This weekend was the official opening of the Sharks Bight Yacht Club, a hyper-exclusive yacht club in Brickyard Cove. Chris & Kim (the Commodores) invited the crew of Convivia to be the inaugural guests. Chris met us in Emeryville at the appointed time (1430) but due to a project that was running long (a new alternator), we didn’t quite keep our schedule. Chris was totally laid back and even called in the big guns (Chuck of s/v Chester P) when it looked like we might need a second opinion. Luckily it turned out to be a small misunderstanding regarding a three position switch, and we were off the dock by 1600.
We elected to throw up all of our canvas, which was (in hindsight) a really poor idea. Convivia handled the wind with aplomb until we could safely reduce sail, and we reached our way up the Bay to Richmond in record time (GPS recorded 8.7 knots SOG). The approach to the Sharks Bight was one in a million. Brickyard Cove has a really cool layout, with a giant horseshoe of houses on piers extended into the harbor. We skirted the NE side of the shoe and crept quietly to the very back of the Cove to an easily accessible single finger dock.
Thanks to the new gear, ship-shaping only took a few minutes and before I knew it we were being ushered through the Yacht Club’s wood shop and upstairs into the clubhouse. The clubhouse (or Kim and Chris’ house, depending on the day) was adorned tastefully with a rich collection of nautical notions and furniture (handmade by the proprietor). My favorite touch was the ship’s bell hanging on the post by the stairwell. Sadly it was Ruby’s favorite touch as well, and she made superfluous use of it throughout the night.
The kids made themselves right at home (read, jumped on every cushion, pounded on the piano, terrorized the dog, etc.) and finally settled in to watch Wild Eyes, the Abby Sunderland documentary. Kim had already started the paella and she had it served up in what seemed like record time. We chatted and ate, and drank, and chatted some more until the kids were ready for bed.
The bedtime plan had been to take the kids down to the boat, give them instructions for hailing us on the VHF, and then head back up to the clubhouse for cocktails and a splicing lesson. I got the kids brushed and changed and read them a book. But as I started to sneak off Miles called me back. The poor little guy was really sad and “wanted a gwon-up to stay on C’ivia.” I talked to him for a while but realized that he wasn’t going to feel safe if I left so I hailed the club on the VHF myself, and asked them to move the party down to the boat.
After a few more rounds, we started our slicing lesson. Chris is a fantastic teacher, and Vick and I were both feeling ready to start splicing in spite of the hour and our exhaustion from the day. We called it a night shortly thereafter and settled into our familiar berth.
In the morning we went back up for breakfast (fresh black beans that Vick soaked the night before, and eggs) and more splicing. Somewhere around 1245 we packed up and bid farewell to our friends at the Sharks Bight.
…but wait, there’s more!
We made it home in (once again) record time, which was a very good thing since my good friend Estelle and her boyfriend’s family were waiting for us when we arrived. They watched us pull Convivia in and Evan helped me to put her to rights. We snacked and caught up and caught an early dinner at… you guessed right, Picante Taqueria.
Between the rare treat of sailing two weekends in a row, joining a yacht club, learning a new skill, installing critical equipment, and a ton of friend time, this weekend will surely go down in the annals.