Drakes Bay

2. Fitting Out and Tuning Up

After the launch of STARSHINE Doug obtained a berth in Alameda on the Oakland Estuary. He sold his house and moved his family aboard the boat. There was still much work to be accomplished to complete the construction of STARSHINE. He had decided on a ketch rig and that rig was almost as much work as the basic hull. I don’t remember the exact sequence of events, but at some point he quit his job with Matson and obtained financial backing from his father.

One event that does stick in my mind is the stepping of the sixty-foot main mast. Most people would have hired a crane for this job, but Doug had figured out how to do it using the winches of the boat and the main boom to create a fairlead and leverage. It was a unique demonstration of ingenuity and daring. The mast was tipped vertical and lowered down on to its step while a number of friends and family manned temporary stays to prevent disaster.

Eventually, the rig all came together and after that it was a matter of working out the bugs and learning to handle whole thing. Here is how she looked underway:

Under Sail

Under Sail

(click on image for larger view)

Under Power

Under Power

Tuning up consisted of a year spent racing STARSHINE on San Francisco Bay. There were also a number of coastal trips. Our two families took one trip up the coast to Drakes Bay. Here are a couple of photos from that trip:

Me and Doug in the GAMBELLA's dingy at Drake's Bay

Me and Doug in the GAMBELLA's dingy at Drake's Bay

Left to Right: Daughters Dee Dee (mine) and Heather (Doug's) me, Doug and Lynne

Left to Right: Daughters, Dee Dee (mine) and Heather (Doug's), me, Doug and Lynne

Toward the end of 1976 Doug was feeling confident about sailing STARSHINE and began to make plans for a really BIG adventure the following year.That will be the subject of my next post.

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Saturday, March 13th, 2010 STARSHINE No Comments

5. . . . and Yon

Up and Down the Bay

Having thoroughly explored the South Bay we started to venture further afield. There were numerous excursions to destinations such as San Francisco, Sausalito, Angel Island, Yerba Buena Cove, and one memorable trip up the Petaluma River.

The GAMBELLA as Seen From Angel Is.

The GAMBELLA as Seen From Angel Is

On The Petaluma River

On The Petaluma River

Uncle Rob in His Pulpit

Uncle Rob in His Pulpit

(click on image for larger view)

Catching Rays

Catching Rays

Deeds as Figurehead

Deeds as Figurehead

sunburst

And Out the Gate

Eventually, we left the Bay entirely, usually proceeding north along the coast to destinations such as Bolinas Bay and Drake’s Bay. Each trip found us going further afield. We rounded Pt. Reyes and ended up in Bodega Harbor with

its substantial commercial fishing fleet. But our favorite destination was Tomales Bay which is directly south across Bodega Bay from Bodega Harbor. The distance is about ten miles.

Anchored in Bolinas Bay

Anchored in Bolinas Bay

Rounding Point Reyes

Rounding Point Reyes

Sunset at Bodega Harbor
Sunset at Bodega Harbor

Points of Interest:                                       (click on image for larger view)

(1) San Francisco

Outside the Golden Gate

Outside the Golden Gate

(2) Angel Island

(3) Sausalito

(4) Bolinas Bay  (also click here)

(5) Drake’s Bay

(6) Point Reyes

(7) The Farallon Islands

The best time to enter Tomales Bay is in the morning at high tide before the wind picks up. The entrance is fairly shallow and sometimes the combination of an ebb tide and the Northwest wind can made it extremely rough. The Bay itself is long and narrow and it has this shape because it sits right on top of, and is formed by, the San Andreas Fault. At the foot of the Bay is Inverness where you can pick up groceries, gas etc. On the east shore, at about the half way point, is the town Marshall which has a boat works should you need one. Approximately across from Marshall and a little to the north is White Gulch — my favorite anchorage.

Gone for a Hike

Gone for a Hike

The Boat Works at Marshall

The Boat Works at Marshall

Anchored at White Gulch

Anchored at White Gulch

(click on image for larger view)

North of Point Reyes

North of Point Reyes

Points of Interest:

(1) Bodega Harbor

(2) Marshall (also click here)

(3) Inverness (also click here)

(4) White Gulch (also click here)

The winds for sailing on Tomales Bay are rather flukey. They change every time you pass by a low gap in the Tomales Peninsula, but the scenery is superb. The resident human population is very low and the surroundings are primarily bucolic. On the peninsula there is a population of elk.

The Farallon Islands

On two occasions I visited the Farallon Islands. The largest island has an anchorage on the north side called Fisherman’s Cove. It is only big enough for one boat (maybe two) to swing at anchor and is only an alternative in fairly calm weather. The bottom of the cove is composed of large boulders and crevasses, and I had heard it was a very easy place to lose an anchor. I stopped there once for an overnight on a return trip from the Bodega area, and I didn’t get much sleep. Immediately upon arriving, the boat was covered with a swarm of flies. Fortunately, I had a can of bug spray to discourage them, but I had to use the whole can. The cove is surrounded by lounging sea lions and at the slightest disturbance there would arise rounds and rounds of barking. There is usually a naturalist stationed on the island, and I could see one watching my every move when I arrived, but since I made no attempt to go ashore, which is prohibited, he eventually lost interest. That occasion and the following day turned out to be a very wet trip, so the only photos I have are water damaged, but here they are for what they are worth:

The Farallon Light

The Farallon Light

(click on image for larger view)

Fisherman's Cove

Fisherman's Cove

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Sunday, December 6th, 2009 GAMBELLA No Comments

12. Drake’s Bay in the Spring

Drakes Bay in the Spring
Drakes Bay in the Spring

(click on image for larger view)

pen and ink wash                                       12 x 8 1/2

The view from the southern end of Point Reyes lookingnorth into Drake’s Bay on April 21, 1985.

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Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 Pages 11 - 20 No Comments

13. Quietly, I Go My Way

Quietly, I Go My Way
Quietly, I Go My Way

etching                                                                                      8 3/4 x 5 3/4

The setting here is Drake’s Bay. Some of the prints in this edition were hand colored. The title comes from a poem by Max Ehrmann. A total of thirty-nine out of fifty were printed in addition to several artist’s proofs.

Quietly I Go My Way

All round is haste, confusion, noise.

For power and wealth men stretch the day

From dawn till dusk. But quietly

I go my way.

For glitter, show, to taunt the crowd,

Desire-tossed in wild dismay,

Men sell their souls. But quietly

I go my way.

The green of all the fields is mine,

The stars, the night, the wind at play.

Apeaceful heart, while quietly

I go my way.

Max Ehrmann

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Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 Pages 11 - 20 No Comments

“There’s a Schooner in the Offing . . .”

 

 

   "There's a Schooner in the Offing, with her topsail shot with fire . . ."

   “There’s a Schooner in the Offing, with her topsail shot with fire . . .”

          From The Sea Gypsy by Richard Hovey

               (click image for larger view) 

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Sunday, March 1st, 2009 Nautical and Marine Images II No Comments

Quietly I Go My Way

 

Quietly I Go My Way

Quietly I Go My Way

     (click on image for larger view)

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