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Thread: My boy's first row

  1. #36
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    Bay Area, CA
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    383

    Default Re: My boy's first row

    Great weather on Saturday for another exploration of our local waterfront.



    There are worse places for an afternoon cup of coffee and a chat while the kid eats his lunch and mine. Soon, he'll be drinking my coffee, too.

  2. #37
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    Bay Area, CA
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    Default Re: My boy's first row

    The plan for Spring Break was to boat camp on Tomales bay, but with 30 kt gusts in the forecast, there was no way we were taking our boys on a trip that required crossings in open boats. We found a great alternative camping on the mouth of the Russian River at Jenner, CA. The campground is a real treat because you can't park your car at the sites. Your shortest walk from the parking lot would be about 50 yards; as you go further, the sites get closer to the river, with the best being something like 600 yards in. This walk, and the absence of plumbed drinking water, is enough to keep the loud, RV driving masses away and leave us all alone with this:


    Our Whitehall proved valuable yet again. It saved us from lugging our incredible volume of camping gear overland - we just packed tents, stoves, water, and dozens of books into the boat at the launch. The older boy and I then rowed the mile or so to the campsite, where we met his mother and the baby. Everyone took every opportunity to say "we'll meet you at the rendezvous point".


    We got out for a few family rows, but the baby's not really old enough to sit still yet and so can't much enjoy it. He took a tumble and smashed his face into a frame just as a flight of ducks came whistling right overhead, much lower than they've ever buzzed me before, and one duck crashed tumbling shoulder-first into the river not two boat lengths from us. In the ensuing crying quacking chaos I had just enough time to look up and see some huge raptor silhouetted by the glare, and maybe a few loose falling feathers. It must not have been a direct hit because the fallen duck recovered quickly. My wife was less enamored of the wildlife encounter and more concerned with the screaming baby. I proceeded under orders to a nearby gravel bank, and we all explored land for a bit before heading back to the tent.


    The older boy and I got out for some magical evening rows.
    Last edited by pez_leon; 04-12-2021 at 10:35 AM.

  3. #38
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Fairfield, CA
    Posts
    2,698

    Default Re: My boy's first row

    Lucky kids, they are going to remember these trips you take them on.

    This was maybe a bit upstream a few years ago:

  4. #39
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    Bay Area, CA
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    Default Re: My boy's first row

    6766j0.jpg

    We got out for an overnight camping trip on Tomales Bay. Put in under the Marconi center, crossed the bay and rowed a few miles into the gentle breeze. Normally we camp on beaches without established sites (meaning they lack pit toilets and are less used), but this time the only beach with any afternoon or morning sun was the established site at Tomales beach. I shot the clip you see above from our bit of grass while I wrestled the tent up and plated out more snacks and he played in the sand. Such are the prerogatives of youth.
    We had it all to ourselves! All to ourselves, if you don't count the endless smacks of moon jellies, family of five otters, six-odd seals bobbing in the gentle chop, fish-carrying osprey, howling coyotes, tittering shorebirds, and (probable, unsighted) thieving raccoons that all dropped by for a visit. He likes the moon jellies best of all. When the stars came out he showed me Orion and learned the Pleiades. In a few months he'll find Polaris from the big dipper.

    Later in the week we got out on the Richmond harbor for a visit to our friend the Red Oak Victory Robot. On the way through the channel we found a bulk freighter being loaded with (we think) scrap metal.


    Richmond's industrial waterfront is a fascinating place, possibly facing some changes. I'm not sure how many people around here know how much coal gets loaded out of the waterfront or how they would feel if they did know. A recently passed ordinance phases all coal trade out of the city in the next three years. That's a great cause for hope.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by pez_leon; 03-03-2022 at 11:12 AM.

  5. #40
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    Bay Area, CA
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    383

    Default Re: My boy's first row

    Our harbor row was not entirely innocent. I have recently felt great temptation for a bigger boat (bigger even than the one I am currently building and should focus my effort on) and I thought we might look in on a beautiful sloop listed for sale.

    https://www.latitude38.com/advert/28...-cruiser-1960/

    In this case there was no better cure for the daydream than an encounter with the real thing. On the water I could see within 30 seconds that she's a beautiful boat that obviously needs a great deal of upkeep and is not the best way to get my boys out for a sail. Now I have only to fully accept the broader ramifications of this and stop ogling every Folkboat in the harbor.

    Oscar Wilde once said he could "resist everything except temptation". That's it exactly.

    -James

  6. #41
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    405

    Default Re: My boy's first row

    Tell us more about the Red Oak Victory Robot!
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

  7. #42
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
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    383

    Default Re: My boy's first row

    We snuck out on the Friday before Thanksgiving for a camping trip on Tomales bay. I picked him up at kindergarten dismissal, drove to an utterly lovely bay in a national park, put our boat in the water, rowed to a lonely beach, and set up our tent before sundown. All this in the shortest days of the year!



    It was cold by coastal California standards. I am glad for that. One of my few ongoing anxieties is the fear that my bay-area-raised kids will not experience enough bad weather to properly season into tough adults. I once saw a teenager on a backpacking trip collapse in misery on the side of the trail, crying and wailing that he couldn't take the moderate heat because "I'M FROM MARIN COUNTY". Those of us with the good fortune to grow up in places with weather looked on amazed. It was maybe 87 degrees.

    The next morning we rowed pretty far toward the mouth of the bay. We stopped frequently to explore some lovely beaches. This row north was dead easy, pushed along by the beginnings of the ebb in moderate weather and with plenty to see. Several times I only just stopped myself from complacently explaining that the reliable onshore afternoon wind would soon spring up to waft us back south to our campsite. Later, when the wind turned unexpectedly offshore to join the growing ebb and fight me for the whole trip back to camp, I had an extended opportunity to reflect on the value of paternal silence. My sore back and sore arms were a good lesson in the universal indifference of the natural environment to my plans or desires. I seem to need these reminders.

    We were up at dawn on Sunday to catch a favorable tide for an expedition up Walker creek.



    In the quiet, reverential still sunrise I felt a profound internal glow. Floating over a mirror at the break of day with my son had something of the sacred about it. I wondered if he felt it too. It took real self control to keep my mouth shut and let my kid experience it for himself. Though now that I think about it, I may have later made some remarks on the "poor souls stuck in church when they could be here".

    Walker creek requires a good high tide. I hit what I thought was the mouth at the height of flood and figured we'd dash upstream, turning at the first hint of really shallow water. Except I missed the mouth! Instead I took us up this cut. By the time I accepted we wouldn't be connecting to the main channel we were in water too narrow to turn the boat:


    We had already seen several river otters and a bittern, and the tide was clearly on the ebb. We were cold and hungry and ready for civilization. We agreed to save the creek for another day.


    - James
    Last edited by pez_leon; 12-01-2022 at 06:34 PM.

  8. #43
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Palo Alto, California
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: My boy's first row

    Tomales Bay is wonderful for adventures like yours with your son. One of my favorite sailing trips was a weekend my 11-year-old daughter and I spent camping on the west shore of the bay. Thanks for posting this.

  9. #44
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Berkeley, CA
    Posts
    425

    Default Re: My boy's first row

    Need to get back to Tomales Bay. Had a great time a few years ago drifting from Dillon beach to nicks cove with my son in his woody El Toro.

  10. #45
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    NW Georgia
    Posts
    383

    Default Re: My boy's first row

    Looks like a lot of fun and some great places to get on the water. I've never been to CA but what a diverse and beautiful state. Interestingly enough, I sold my last sailboat to girl who had just moved here from the bay area. She obviously loved sailing and was dying for a "fix".

    I applaud the time you're spending with your family. That will reap big dividends! Those boys are super cute!

    I've seen a few of your posts of your new build. I like Vivier's boats; have always liked the Ilur and Beg Meil. I've used some of his pics as the wallpaper on my laptop.

    I've just finished a Clint Chase Calendar Islands Yawl 16. Waiting for a break in the weather to launch.

    311590511_5676797662363910_7093408196239326698_n.jpg

    311594584_5676797395697270_3758356643433161021_n.jpg

    oh, yeah, I'm one of those "poor souls stuck in church when they could be here". (a comment probably better left unsaid though I do understand the sacredness of nature as God’s creation). I've been "here" and love it, and I dare say that most believers understand and enjoy the sanctity of nature as well. And I've never been "stuck" in church. I'm "in church" of my own free will. I have never regretted assembling with believers of like faith; no sympathy required or requested.

    Blessings to you and your family,

    Dale
    Last edited by dalekidd; 12-09-2022 at 12:02 AM.

  11. #46
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    Bay Area, CA
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    Default Re: My boy's first row

    What a beautiful boat, Dale! I hope the wind soon blows fair for launching and that you post plenty of pictures of the day. I am very curious to hear your take on the yawl sail plan. Because I'm building my Seil slowly, I committed to the boomless standing lug over a year ago but have yet to sail in one. I wonder how much mizzen envy I'll feel when she's finally launched.

    Quote Originally Posted by dalekidd View Post
    I have never regretted assembling with believers of like faith; no sympathy required or requested.
    A fair point and well said. I should refrain from casting reflections, mild and sympathetic as they may be, on anyone's attempt to commune with the sacred. It was just so good out there!


    - James

  12. #47
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    NW Georgia
    Posts
    383

    Default Re: My boy's first row

    Quote Originally Posted by pez_leon View Post
    What a beautiful boat, Dale! I hope the wind soon blows fair for launching and that you post plenty of pictures of the day. I am very curious to hear your take on the yawl sail plan. Because I'm building my Seil slowly, I committed to the boomless standing lug over a year ago but have yet to sail in one. I wonder how much mizzen envy I'll feel when she's finally launched.



    A fair point and well said. I should refrain from casting reflections, mild and sympathetic as they may be, on anyone's attempt to commune with the sacred. It was just so good out there!


    - James
    Thanks for the compliment! I kinda like it too.

    I know it's good out there! Like I said - I've been there.

    I'm looking forward to launching. Been waiting for this for 2 years. I've never sailed a lug rig let alone a lug/yawl. I've heard so much good about the mizzen that I just had to go with a boat that would accommodate that sail plan. I assure you, I will post a report.

    For your inspiration here's one of my favorite photos taken at sunrise after a night out on my little SD11 dinghy, Little Bit.

    DSCN4891rot 10x16.jpg

  13. #48
    Join Date
    Jan 2023
    Location
    France, Paris
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: My boy's first row

    You have a very sweet son!

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