6. GAMBELLA Forever

During the years that I spent working as an engineer I could afford to own a boat like the GAMBELLA, but somewhere around 1980 I decided to take a stab at being an artist. I always had some native ability in that area and I wanted to give it a try as a living. Working as a professional artist is all about creativity and a lot more fun than working as an engineer. Engineering, at least in the manner in which I was employed, was quite uncreative work. It was, however, much more lucrative. Consequently, I sold my boat to help finance my conversion from engineer to artist.

Having spent so many years restoring, maintaining and sailing the GAMBELLA, I was intimately familiar with every inch of her, and to this day I can still come up with a decent rendering of her various aspects strictly from memory. She had become engrained in my being and reflected my personality to a high degree, perhaps even to a fault. It is not surprising, therefore, that she should appear in various works of art that I was to accomplish. Anyone who explores Uncle Rob’s Blog to any extent is bound to encounter many images of the GAMBELLA. The following image has been in use as my logo on business cards and letterheads for quite some time:

Schooner MoonSchooner Moon

Looking back from the perspective of many years, and from the point of view of an artist, I can now see the GAMBELLA was a work of art. She was the creative outlet I needed to balance my rather mundane employment, and just as an artist’s work is always his or her work even it if is subsequently sold, she is still mine in that respect.

I think the following image and poem express my feelings adequately:


Moon Ship

It was a warm summer night and the schooner GAMBELLA stretched her pretty legs. Countless hours of my personal attention were paying dividends as she moved south with a nimble grace. The Bay was smooth and flat. The tide was on the flood and a gentle breeze was steady over the port quarter. Then a full Moon rose over the East Bay hills and its muted light danced on the surface of the water.

Oh, to linger in that reflection,

A brief passage of near perfection.

Dream-like it was, but alas it was real.

It needed some water under the keel.

I knew we were running out of bay,

But didn’t want it to end that way.

I made an image to hang on my wall,

And in it GAMBELLA still stands tall.

The hiss of the wake’s trailing froth,

The creak of the rig working aloft,

These things I hear when I can see

The rare moment that transported me.

So when life’s voyage comes to an end

I’d make that passage once again.

And if to heaven I have gone

There I’ll sail her on and on.

R. L. Mason

Mendocino, CA


Saturday, January 30th, 2010 GAMBELLA

2 Comments to 6. GAMBELLA Forever

  1. I finally decided to write a comment on your blog. I just wanted to say good job. I really enjoy reading your posts.

  2. Susan Kishner on January 30th, 2010
  3. Greetings Susan:

    Thank you so much for your comment. It is immensely satisfying to know that somebody actually looks at these posts and enjoys them.

    Uncle Rob

  4. rmason on January 30th, 2010

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