t disclose where this marina was, but I stayed there many nights while I went to work during the day. I had met a guy who needed repair work done on a classic Shark catamaran. He had shop space available with tools and such. This way I was able to make a little cash to support my trip. His centerboards and rudders were coming apart. They were made out of strips of Mahogany glued together, but the glue had failed. I cleaned the strips, glued them back together, reshaped, sanded and fiberglassed the boards so they were strong again.
I was able to return the favor to the guy who pointed out the marina, by driving him to Concord with my van and trailer to pick up his Potter 15 and a dory. It all worked out very well and occasionally after work, I took Fetch out for a spin along the Sausalito waterfront. Cafe Taste of Rome remained my favorite place to eat and hang out (and use their internet). Sausalito is a special little town tucked under the hills, across from San Francisco at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. Cool air rolls over those hills keeping the place pleasant in the summer. All kinds of characters between artists, yuppies, bicycle designers, software developers, gallery owners and restaurant folks live here in boats, house boats and fancy houses on the hill. People from all over the world are gathered here. Frantic commuter traffic on the 8 lane 101 highway, conveniently circumnavigates the town up the hill. Driving here during the commute is a trip, spiffy cars push by you left and right, to not leave an open spot unused. People pay big bucks for a house boat here to be on the water and close to the city (SF). Apparently the house boat community became so big because way back the city started to sell off city lots under water and in the mud.
For me the wildly creative and colorful house boats seem to express the free spirit, optimisme and abundance that hangs in the air in Sausalito.