So my father has now left the area, he took a train on further south to visit my eldest brother this morning, and he'll make his way back to Bellingham after that. I'm still at my sister's place, but I'll be heading onto the water soon enough again, and this time, I'll be alone.
Single handed sailing is a different kind of flavor from having anyone else aboard. Usually I listen to a lot of music, eat a lot, and see wonderful things that I want to show to other people, but nobody is around to see them. I bet I'll see some whales. Still, that is in the future. Here's an update on the recent past:
Sunday we sailed in under the golden gate and picked up Sam, Arthur, Rachel and Henry (whom I have made first acquaintance with-see picture) and we sailed around a little bit, then dropped everyone off ashore, and I spent the azure afternoon alone angling and anchored aboard Altair. The next day was Sunday, and we stayed ashore and played in the park with lots of children. Monday, however, found us back on the water, sitting in small amounts of wind and lots of rain, with Bob Post, who happens to be my Father's cousin. I had never met him before, but he lives up in the delta here. So I paddled out in the (unseasonable) drizzle and then kicked on the motor to get Dad and Bob, and we puttered around the bay. We anchored near Angel island for a while, which is a beautiful green island in the middle of the bay, and zipped over near Alcatraz (which is rugged and beautiful when seen from the Golden Gate Bridge or from San Francisco, but up close it looks like a broken down old prison, strangely enough) and then came back thoroughly soaked.
Yesterday, Dad and I went for a walk around San Francisco, starting about 8 am and ending at 3. It was a lovely day for it, and not too hot or cold. We started near Coit Tower, which is on the east side of the city, and walked down to the eastern waterfront and around the northern waterfront until near the Golden Gate bridge, when Sam picked us up again. I feel that San Francisco is a lot like Seattle (though more touristy) because of the piers and the waterfront area, but there seems to be more internationality to the SF than SEA. We met two German couples and I got some good time speaking Deutsch, and looked around at the boats for a while as well, which of course is fun for me. I wanted to go aboard a streetcar, so when we were headed to Coit Tower we found ourselves next to the Cable car headquarters, and there were a couple of mechanical looking folk carrying greasy things into a shop, so I struck up a conversation with them to see what we could learn about how the cars work. I didn't know, but I learned, that the cable runs all the time, and the cars just grab on to it (its in a submerged track, so you can't see it) when they want to go forward, and let go when they want to stop. They have a number of brakes; wheel brakes, rail brakes, and a ground brake, and so they can use those to stop. We told the guys we had sailed down and that I was interested in going on a cable car (for free) and he immediately stopped the next one that came over and got us on by saying that we were his cousin and uncle.
The driver didn't give us hardly a glance, but the brakeman (on the back) looked us over with a keen eye and when I glanced back confided, "he didn't have to tell us that story." So they knew. I guess it didn't help that we didn't look anything like the mechanic. We went about two blocks and looked over the machinery before deciding we were going the wrong way and got off.
I've also been watching the weather around Point Conception, since its a point Not To Be Trifled With, and have found its mostly gale warning or small craft advisory. Since I have a small craft, I'm trying to be well advised. It appears that most of the horror stories are from people trying to bring their boats northbound, and there basically isn't any stories from people headed south. I guess I can just trifle with this point then, huh?
Here are a few more pictures of little Henry, for those of you who haven't seen him. He's my sister Rachel's new little boy. My Nephew.