Honey Do’s That Didn’t
No water coming out of the faucet, again. Would this be grounds for murder? I believe no jury in the world would convict me when they hear my story.
A week ago the fresh water pump gave out. It was 10 years old and had done a good job, but when it pooped out it left us high and dry, literally. Even our electric head uses fresh water to flush.
Sweetie will do anything to avoid going into the engine room, which is where most water pumps are located. After much prodding and poking of switches on the electrical panel it was determined that yes, indeed the pump was kaput. “Oh well,” said my cherished spouse and plopped back down in his recliner. No further activity was evidently forthcoming.
“I believe we have a spare water pump and I think I even know where it is,” I volunteered. Sweetie looked miffed. He obviously did not want to undertake a project of this magnitude that late in the day (16:30 hours) even if it meant going without water and having a mad wife on his hands. Not being similarly inclined, I felt that running water is something to be at least strived for, if not actually achieved. My motivation technique is that of a sheep dog, keep nipping at the heels until they finally acquiesce. The spare pump was located and installed, with much huffing and puffing. I was made acutely aware that this project was not a voluntary one. Poor Sweetie was especially unhappy when, a few days after the repair/install was complete, the auxiliary pump pooped out and we were left high and dry again.
How am I supposed to cook with no water? I have filled every available container from the hose on the dock and am considering running the garden hose through the window, but I think lighting a fire under my spouse might be the best option. If only he did not have such an explosive temper. I like to think of it as a challenge to my skills of diplomacy which, unfortunately, I learned from my mother.
Boats are a collection of systems which, when working properly together, provide everything you might require while away from the dock; whether it is water from the tanks and pumps, electricity from the batteries and generator or all those other bits and pieces that make the engine room so crowded. When one of those systems fails, it all goes to hell in a hand basket. At the very least the wife gets cross.
A trip to West Marine, a little cursing in the aisles because they do not have the correct pump in stock, a bite out of the credit card, a vociferous installation and, viola, I once again have running water. Plenty of Atta-Boy’s and a grand, tasty dinner were his reward.
Fathom Marine is doing a big engine service for us. All three engines are getting new belts, impellers and fluids. The replacement impellers are on order and should be in this week. I cannot wait to get back on the water! There was a little heat spell this past week and we would have gone out to anchor had we been allowed to start our engines, but Fathom Marine has begun the work so the keys are out of the ignition until the project is complete and my checkbook is empty.
I find it much easier to write while we are at anchor. There are fewer distractions but, alas, since we are dock bound I must make do with my lovely view of the mountain until Fathom Marine has been and gone.
You know the term out of sight, out of mind? I just made my way to the flying bridge to remove a sun shade that Sweetie had put up during the heat spell. Where does all that dirt come from? You would think that being on the water would be cleaner than on land. Holy smokes, I could grow potatoes up there with all the dirt that has blown down on us. You know what I will be doing directly after deadline.
Since the boat is currently not willing to play, we took a drive over to Half Moon Bay to take a few photos of the dismantling of the old Romeo Fish Packing Pier.
The Harbor at Half Moon Bay is made up of two parts, the outer harbor and Johnson Pier, which was built much later and encloses the recreational and fishing fleet. Johnson Pier is located inside the outer harbor wall.
The outer harbor sea wall was pushed for by Coast side residents and fishermen back in 1933. Work finally began after WWII. It took until 1961 for the Army Corps of Engineers to complete the sea wall which encloses both the inner and outer harbors at Half Moon Bay. The Romeo Fish Packing Pier was originally built back in 1944, before the sea wall was built, and was the center of fishing activity and an active production facility until the 1980’s. Since the time of the closure the pier has been deteriorating a little more each time a winter storm blows through with chunks and bits dropping off and creating all sorts of havoc inside the enclosed harbor. Every day large flakes of paint were dropping into the water and pier debris is being removed from surrounding beaches several times a month. There had been talk many years ago of turning the old pier into shops and restaurants however the cost to remodel was prohibitive as the pier was too far gone.
The Romeo Fish Packing Pier, during its most active period of production, was open to the sea for almost 17 years before the outer harbor sea wall was built. We have exited that harbor in a southern storm and I know personally how the waves build and crash against that sea wall. I can only imagine how it must have been to dock a fully loaded sardine fishing boat against those stationary pilings in gale force winds and breaking seas from the south. Don’t you just love boating?
After years of going through the permit process with the Coastal Commission, the Army Corps and the National Marine Fisheries Service and making environmental surveys showing that the removal of the pier would not harm marine life, the project was commenced.
Once everything was in place, the San Mateo County Harbor District moved forward quickly with the demolition. The task was accomplished in only 3-4 weeks, completed entirely from the water and cost an estimated $2.3 million with the major cost being the disposal of some nasty hazardous materials including mercury, asbestos, creosote and lead based paints. A floating boom surrounded the 690-foot pier so that nothing evil could escape. A 200-foot barge was set up to collect the various bits and pieces of the old structure and a 250 ton Crawler crane was on hand to handle most of the heavy lifting. Overall it was a well thought out and executed project.
Sadly, the old pier was considered an icon and will be missed by some. The next time we are over that way I will send you a photo of the same view, sans pier.
The nice thing about visiting Half Moon Bay, either by water or land, is that it is a vibrant community with an active commercial fishing fleet, restaurants, hotels, shops and gorgeous nature hikes all within easy walking distance. We took a walk out to Pillar Point where the famous Maverick’s surf competition takes place.
Folks were out with kids and dogs and everybody seemed to be having a fine time. After an invigorating walk, the catch of the day at the local brew pub was a nice finish to our adventure. Half Moon Bay is an easy cruise from the Golden Gate and the Half Moon Bay Yacht Club is welcoming. Fall is the ideal time to make an ocean cruise.
The Home Front
Fathom Marine has found that the port engine is overheating just a bit (again?) and recommends the heat exchanger be removed for a thorough cleaning and reaming. Oyster Cove has been experiencing a major increase in oysters in recent years. A single female oyster can produce over 100,000,000 (yes, that is MILLION) eggs annually. The little spat attach themselves to everything and can play havoc with the internal workings of an engine, not to mention props, shafts and struts. Cleaning the heat exchanger is much less expensive than replacing an engine. I guess we will need to wait just a bit longer before we get out on the water. I was invited to join the press boat for the annual West Point Regatta. This is a great race/party that begins as a mad dash around Alcatraz and ends up in Redwood City. Unfortunately a broken toe kept me lashed to the gunnels here at home. So much for the opportunity for a jolly boat ride.
Sail Versus Power
Paying for and maintaining this boat in safe working order is a priority for me. I love to be out on the water and the only way I know how to get there, other than swimming, is by boat. Our sailboat was much less expensive to operate and maintain, having only one very small engine, but I feel the benefits of the trawler are worth the additional expense. I love being able to see over the levees when we are in the Delta and staying high and dry here on the Bay is also a major plus. The trawler is far more comfortable than the sailboat for living even though, surprisingly, it has much less storage space. I have never shied away from disposing of unused or unwanted items so that does not present a problem. The large windows in the salon provide ample light and my view of Mt. San Bruno is one I enjoy every day, a huge improvement over the tiny port lights on the sailboat. Except for the fact that this trawler eats the entirety of my savings account on a regular basis, it is a very fine vessel.
Big Changes At Ballena Bay
Safe Harbor Marinas is setting out to restore Ballena Isle Marina to its former glory, and also invites you to visit the newest location for Rubicon Yachts. When you are over that way, take a tour of the brand new B-dock which has been completely rebuilt using aluminum docks with composite decking, effective lighting and single phase electrical.
Ballena Isle Marina is located at 1150 Ballena Blvd. #111, Alameda, CA 94501.
Emeryville Marina and Freedom Boat Club are pleased to announce that Freedom Boat Club will open a new San Francisco Bay Area location at the Emeryville Marina this month.
They will feature a late model Jeanneau 695 Pilot House, a Jeanneau 695 Sport model which features a live bait well ideal for those fishing adventures outside the gate and a Key West 239f’s 10 passenger center console excursion boat.
Freedom’s new location will appeal to Bay Area boating enthusiasts who wish to take advantage of the many boating, fishing and sightseeing opportunities afforded by the Bay without the hassles of owning and maintaining a boat. Hallelujah to that brother! Emeryville Marina has the easiest access to the Bay and is located at 3310 Powell Street, Emeryville, CA. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Garret McKinney will be acting as interim General Manager on the Emeryville Marina team to allow Michelle Shadows to focus on filling slips, including the brand new B dock and continuing the remaining renovations at Ballena Isle Marina.Garrett hails from Safe Harbor Marina’s Cabrillo Isle Marina in San Diego.
He brings experience in the marina industry as well as roots in the fishing industry. Garret’s previous assignments have included managing Fiddler’s Cove Marina for the Department of Defense as well as San Diego Yacht Club.
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park’s free Festival of the Sea takes place August 18 at the Hyde Street Pier. Enjoy live, traditional music; explore boats large and small; watch historic riggers splice and worm; and make fun, maritime crafts with your younger crew members. This year’s Festival welcomes renowned musical performers from across the country, representing the natural diversity of America’s rich maritime heritage. For more information on this and other events, please call 415/447-5000 or visit nps.gov/safr, and on Twitter @SFMaritimeNPS.
That’s a wrap for me this month. If you have questions, comments or contributions please send them to me at email@example.com. Until Next month, be joyful! H