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  1. #466
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    San Rafael, CA
    Spaulding Boatwerks has asked me to move Litlgull elsewhere.
    Moving the boat next door to the Arquez marina is not possible.
    It is full of derelict houseboats and others. It looks unchanged
    from 25 years ago when I left with the Ariel. Can't believe It's
    been that long! And will I still be able to skipper the dream??

    Either back to SanRafael or elsewhere, It's just as sticky to leave
    where we're not wanted, as it has been to make all the illadvised
    changes that robbed me of decades sailing the oceans.

    I think Chris must have made a tacit promise to Hasse that the
    sails would be rigged to the boat. I will try to get him to do thar
    before I leave.
    There is a tangle of halyards at the mast that have routes secret
    to me.. I installed a couple cheekblocks at the masthead for a
    runged ladder idea, that now will be halyarded.
    Also the watermaker has not been proofed. Stuff I've been
    reminded I still must pay for.
    This while being scurried away like garbage. They do bottom
    jobs and minor repairs as main income. And, now that Covid's
    in decline the tourists are back. Troops of kids. And there is a
    fleet of Pelicans being assembled inside the shop of laser-cut
    parts and fiberglass. Spaulding has more important things to do.

    I also let Chris order a Facnor bowsprit for me, still in the works,
    no idea when it will arrive presumably from France. No feedback
    from the chief. Should have done it myself, but thought it was
    good form to have Spaulding handle it.

    Wherever we end up, it'll be developing a new s.s. plate 'extension'
    that will stick out forward of the original bowfitting to support both
    the anchor roller AND the center of the Facnor pole sprit..

    Decided on a new Pulpit, the old out of round, crushed in front
    and crooked, not yet ordered. Have to make an exact pattern
    because I would like to do the impossible, that is to move the
    aft leg bases to the bulworks and the front legs to the molded
    toerail -- sans the bulwork for warp chocks-- in effort to claim
    more wiggle-room to position the sprit and anchor gear.
    Uninterrupted access on the hard will make it easier and sooner
    done.. .. .. if I stay fit!

    There will be more on the SunPower Flex panels that will hang
    to the hard rails.

    Never imagined how difficult it is to fit reality, per se, into a dream.
    Last edited by ebb; 07-01-2021 at 08:34 AM.

  2. #467
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    San Rafael, CA
    Here's a mental picture for you.

    a visit to the Napa Valley Marina

    Recently, masks coming off, Covid mutations fighting back against non-vaccinators,
    changing times, miles of something new: miles long stop and crawl traffic, no
    accidents, just sheer volume on the north bound road into Sonoma. It was Steve
    who suggested looking closer to home.. On a Saturday took the Element east into
    Napa County and south onto a long straight and then winding rural road out back.

    Sighted masts and cruised a stretch lined with large yachts perched on their keels.
    Turned into the marina, straight-off found an open-door men's room and a marine
    flea market in progress. Went into the store and found it shared a door with the
    marina office. "Come back Monday." said the skinny guy behind the counter.

    Ambled into the huge yard with huge dead elephants waiting for god. One or two
    pickups parked in the casual groupings, no ladders against hulls. Altho it was a
    Saturday there were no radios blasting and not a single sander, dead quiet.

    After a doctors appt, arrived back at the marina office just before noon, to find
    what appeared to be the yardmaster sipping soup at his desk. Came back at 12:30
    and this happened:

    Showed him, a large balding power figure, an image of Litlgull on my phone. He
    brought out a green colored sheet of paper covered with 3 columns of price lists.
    My boat would be charged daily lay days of $40 for 15 days, then $300 per month.
    But if I was working on the boat, the rate jumps to $500, but longer than 3
    months the rate jumps again to $750 (for a mono-hull to 44').
    My brain Overflowed. Wanted a place to work, not punishment.

    One item on a list of services for moving boats stands: $30.
    Another was a "corkage fee" for paint not bought at the marina store: $10 a ft.
    A fine of $260 for Litlgull using an open qt of Epifanes -- or a gallon of bottom.

    As I turned to go, he said, "September x is when we can fit you in.." That was two
    months away. I flashed, three marine ways are virtually empty, looked unused,
    there's one 30' yacht parked on the floats, two live yachts on the hard gravel at the
    head of the ways, no human activity. I got the message and left. The marina
    looks historic and pleasantly incredibly neat, like a movie set.. waiting for the actors
    to show up.
    I drove past the elephants.. never to return.

    Reasoned: the traffic problem wld soon return to something like normal.
    This sleepy yard of money games is NO PLACE FOR THE LIKES OF EBB.
    Last edited by ebb; 07-06-2021 at 07:35 AM.

  3. #468
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    San Rafael, CA



    Hardly a powerful enuf phrase to describe what I, for lack of a full vocabulary
    experienced at MattButler's SanRafael Yacht Harbor, when THURSDAY CLUB member's
    of the Alberg Fleet SanFrancisco: Steve Cossman, Ian Elliott skipper of SANCTUARY,
    and Mark Harrington volunteered to tow Litlgull, engine-less, sail-less, skipper-less
    Ebbster back to where he sprung (and towed away from) in recent memory.

    The tow can last 2 1/2 hours, Sausalito to SanRafael, by auto takes 20 minutes.
    But on the end of a 50' line, on a calm balmy day, it is life-embracing. Uneventful
    except for some errant waves, "Ferryboat," no ferryboat to be seen. And a spectacle
    in the form of a gigantic dark barge with a tall light colored pilot house like a freaky
    church tower.. which seemed to be closing rapidly on us with a huge boxy derrick
    that growled and clanked loudly and wildly swung it's enormous bucket 180 degrees
    as it gained on us and passed in the next opening under the RichmondBridge -- like
    an angry T-Rex on a loose and lunatic island.

    We arrive an hour later, up an endless estuary of expensive real-estate, and park in a
    convenient doublewide slip close to the Harbor entrance just ahead. Phone calls to
    locate the harbormaster fruitless. Ian takes the guys up into the Harbor to suss out
    the situation, No Matt. No promised dinghy with an outboard to tow po' Litlgull in..
    and under the crane for lift out.

    Then the extraordinary: Mark in deep discussion with Steve and Ian. They ask me
    to hop into Ian's boat while they stay with Litlgull on the floats.
    Ian backs out, Steve and Mark proceed by hand to swing Litlgull around bow out.
    Ian motors ahead and stops stern to the bow of Litlgull.
    Steve and Mark, already onboard, hand Ian a line that ties Litlgull about two feet off
    the stern. Ian takes us up to the Harbor entrance, turns left, suddenly accelerates.

    He yanks the tow line loose. Look back to see Litlgull turning into the lane and
    charging down the row of parked vessels heading straight for the BucyrusEire crane.

    We, without the boat in tow, keep going into the inner harbor filled with boats and
    floats of every description, and in a little puddle of water, Ian heads straight for the
    flank of some cabincruiser thing on the end of a float, and just before he T-bones,
    pushes the tiller down, swings on a silver dollar into a perfect 180, cuts speed and
    stops where Litlgull just disappeared into.

    He waits, engine running, at the end of the dock for the guys. They dash up and
    hand me down into a godforsaken metal launch with a large black oily hole in its deck
    where an engine once lived.

    Clamber out, suddenly the voyage is over, hail goodbyes, see you at breakfast, and
    turn down the float to find Litlgull, quietly nodding, tied to the horizontal float
    used to orient vessels for haul out by BUCKYRUS EIRE looming like a Jurassic skeleton
    overhead, painted GoldenGateOrange. Welcome back!

    How many times has the Thursday group practiced the Sling Shot Effect?? OR to pun:
    What I witnessed is like what individual jazz players hope to arrive at when they improv
    with a tune and stream together perfect in concert, exciting and endlessly beautiful.

    Just think, Litlgull spontaneously sling shotted 100 yards into the future, to silent
    applause.. Ian's alto sax harmonizing with Sanctuary's beat, a perfect riff.. never
    recorded for posterity and keepers of the faith.
    Except for Prospero here.

    That's what I witnessed. Hear it? Ella easing it all together with a long sweet note.

    My luck is unfolding -- what I witnessed: Unforgettable.
    Last edited by ebb; 07-12-2021 at 08:11 AM.

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