Ah, yes, t'was the day of the surprise. The Lunar Eclipse Sail Around San Francisco Bay - aboard the Hawaiian Chieftain and the Lady Washington. We all knew what a HUGE fan of Pirates of the Caribbean that greenmtnboy18 is and thought for a birthday prezzie, we'd take him sailing.
Had found out the week before that the Lady Washington had mechanical problems and would not arrive in San Francisco in time for the sail. She didn't even leave port until after the 27th. The people at the Hawaiian Chieftain arranged for the people originally scheduled for the Lady Washington to sail upon the Gas Light. Were hoping that Alex would still like the trip.
So, Lee, Joey & I plotted away. Joey was unable to go because of work scheduling. Pooh. Lee was keeping Alex occupied and had told him that we were just doing something in the afternoon. I told him that he should dress warmly - layers especially. Eat a late lunch as dinner would be very late.
Trying to figure out stuff without asking a person straight out is difficult. A couple of week before, I had a weird conversation with Alex via aim about how I needed to buy dramamine because I was going to be a passenger in a car or something. "Did he get car sick too??". Thankfully, he said he didn't get sick. Otherwise we might have had a problem.
Okay, back to Wednesday night. Picked up Lee & Alex and we drove off to Sausalito where the boats were docked. I sort of knew the area, so we didn't get too lost. Parked the car and walked down to the dock. Saw some people waiting and a guy who resembled Krycek wearing a Hawaiian Chieftain logo shirt. He asked us if we were there for the Hawaiian Chieftain and I answered, "Unfortunately, no - we're here for the Gas Light".
By this time, Alex had seen the mast of the Hawaiian Chieftain. TALLSHIP!!! He was a wee bit excited. Just a bit. OY! When we pointed to the Gas Light and told him he was going to be riding on that boat, he was poinging all over the place.
We had to walk across the Hawaiian Chieftain to get to the Gas Light. We could have gone inside, but we of course opted for the deck. I found a comfy spot, using a life raft as my back rest. The word that comes in mind about the sail is AWESOME. It was still daylight when we cast off. Soon the Hawaiian Chieftain was motoring behind us. Both ships move pretty damn fast under engine power. Saw the moon rising in the east - small bite missing from the lower left quarter. We headed out of the harbor towards the Golden Gate Bridge. As soon as we were clear of the harbor, they raised the sails. Oy!!! I've been on a small sailboat and a catamaran before, but this was just awesome. The closer we got to the bridge and the open ocean, the choppier the water. The swells...!!! Soon we sailed under the bridge out a little ways in the ocean. Soon joined by the Hawaiian Chieftain also in full sail. They had had to repair one of the main masts, so the top quarter of one of the masts was missing. Looked a wee bit strange. We were on the ocean side of the bridge as the sun set. Wow! Sunset in the west, eclipsing full moon rising in the east.
Watched the moon eclipse, soon it was very, very dark!!! Lost the Hawaiian Chieftain at one point. Considering we had been doing the whole, you lead, I lead thing, and the HC is such a HUGE SHIP, t'was amazing. When you did catch sight of the HC, it was sort of like viewing it through a "cloaking device" - you could see it more by what you couldn't see behind it. They served wine and had lots of munchies. Hot chocolate chip cookies at one point. Yum... The captain/owner/boat builder answered questions all through the trip. The Head was an interesting experience. Definitely a SMALL CLOSET, with a rounded door that fit in place like a puzzle.
Joey called twice - to make sure we made it on board and that we were having a good time. We most definitely were. I think Alex phrased it as "he called to make sure we were ON the bay and not IN the bay".
Watched as the moon slowly came out of the eclipse. Amazing how bright the sky was once the eclipse was over. Could practically read. By this time I was doing the stamp feet dance of it's damn cold. Next time I need to wear thermals. Lower body was cold, not upper body. Was wearing my heavy Oakland A's jacket. Lots of fleece.
T'was interesting watching them parallel park a ship.
Ended up at Denny's for dinner. We all needed a HOT dinner.