Friday, October 03, 2008

It's a Big Deal

Approaching the Gate
Approaching the Gate
Originally uploaded by toastfloats.
s/v Excellent Adventure invited the girls and I for a sail Saturday. There were a number of really good reasons I did not want to go:

Aeron fitched a pit and jumped into it, refusing to bathe. This not only induced in her mother a strong desire to strangle her, it also resulted in one of those cowboy western standoffs wherein I was stupid enough to say, “If you do not take a shower, you can not go with the Hudsons.” Ugh. I should know better.

Mera slammed my head between the sliding glass door and the navigation table while I was cleaning the scum out of the tracks. I had a splitting headache and a rather scary lancing pain from my neck to my butt.

Hello! I own a sailboat. I live on a sailboat. Why the heck would I want to “go sailing” for the afternoon. Bah humbug!

But the kids really superduper wanted to go, and I’m basically in love with Laureen and Jason. So we strongarmed Aeron into s/v EA’s shower, and I boarded for an afternoon of sitting in an ibuprofinic stupor in the cockpit with a cherubic baby catatonic in my lap. The Hudsons fortunately had a few other friends aboard to help with lines and helm. The wind was brisk, the sun was shining. It was a perfect day for a sail on the Bay.

Jason pointed his 47’ Lagoon straight for the Golden Gate Bridge and ZOOM! off we went. Excellent Adventure is a wonderful boat in the old school of Lagoon manufacture. Back in the day, Lagoon was well known for racing catamarans and the only thing compelling about the otherwise horrid movie Waterworld - the protagonist’s spectacular blade thin catamaran. It was not long before we were ripping out to the Bridge at plus 10 knots.

As we approached the Bridge, all the adults started getting excited and pointing. This struck me as peculiar in a group of otherwise rational crew members who had probably been under the Gate a million times. They mustered me out of my seat to see “It.” It was a 290 foot sailboat under full sail escorted by a fleet of hundreds of small pleasure craft, buzzing around like bees around a hive.

The Back Side
The Back Side
Originally uploaded by toastfloats.
s/y Maltese Falcon is one of the most stunning craft on the water today. She has the proportions of a sailing vessel of yore, but the sleek, modern lines of a 21st century craft. She stands nearly 200 feet with three enormous, independently rotating masts. The pictures -- mine, Jason’s and those of the many professional photographers present on Saturday -- do not do her justice. In person, she is simply amazing.

Our intrepid Cap’n Jason did his standard bold and heart stopping maneuver, positioning us to swing across her bow just before she passed into the Gate zone. We took a lot of photos, had our breath stolen by her beauty, and pissed off a lot of other craft whose bows we zoomed in front of. Later as the Falcon rounded Angel Island, we had another opportunity at low speed to get up close and personal. We even exchanged very happy words with the crew, and a few warning honks with the captain.

Trail magic begins when you are ready to open yourself to experience. Had I not grudgingly agreed to shlep my children over to EA, I would have missed the high point of our visit to the San Francisco Bay area. Thank you, Jason and Laureen. What a treat!!!

1 comment:

Frank said...

Hi, y'all! We're back from Europe and I've been catching up on your activities. Sounds like your passage was... well, a passage. The Ha-Ha should be a lot better. Glad you're having fun with Laureen & Co. in S.F.

Our best to all of you!

Frank and the krewe