Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sailing, sailing, over the bounding main…

It would appear that our readers are rising up in revolt due to the lack of activity on our blog. There is a post in the works involving a certain story that I promised, regarding a Scottish legend; however, it is not quite done, and putting up something in the meantime seemed in order. Think of this as the soup course, something to tide you over until the meat and potatoes….

Ahoy maties! Most of you know the story of our family’s rapid descent into the insane life of sailing. (For those of you who don’t, I apologize, but it is much too long of a tale to relate as an introduction, and too hilarious for being told hastily.) In this descent, we find ourselves taking many opportunities to further our sailing experience, some better than others. One of the better opportunities is associating with those who are as insane as ourselves, performing the very act that makes us insane: sailing!

That is a picture of Gary, brave Captain for our day on the bay. We want to take our little sailboat out on the bay, but it was wisely decided that we would accompany someone with more experience for the first couple trips. Finding ourselves on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle would be exciting, but it should not be because we sank our sailboat, and had to be rescued by a helicopter! Always better to learn from someone who knows.

The bay to which I refer is the San Francisco Bay, discovered by Juan de Alaya, who said of this little gem of an area: "the fogs here hardly reach the entrance of the port, and once inside the harbor, the weather is very clear”. As you can see by the picture below, Alaya was quite correct in his statement:

Dad, Mom, Thomas and myself arrived on the dock at the amazingly early hour of 8:30am. Though that may not seem early, please note that we live over 2.5 hours from the Bay Area, and it gets a lot earlier. It was still overcast as we motored out into the main part of the bay, and we spent our time looking at the various sights off the starboard (right side in normal people talk) and port (the opposite of right….) sides of the boat:

Thomas and I decided that one of these might be our next boat purchase:

There were also lots of merchant ships coming in, baring exotic goods from far off lands. Ok, they were probably carrying plastic toys for Wal-Mart, but I choose to leave my romantic notions intact.

This seemed like a perfect time to take up piracy, but I could not convince the rest of the crew that throwing a few grappling hooks and boarding the other vessel was a good idea.

Because the winds were so light, to the point of being non-existent that morning, we motored underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, and out onto the very fringes of the Pacific Ocean! In case you were wondering what the bottom of the bridge looked like, here it is. Sorry about the two people standing in front, and ruining the picture!:

After lunch the wind picked up quite a bit, and we were able to hoist the mainsail, run up the jib, and man the helm (It is so fun to use nautical terms!). All the men got a chance to take the helm. Thomas won the prize for the fastest speed, getting us up to a delightful 7.8 knots:

Mom was quite content to kick back and enjoy the ride:

Oh, and in case you want to get into sailing, there is a really pretty boat we saw, called the Maltese Falcon:

289 feet of absolute luxury, yours for only $154,000,000.00, plus tax. Yes that is millions! It might take us awhile to save enough for that one. I think I will go count my pennies again, just in case….

We tacked and jibed our way across the bay, enjoying the wind in our hair, and the salt spray on our faces. It was a delightful day, and we enjoyed every moment of it. The day ended far too soon in our opinion. Sir Francis Drake said it quite well, "It isn't that life ashore is distasteful to me. But life at sea is better." He was on to something when he said that, and when you step onto the deck of a sailing ship, you feel like a descendant of that great linage of sailors. Whatever changes in the world, God will always give us the gift of wind, and it will be there take you freely across the Seven Seas, just as it has for centuries.

Ship’s Log recorded by BFH.

It may take a little while for the next post to find its way to the web. I am involved in the planning of our church's Reformation Party, and that will keep me quite busy until November!

The Post of the Century

This is it.

(I hope you enjoyed it Tiffany... That's all my creative juices are good for nowadays!! I am pretty sure it is Ben's turn to provide more reading material. I shall get him on it right away.)