Fetch; Theo’s visit

by · June 22, 2012

June 14 – 17

The restoration of the centerboards was moving along. I had reglued the strips that made up the boards and faired them smooth. After coating them with epoxy I covered them with fiberglass. Now they were strong again. The tillers and rudder blades needed some touch up as well, mainly a good sanding and paint.


centerboards covered with fiberglass


In the mean time my son Theo (age 23) emailed me that he was going to swing by after his stay in San Francisco.


Theo drops by for a visit


Thursday afternoon we met in Sausalito and immediately drove out of town toward the coast. The freeways were stuffed, so we took the long and windy road to Stinson Beach. Theo enjoyed the landscape and mentioned it was like Spain. The wind was blowing pretty good and after an enjoyable ride we arrived in Pt. Reyes Station. It was getting dark, so we started looking for a spot to spend the night. Behind the store in Inverness seemed as good a spot as any, so we parked and made some pasta. At about three o’clock, we were woken up by someone knocking on the window and calling out loud. I woke up out of a dream and had no idea what was going on. I went to the door and stood face to face with the local police officer, who wasn’t happy with us. What were we doing there – sleeping, did we have permission – no, where we aware of the local ordinance regarding staying in a vehicle – no. Could we show ID – sure. Slowly I was waking up as we went through the procedures.  I wasn’t happy either, couldn’t she just let us sleep? When where we planning to leave – 7 AM, Where were we going? Etc etc. She said she was cutting us a deal by letting us stay till 5AM and not impound my vehicle. Thanks! I had a restless few more hours of sleep, before I moved the car to another spot, where we slept till 7. We drove back to the spot behind the store because of the nice view and had breakfast.


5 AM, time to get up and move the van...


breakfast in Inverness



We headed back to Sausalito and started preparing for a trip on Fetch. We were planning to stay the night at Angle Island. We left with very little wind along the waterfront, but we could see whitecaps further over on the bay. I didn’t quite know what to expect so I put in a reef. I didn’t want to scare Theo, so I wanted to be prudent. Theo has never showed much enthusiasm for sailing in the past and I didn’t want to ruin his renewed motivation to give it another try. In approaching the white cap area we got a taste of the wind in some puffs, which made me decide to change to the storm jib and a second reef. The down wind ride to Angle Island was made even more exciting by the outgoing tide against the breeze. I felt a bit nervous the whole way, even though Fetch did great. At time we were surfing over six knots (on GPS) while bucking a 2 knot current, so we must have gone over 8 knots through the water, while planing/surfing.


whitecaps in the distance



planing and surfing along


Tiburon to port


We arrived at the cove on the north side of Angel Island and although we hadn’t sailed far, I didn’t want to push the matter, so we tied up at the dock and took a nice walk around the island. The trail is beautiful and offers great views all around. On top of Mount Livermore one has a spectacular 360-degree view of the Bay Area. Down between Tiburon and us they were starting a sail race, which added to the spectacle. On a plaque I read the history of the island:  “In 1775 the packet San Carlos, first know Spanish ship to enter San Francisco Bay, anchored in this cove while her commander, lieut. Juan Manuel de Ayala directed the first survey of the Bay. Ayala named this island Isla de Los Angeles. The island has been a Mexican rancho, US military post, Bay defense site and both a quarantine and immigration station. “


Angel Island



looking back at our anchorage










sail race


At dusk we tied to a mooring, put up the mizzen to keep us pointed in the wind and made dinner. Pesto pasta was on the menu, because it was simple and tasty. Some bigger items like the cooler had to spend the night in the cockpit to make room inside.


Mount Tamalpais in the background


After a restful night we woke up around 6:30 on this Saturday morning and decided to take another walk on the island. I went for just an hour, but Theo took a three-hour walk. The park entrance features a dock area, an anchorage, a ferry landing and a small café.  Crew for the café and their supplies started arriving around 9. I sat down just as the café opened and the first ferry arrived around 10. Several ferries brought many loads of visitors to the island and I watched the park transform from totally quiet and peaceful to a crowded place with people everywhere, on foot, bikes, tour wagons and even Segway’s! Families with coolers and backpacks raced over to claim their benches as a group of musicians and performers where setting up the next show. One kid on a small bike fell off and screamed for his parent’s attention and a band-aid. After taking all this in, it was time to leave.


people pouring in from the ferry


We motored a ways around the island in very sloppy water, before we set sail back to Sausalito. We cruised through the anchorage a bit to look at the different ways people live on their boats and took a D-tour through the house boats.




motoring back


living at anchor






That Saturday was quite hot, so we laid low the rest of the afternoon. The next morning however we were ready to boogie again. After breakfast at Café Taste of Rome, we drove to Muir Woods Park, located at the base of Mount Tamalpais. Theo wanted to see the redwoods, so we took a long walk through the woods. First there is a boardwalk along the river with interpretive signs and lots of visitors. Further and higher up in the park it gets quieter. We came out of the woods on the west side and walked toward the coastal road through open fields. Fog was coming in and out for a while, but would fill-in solid later on.





By the time we were back at the car we had walked about 6 hours. We drove to the top of Mount Tam and enjoyed the view, even though by now most everything on the west side was hidden under a blanket of fog. At the West Ridge Road we watched the sun go down. As it touched the fog layer, it seemed to flatten to a disc and linger for a while. Looking at the photo of this disk I can make out a small green spot above the sun (click on the picture twice to enlarge); did I photograph the green flash without knowing it?


fog flowing over the trees like water



Sun turns into a disk. Look at the small green spot! Green flash?


Driving through the woods that were hit by the incoming fog it seemed it was raining. The fog left the trees soaking wet, even without rain they get plenty of water.

Theo took the Greyhound bus back to Port Townsend and I went back to work. His visit had been a true pleasure. It’s amazing and good fortune how ones kid can turn into a great companion.


Discussion8 Comments

  1. Laingdon says:

    Good to hear from you again, Kees! I was starting to wonder what was up.

  2. Wim says:

    Ja zo af en toe een vervelende nacht hoort er blijkbaar bij. Wel flauw om je om drie uur te wekken en vervolgens weer te laten staan. Maar wel weer aardig dat je geen fine kreeg.
    Niet leuk voor Theo zijn eerste ervaring in de camper met Pa.
    Misschien ben je al weer op weg?
    Groeten uit Spanje.

  3. Tom, Terry, Theo says:

    Here we are sitting after dinner looking at your blog. My what a beautiful stretch of California! You have a good photographer on board. Theo was in Seattle today and is visiting for the evening.

    Enjoy your trip east!

  4. Hi Kees Prins,
    what sort of boat is Fetch? She’s very pretty.

    • kees_prins says:

      Thank you. Fetch is a conversion of an open boat designed by Iain Oughtred called Fulmar. I designed and build the decks and cabin on her.

  5. Jantine Prins says:

    He Ome Kees,

    Hoe is het met je ouwe? Je ziet er goed uit..
    Ik had zomaar even zin om hoi te zeggen….

    Dikke kus

    je nichtje Jantine Prins

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