We had the boat ship shape and ready to rock by the time Deneb and Seren showed up at 10:30. The kids were overflowing with excitement to have little Seren aboard, and just couldn’t wait to show him everything. Seren, warmed up to the chaos and excitement much more quickly than I would have expected (being his second time aboard a boat).
After a quick detour at the pump out we made our way, ever so carefully, out the channel. We were worried about the latent tsunami effects and the low tide, but between the chart plotter and the crew’s watchful eyes, we made it out at dead low tide without a snag. Once safely out of the harbor we were greeted with the sight of several races, replete with their golden and graphite sails, underway all around us. I engaged the tiller pilot (or Otto, as Deneb dubbed it) and headed up to the mast to raise sail. We quickly killed the diesel and everyone exhaled and inhaled the warm(ish) salty spring air.
We tacked a few times to avoid one race and then had one long tack by Alcatraz out to Richardson’s Bay. Ruby and Miles finally consented to take their naps, and with the new tranquility, Seren also found his sleep groove on dada’s lap. The adults, now free to socialize, did what any parent would do in a lul, we all breathed deeply and smiled… quietly, so as not to break the spell.
We had an unexpectedly easy passage under the bridge and the trip out past the headlands, while rolly, was surprisingly quick and pleasant. On the way back in we encountered a pod of dolphins and two harbor seals playing in our wake. The dolphins seemed to have a lot of fun playing hide and seek with us, and several times popped up right on our transom with a sharp breath before plunging below the water again.
With everyone else below, I ran back through the Golden Gate wing on wing. Something in my heart soared to see Convivia, sails abreast framed by that amazing human accomplishment. As I reveled in that moment, Vick popped up her third and forth batch of coconut popcorn while simultaneously maintaining harmony with the young crew.
Just past Alcatraz I spotted a tall ship and called Miles up to take a look. He called below that there was a pirate ship and commanded Vick to bring up his cannon. With his sights set he fired volley after volley at the ship until it finally ran off to it’s garrison. Miles looked singularly triumphant and went below to announce his victory to everyone. Later, when he worked out that he was allowed to call pirates names, he squealed with delight “I have to tell Ruby. She’ll be so excited!”
We got back to the dock around 5pm and decided to give the boat the short cleanup so we could all head to Picante together for dinner. After our traditional, post sail meal, we headed home, exhausted and smiling to put the kids to bed. I’ll be the first to admit that I fell asleep right next to them for at least an hour.
I have to say that it was quite a treat to finally take Deneb out without subjecting him to some horrendous boat job. Deneb was crew with us several times on s/v Halcyon, and more often than not he would get roped into fixing a broken head or towing a derelict boat, in lieu of actual sailing. I was quite happy to chauffeur him around they Bay, and out into the Pacific Ocean this time, without asking him to get sweaty, filthy or upside down on my behalf!