October 14th-November 15th, 2008: Alameda, California

October 14, 2008: Alameda, California

Today we slipped the mooring in Sausalito and headed across San Francisco Bay, bound for Alameda. A more interesting trip than we expected: interesting because a huge Cosco freight carrier came up behind us, passed us as we motored under the Bay Bridge, and then turned sharply to port, crossing about 1/4 mile ahead of us. Naturally she headed exactly where we were headed. Luckily, she was pulled over by her two tugs, just before we picked up Guy Stephens, our knowledgeable native guide, at the end of his dock, and then headed under 4 more bridges, three of which had to open for us. Great fun heading down the narrow channel, blowing the horn, one long followed by one short, to get the bridges to open. There is only one bridge-keeper, so he has to stop the traffic, open the bridge, wait for the boat to go through, close the bridge, let the traffic go, run to the next bridge and do the same. We certainly appreciated this, and especially when the third bridge opened just at the rush-hour closing time. He could have made us wait, but he let us through.

October 15th, 2008

We are now at a dock behind a house in Alameda. It’s less rolly and quieter here than Sausalito. Spent today getting Australia visa for Pat and tickets for both. Won’t go into the hours of frustration trying to find a travel agent in Sausalito (don’t bother-there isn’t one).

Took a long walk and bus ride to check out the area. Great grocery store not far away. Staggered back to the boat, loaded with groceries, and had a quick stir-fry before Guy picked us up to take us to Aikido in the park. This was a first for Pat, and a refresher for Tony, who had done it for a year more than 20 years ago. We loved it. What a great way to meet some wonderful people of Alameda - good teachers, lots of fun, with hearts of gold. And we both loved the workout.

Now we are spending our time getting the boat and ourselves sorted out for the winter. The weather is so perfect here. 82+ degrees and sun for the next week at least. This is the weather we have been waiting for! Let’s hope fall never arrives!

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