I recognize the implausibility of the idea that all my many throngs of hypothetical readers will maintain any sort of enthusiasm to follow along on my journey through this blog if I don’t, myself, maintain the requisite diligence to actually log and characterize my process. I haven’t been doing enough of that to-date, and I’ll endeavor to get better.
Summer has been busy. A few weeks ago I left my slip in Richmond and singlehanded the boat up to the public marina in Vallejo. My reasoning for changing slip locations was multi-fold. I wanted to explore a new part of the Bay, changing my sailing landscape and expanding my horizons, so to speak. I also wanted to keep pushing an agenda forward–even though my departure from the SF Bay Area is eternally being pushed back, I wanted a formal marker that I was, indeed, creeping closer to my goal and not just hanging out on the boat same as I ever was. Finally, I love Vallejo. I lived in Vallejo for many years (in what seems like an entirely different life), I still own a house there and my sister and her fella also currently live in Vallejo. So I just kinda wanted to spend some time in that beautiful, quirky, and flawed community.
The sail up was a real treat–the first major point-to-point solo sail that I’ve done. Even though I definitely have to practice and polish the choreography on my single-handed “dance” I was (and remain) struck by the peacefulness of being alone on the water. There was no need to formulate verbal commands or explanations. All information was communicated to myself, by myself through physical manifestation. This is not to say that I don’t thoroughly enjoy the camaraderie of being on the water with friends and family, but I am heartened to discover that my hare-brained scheme of sailing alone through the world actually speaks to me in practice and not just in theory.
I also spent 10 days or so up in Oregon, leaving the preoccupations with the boat behind to camp, see family, hike, and conduct some badly needed maintenance on my other neglected vehicle, my ’73 Jeep CJ5. I’ve owned the Jeep for a few years and although I don’t give it the attention it deserves, I’m dreading the day I have to sell it to further fund this sailing voyage. I keep coming up with excuses to kick that can down the road just a little more. Lately it has been throwing a few tantrums–I’m currently waiting on a new voltage regulator for it–but I do so love to drive it. I even broke down and installed a new soft-top on it while up in Oregon…I mean, the boat keeps getting new hardware so what’s another “boat buck” tossed out the window for my other toy? Yeesh, life is expensive.
Speaking of expensive, a good friend of mine just visited this past weekend, which we crammed full of activities (most of them eating and drinking-centric), though the good people at United Airlines did their best to preclude as much of it as possible. After a 5+ hour delay I picked him up at SFO around 2am and we made our way back to Vallejo for a nightcap on the water. Saturday we sailed in the Carquinez Strait and then spent Sunday in Oakland enjoying the hot, dense throngs of humanity clustered around sunny Lake Merritt. We remained well-hydrated with delicious wine throughout our activities. I don’t know how many of these types of weekends I have left in these parts, but my suspicion (hope?) is that this is one of the final of its ilk; happily, it has all the trappings of being gloriously emblematic of the East Bay good times for me to warmly reflect on after future days have pulled me away from these communities.