Posted by: Zen | November 13, 2008

N the rain…pt II

I have been so busy with my face in a computer screen and stuffing my eyes a with programing CSS and XHTML code,that  I clean forgot about the rest of the story from the rainy day sailors… literally.

Sunday morning was looking quite nice as I drove heading over to Orinda, where it always reminds me of Hawaii. In weather like this was, full of rain clouds and blue sky, mountain with crowns of white fluff. I encounter a full rainbow over the highway and into the hills. It was great!!


A few minutes later coming up on Orinda the sky opened and buckets of water assaulted my car. My thoughts wandered to how nice it could be to have a car that could turn into a boat and the rain sheeted down .

Another few minutes it was gone as I escaped the dim of the “C” tunnel and burst into the sun of Oakland. Yup it look like a good day to sail.

Once I arrived at the dock, one student of the three for the final weekend said, he was going to postpone taking the written part. Ok, your call I said. The other two were go to go so I opened up one of the other boats fro them to sit on to do their test as it was a little cool still. I headed back to my car to do some reading, took a few pictures, while the last person went for breakfast. It was a quiet morning, partly cloudy , with a fair wind. It would be a good day, not much traffic out, enough to make it interesting for the students


Once everyone was done and we reorganized. We set sail after I went through everything again for them, to be sure they were clear on the plans. We sailed up and down the Estuary for the morning, I figured on doing a lunch dock at Jack London Sq. depending on how it “looked/felt”

prepare to cast off...

As yesterday was quiet (dead) on the water today was busy. I felt like a real local. I saw a couple of islanders both of which I yelled at and joked with the captains. One group I had just saw the past night, they were at the Islanders 36 banquet on Sat. The other guy who is also club member, I had not seen it a while. The Professor, from Dog Days, messing around with boats, and Spindrift blogs, he was back from his East Coast trip of buying a another boat. What a life he has, also he is a great Jazz musician. He is the one who introduced me to the Islander group. After he figured out who I was, he motored over next to us for a quick chat then slipped off toward the marina.

I had the crew sail us closer to Jack London Square, and turn us back into a power boat for docking. As we were making ready to dock, they were having a bit of challenge getting things ready. I notice the  Coast Guard taking a break , just where I planned on taking the boat in. Hmm, Ok, I was getting the Zen sense thing going on. So I took the helm, while the crew made ready. Slowly I started to motor into the docking area, and heard the motor miss a couple of times. I’m not liking the way this is going. Heading into dock wiht a boat load of newbies, motor dying just when we need it, while heading directly into a CG boat. Hmmmm, ok I plug the plug on that plan. and we turn out back into the estuary. I have the crew prepare to sail back to our dock for lunch. I then notice a boat is pulling out of Scotts. Now Scott’s had another spot open we could have gone to , but I was not feeling good about the docking thing today , now with this crew. Even through they did ok, during practice yesterday. I was not feeling it So I wanted as much room around as reasonable. More so when it was someone else’s boat also involved, oh did I  mention, the Coast Guard.

Break time, but do not hit us...

Ok, I thinkm this looks do able here. I give the command to prepare for docking. It all goes well. I have them leave the jib up, but loose, just in case…

We head into the dock area,…looks good. I am standing at the stearn, I give a few directions to the helmsman, … we are on course. I now feeling a wind increase on the port, I say go to Port a bit as we close in on the dock, the boat moves to Starboard… now heading for the middle of the end of the dock. Next to that is the lower part of the upper boardwalk deck. To our Port is open water, again I stay, to Port, …to Port, The boat moves to Starboard. Yikes! now it is too late ot steer clean, something is going to hit..

I crawl over the stern rigging and put the idling motor in reverse and gun it as I hear the sound of front pulpit hitting along the upper deck. The forward motion was stopped by the walkway as the same time the motor kicked in , so there was damage, other than a scrap. Wheeeeewww. By this time I was on the tiller, and slowly moved the boat next to the dock.


It was a bit of excitement. We also had a bit of audience as this was right in front of the restaurant…well two in fact, but no damage , no blood, so it’s all good. After a quiet chat with the Gent at the helm on what went wrong docking at an empty dock…???!!!  We took a needed lunch break.

The rest of the day was petty normal ad calm. After spending some time on MOB drills we headed back to home dock. There is a another group also docking…

I have my group circle until the other boat is docked, then have the helms person steer us in.  The other boat crew looked us over as we made our final approach… They looked unsure…

We drifted up to the slip,  I gave a bit of minor verbal directions and we were brought smoothly in to the slip. The crew gave themselves high fives and smiles at the prefect docking and the final day and final sail of the class.

After I finished wrapping everything up and handing out congrats and my prized signature in their books, I head to Lake Merritt. I needed to turn in my paperwork .


I got there just before dark and Gondola left the dock. It was the start of a good night…


  1. Captain Zen,
    It was lovely to see you out on the water last Sunday the 2nd. I’m sorry I missed the Islander 36 group’s gathering. It just slipped by me. Keep in touch, my friend.
    Professor (James)

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