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|Away from the dock at last!|
We are running out of time. If we hope to make it to San Diego in time to meet our crew, and ultimately start a sailing adventure from which we hope never to return, we must set sail immediately. Projects that aren't absolutely necessary (like connecting the wiring for the solar panels, or getting the water maker working, or even finishing the refrigerator install) need to be put on hold. They aren't critical to our safety. We can generate power from other sources, carry water in the tanks, and buy ice for the cooler. It is now or never, so we must cast off our dock lines and head for the open sea.
This is the emotional equivalent of standing at the open door of a plane, ten thousand feet above the earth, the wind buffeting your clothes as much as your confidence, and realizing that you actually need to voluntarily commit to jumping out of a perfectly good air plane. You have come to the point where all those practice lessons on how to jump, how to deal with your chute not opening, how to land safely, etc., are either going to keep you alive, or prove a complete waste of time and you will die. So you either jump out into space, or in our case, head for the open sea, or forever remain a wannabe, and eventually die at the dock.
|Our new fuel tank, about to be installed.|
We made our way out through the sea wall but soon realized that the tide was running against us, so we headed towards Angel Island, and the very well protected Ayala Cove on its northern side, to wait for slack tide. Going out the gate with four knots running against us is asking for trouble, so we tied up to the shore side dock, finished a few last minute items, and grabbed a few moments rest.
|Out wedding party on Ayala Cove, with Triton in the background.|
There are three of us aboard-- myself, AnnMarie, and our neighbor Michael, who is relatively new to sailing. This will be one the longest times he has ever been at sea, and I think he is excited to get out the gate and test his sea legs, but it is late at night, and I'm a bit anxious about going out to sea in the dark, in a boat with so many new and untested systems. Fortunately, the seas were "relatively" calm inside the gate (the real fun didn't start until we got off the coast) as we bid farewell to our home of over twenty-five years. It is hard to describe the feeling of leaving a place you've come to call home, knowing you might never reside there again. Both AnnMarie and I grew up on the East Coast, she in upstate New York, myself in northern New Jersey, but we realize now that we've become as much Bay Area residents as any third generation native.
|Michael on deck.|
And we'll miss this place. We will always have a soft spot in our hearts for the strange antics of the cooler-than-thou, mocha-swilling, bike-riding hipsters of the city, the geeky, socially-inept code monkeys of the Silicon valley, the less-than-tolerant politically-correct residents of Berkeley, the laid back, unwashed, TTITD-going artists, and the other ten thousand maniacs in our tribe. There will always be interesting places in the world, and all towns have their own charms, but there is no place quite like here.
Writing this now makes me realize just how big a change this is in our lives. We have given up so much of the predictable security we've come to take for granted, and are now on the cusp of a new life without any guarantees of stability, safety, or support, from those friends we've come to love as family. There is comfort in kith and kin, and stepping away from what you know has its own pensive moments, but there is a strange excitement as well, much the same as those last few moments as the roller coaster ponderously grinds to the top of the first hump. Tonight, lying here in our bunk, listening to the fog horn, feeling our catamaran roll with the swell, we hold each other and hope that everything goes well.
|Ten Thousand Maniacs in our Tribe.|
We will find that out all too soon, once we head out the gate and turn left, but for now, we rest as the waves rock us to sleep. It is a bit cold and damp, but AnnMarie is warm and we snuggle for a few hours before the real journey begins.
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