It was a long 14 hour drive from La Conner to Stockton. I left at about 3:00AM with a cup of coffee in my hand. I am a morning person so this wasn't as bad as it might sound. It also meant that I wouldn't be driving after dark when I was tired which would have been the case if left at say 8:00AM.
I arrived in Stockton about 5:00PM and then spent almost two hours unloading the van, which was packed FULL.
|The "lowrider" van. I loaded it down with boat stuff.|
|The Racor dual filter setup. The gauge is broken & the selector valve does nothing.|
|The stipped out plastic part inside the Racor dual filter selector valve.|
|Another view of the valve.|
|Kathy's first look at her new boat!|
|Goodbye Stockton California. San Francisco here we come!|
The "Delta" was a very interesting place to cruise, but I think once was enough for me. It's a river and there just aren't the places to go, all the places to drop the anchor, all the places to simply get away like we have up in the San Juan's. Sometimes I don't think we realize just how great our cruising grounds really are!
|Running in light fog.|
|This fog was pretty dense. We couldn't even see the bank of the river.|
Not long after the fog lifted we approached the US Navy mothball fleet. This is a place where old boat go to "rest". Apparently these vessels are laying in wait, in case they are ever needed again. They haven't been discarded. They are obsolete but not forgotten. It was VERY interesting to see at least a hundred war ships sitting here doing nothing. Are we not in a war or two right now? Hmmmmmm.......
|Some of the "Mothball Fleet." What did it cost to build these ships?|
|The "Cape Fear" has some definite style. Look at the radar tower. Impressive!|
Not long after making a detour to view the Mothball Fleet we finally entered San Francisco Bay. There was much Anticipation at seeing the Golden Gate Bridge. OK, maybe it was just me, but somehow the Golden Gate Bridge holds a certain awe, a prestige, a pedigree if you will, for boaters. If you've made it to the Golden Gate Bridge you are definitely a serious boater. Well. maybe for a Seattle boater like me anyway. I don't think a San Fran boater would regard it as highly as I do. Anyway, we saw the Golden Gate from our boat and also took a swing by Alcatraz.
|The Golden Gate Bridge, as viewed from our boat.|
|Alcatraz. I can honestly say that this must have been a terrible place to be!|
|Opening Day at Candle Stick Park. Just look at all the people!|
|A tight fit. I'm sure the guy on the left isn't going to like this.|
The next day the winds were even stronger, which is what was forcasted. I worked on the boat that day while Kathy hopped on an Amtrack train to go retrieve our van which was still back in Stockton. It took Kathy about 6-7 to make the roundtrip.
The next day we changed slips, at my request. We jumped over a few slips next to a much narrower boat and also next to a Nordhavn 40', which is very coincidentally the exact make and model of boat that I helped bring up the coast 5 years ago. Our Hatteras simply overshadows the 40' Nordhavn!
|Our Hatteras next to a Nordhavn 40 MK II. Our boat is bigger! :-) ha ha|
Obviously I'm just kidding with my caption in the last photo. I think Nordhavn's are the best boats out there. If I had the money to buy one I would. But I could buy 5 of our 48' boat for the price of one Nordhavn 40'. Hey, we scored a bargain; what else can I say?
After a day or two of work on our new boat we packed the van and drove back home. It was much tougher leaving at 5:00PM and drining overnight. I think both Kathy and I experience extreme drowsiness while driving overnight. That just didn't happen when I left at 3:00AM. I was good all day without feeling like I needed a rest at all. It's just not the same after being awake all day and then trying to stay awake all night too.
Anyway, we made it home fine. A bit tired when we arrived. A bit overwhelmed. A bit shell shocked. A bit proud too as we have finally purchased a vessel that in some circles could be called a "ship". This is definitely a huge step up in quality and abilities from our beloved Bayliner 45. Bringing her up the coast is going to be an interesting trip.
More to come......