June 29, 2006

Since our Return...

Hi everyone!

When we last reported on June 12th, we were 58 miles out anticipating an 8 PM arrival. At that time the weather was foggy with a few mile visibility.

As we approached the Golden Gate, the skies cleared. The bridge was glorious in the early evening sun as we reentered San Francisco Bay after an almost 2 year absence.

We found our old slip at Mariner Square in Alameda waiting for us and we docked at 8:30 pm (we had an ebb tide in the bay slowing us down). Gosh, things have changed at Mariner Square.

We left to move to Marina Village in 2003 in the midst of seismic retrofitting of the Alameda tunnels that run under the marina. Everything was torn up. It was still like that when we left the bay in September 2004.

Now, almost everything was rebuilt and upgraded. There's a waterfront park that's quite nice, a Sr. living residence and a boat dry storage building. The Marina office has nice shower, restroom and laundry facilities. The only area that hasn't been completed is the old foundation of Larry and Della's Restaurant, near Chevy's, that burned down in 2002. I think that they're still haggling with permits over this rebuild.

We cleaned up the boat that night and said our good-bye's to Bob and Jerry who headed off. The next day we returned to our vacation home in Sonoma and started coordinating all the work to be done on Raptor Dance while we're in the bay.

Since then, We've been busy with lots of chores:

We've given the boat a thorough cleaning. This was quite involved as we had a lot of rust particles on deck from a fishing boat that was undergoing a lot of grinding up wind from where we were docked. We still have some detailing left to do. We're doing this job ourselves as the folks we previously used quoted us $900+ for the job.

We also polished all the stainless using the wonderful "Miracle Cloth" that was recommended in a recent edition of Practical Sailor. It made the job much easier.

We had our dead battery charger and modified sine wave inverter replaced with a new Magnum Energy MS2812 pure sine wave Inverter/Charger. This was a tough project as the old units had to be removed and the new put in their place on the far side of the engine room. Alan Mcdonell from Boat Guys in Alameda spend two days wrestling the units in and out. I really like this unit as it already provides noticeably better results (e.g. less radio interference, it runs the microwave at full power, it has a bigger charger, etc.).

Yesterday we motored to Point Richmond and back to drop off our 4 sails at Quantum Sails for service. They're 6 years old and need a thorough going over.

We still have more chores to do and I'll report on those later.

We hope to get all this stuff done so we can have some fun days sailing on the bay before we leave to head South towards the end of August.

Mary and I want to wish you all a happy 4th of July weekend (US folks), Canada Day (North of the boarder) or just a happy summer weekend (everyone else in the Northern Hemisphere)!

Bill and Mary

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