Kids, Don't Try This At Home!

Hi, and welcome to the adventures of "Triton", a 45' Robertson & Caine Leopard catamaran we purchased in July of 2007, in Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands. We sailed her back to Emeryville, California, located in the lovely San Francisco East Bay area, worked a few more years, then set off cruising in the fall of 2014. This journal is the story of our ongoing adventure, the folks we've met along the way, and the hardships and joys of that journey. Please read along and let us know what you think!

You can click
here to start from the very beginning of the entire adventure. You can navigate from post to post simply by clicking the NEXT or PREVIOUS phrases at the top or bottom of each page. To find out what we've been fixing, changing, upgrading, click on the Triton Boat Work link under Related Websites. If you want to subscribe to this blog (and get emails letting you know whenever we update it) just click on the icon that says "subscribe to: posts (atom)" at the bottom of each page.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Half Moon Bay: Waiting for Godot


If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans.

We arrived in Half Moon Bay last month, ostensibly just for a few days, in order to regroup, rest up, and clean up. The day after we arrived, Sunday, was beautiful: warm and sunny. We were half tempted just to motor the rest of the way home, but we were tired and wanted to invite everyone aboard for the final run home.

Half Moon Bay is a well protected harbor in a south facing bay that lies underneath the headlands that make up the bottom of Silicon Valley. It is only a few miles from San Francisco, and a great place to sail if you are looking for a quick weekend trip from inside the bay. The area has a large sea wall the encloses the main harbor, and then a second sea wall with a marina tucked inside it. It is a working marina, with numerous fishing vessels moored here, and crabbers selling their catch along the pier. The docks are old, and a bit ragged, many of the boats are in even worse condition, but I love the area, and the folks were friendly and helpful.

Our initial plan was to wait until the following weekend, organize everyone who had ever served as crew aboard Triton (without managing to get kicked off), then sail north the last twenty miles, with all on deck as we went under the Golden Gate Bridge and into San Francisco Harbor. Our good friend and long time crewmate Jeff H. (see "eggerator" in the index for a funny story about him) had made plans to leave the country (for an entire month) the Friday before our trip, but we'd convinced him that he really needed to be with us, so he changed his plans! It looked like most everyone was going to be able to make it.

But the Gods found out first. That week, a storm brewed up out of the Pacific. It was predicted to contain hurricane strength winds, seas of biblical proportions, and a rain of frogs. We watched the weather reports carefully all week, hoping the jet stream might change direction, but it continued to amplify the low pressure system headed our way. On top of that, a cold front was swinging up along the bottom of it, carrying along rain clouds, gusty wind and a thunderbolt or two. Very ominous.

In the meantime, we cleaned the boat. Very much like her crew, Triton's hygiene had been neglected for several months as we'd pushed our way north, and she needed a good bath and a wash behind her ears. In fact, there were parts of her (like Robinson's bathroom) that hadn't been properly cleaned the entire time he was aboard. It was disgusting and the smell emanating from the head could knock a buzzard off a shit wagon. We took turns attacking it with various chemicals while holding our breath. We resolved never to let a future crew member aboard unless they left a cleaning deposit in advance.

Unfortunately, the weather in Half Moon Bay that week was horrible. Foggy, damp, with a cold, drizzling rain most days. We tore the boat apart and pressure washed every inch, scouring away sea grime from surfaces that hadn't seen the light of day since Panama, and battling bacterial that, if left undeterred, would soon discover fire, invent the wheel and elect their own form of government. We spent most of our time in rain slickers, on our hands and knees, deep inside bilges, cupboards, closets and cubby holes, pushing ourselves pretty hard after such a long sea voyage, but still hadn't finished as Friday approached.

In the midst of all this toiling, our good friends Ted, Suzanne and Blair stopped by to say hi. They were in the area, and we were thrilled to see them again, and delighted for any excuse to go out to dinner somewhere warm. We dined at a local fish restaurant called"Sam's Chowder House", located just a block south of the marina on Route 1. The food was fantastic and we highly recommend it. There are several other restuarants in the area, but they pale in comparison. We especially didn't like the Half Moon Bay Brewery just down the road from the marina.

What worried us most was that weather system off the coast was still picking up steam. A low pressure system in the upper atmosphere had linked up with the surface depression, reinforcing and strengthening it. The predictions were becoming quite dire, and many folks were shocked that we were still considering moving the boat under those conditions. We talked about it for a while and decided that only reason we were sailing was to meet a self-imposed schedule, and that although our boat could easily handle the conditions, there was no compelling reason to put our friends and crew in harm's way needlessly, so we decided to postpone the trip until the following weekend, although we felt really bad for the inconvenience we'd caused everyone.

In the meantime a really ominous storm brewed up along the coast and slammed into the marina. It was odd watching thousands of seagulls nestle into the sea wall and crowd in along the waterfront. I've never seen so many birds together in one place since "The Birds". They were even a bit quiet and still, like in the movie. Scary, in a Alfred Hitchcock kind of way.

So, given that the storm was going to dump on us, and we couldn't get much else done, we packed up the car and drove home to spend some time on our houseboat "Hurrikane" in Emeryville, mostly to sit quietly in front of a space heater without having to do anything. We drove home in the rain, took off our clothes and flopped into bed. And got sick. Really sick. The kind of sick where you welcome the grave. I'm not sure what kind of bug it was, but it was virulent. Perhaps the Spanish Flu, the one that killed 18 million people last century, was trying to make a come back? Maybe it was something we came in contact with when we cleaned Robinson's head. Whatever it was, both AnnMarie and I were death-warmed-over for almost ten days. We were laid out in bed next to each other barely able to move, unconscious most of the time; coughing, sneezing and hacking up various internal organs whenever we were awake. It was not fun.

We are only now beginning to feel better, and still aren't fully recovered yet. Last night we went for a ride back down to the boat to check on her and stopped for a lovely meal at the restaurant next to the harbor. We've rescheduled with the crew for this weekend, although not everyone can make it this time. We're disappointed it didn't work out better, but, in keeping with the traditions of the sea, you pay for every inch you sail against the wind.

In the meantime, we will be moving the boat on Saturday, March 8th, and will be crossing under the Golden Gate some time around 4pm. We'll post our position on (look for KD6TAJ) as we approach the gate. If you have a spare minute, please wave as we go by. We are also planning a boat warming party on the following Sunday, March 9th, between 10am and 2pm. If you are in the area, please drop by and say hi.

Cheers for now,



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