Sailing takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be

Ah yes sailing. Not much more a man needs than wind, a stout vessel, and a can of A & W Root beer.

My love for sailing really began around 2007 or so. My dad and I were driving around one day and he says;

“Hey Robert, did you know I bought a sailboat?”

I had always seen them, and it interested me, but I had no idea how it would absolutely grip me as it has many men before me.

My dad had bought an old boat, an Islander Bahama 24′ at a Marina auction. Nobody else was bidding on it, so he ended up with it for $400. He always did these kinds of purchases where he’d buy something, then with no motivation or idea how to use it just let it sit. We went out that afternoon in the Alameda Estuary between Oakland and Alameda Island. I was hooked.

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The Chiton, up on the hard.

I ended up putting 1000’s of dollars into his boat, we did a few trips, then he let it become a crash pad for a few down and outers. The once joy of my life that I had spent time and money on fixing up became nothing more than a flop house.

I think part of the reason is my dad gets mad whenever he sees someone turning something of his around. I remember one day my wife and I were pulling up his dog feces encrusted carpet, with every intention of getting new carpet for him and he flipped his shit. What’s funny though is when he sets someone up for failure, and they fail he’s absolutely giddy. He’s a strange man.

About a year ago this month a coworker and I went in together on a boat, and it is NICE. A 30 foot Sabre. It hasn’t been without it’s ups and downs. This weekend we were supposed to go out to fleet week. For those not in the know, Fleet Week happens once a year in San Francisco bay, basically the Navy parades some of their ships under the golden gate and the Blue Angels put on a show. This was me in 2009.

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That’s a lotta boats.

Unfortunately this years trip was cut short by some problems with the sailboat. While fixing the poop pump I left a valve open, the boat flooded. We pumped out the water, closed the valve, cleaned things up. I thought things were fine, no issues the last 5 months or so. Then Friday, the boat wouldn’t start….

Turned out the water damaged the starter motor for the engine. Bummer.

So even though this year I won’t get to go to fleet week, I will get to spend tomorrow getting a new starter and with the help of another friend get it installed. Maybe, just maybe we’ll get to do some sailing tomorrow to forget about my fuckup.

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