Monday, 30 August 2010

Sailing the Bay

We're anchored outside Sausalito, which is one of the world's sailing hotspots. The docks are interesting, with few powerboats and a lot of rare and well-designed sailboats. I've even felt my fascination for sailboats renewed, so this entry is just mainstream boat porn.

San Francisco Bay is also very windy in the sailing season. A typical day would start grey or foggy, with little or no wind, but it will all change when the sun burns through around noon. You should expect 25-35 knots on a daily basis.

We took the rest of these pictures on a Sunday, from our anchorage. The boats kept coming in, and the gusts gave a lot of speed and action.

The Bay Area also has an active class of Folkboats, and this is the well proven design that predates the Contessa 26. This wooden specimen is a gem.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Go simple, go now

Last week we woke up to a strange silhuette. We couldn't figure out what kind of boat this was.

Later, as the sun rose above the San Francisco Bay, it seemed clear that it was some kind of super-yacht. In fact, it turned out that 'super-yacht' is a term of the past. It has been replaced with 'mega-yacht', and later 'giga-yacht', as this silhuette turned out to be.

Bika Contessa 26 giga-yacht AThe rich is getting richer, and the yachts are getting bigger. The silhuette was the giga-yacht "A", owned by the russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko.

I know that we advocate the saying 'go simple, go now'. However, it's possible to go in other fashions too. And quite frankly: this enormous yacht was impressive. The design seemed modern and stylish in every way.

We just had to jog Bika over for some pictures. Of course, we could have invited the billionaires for tea, as the only two foreign boats in Sausalito at that time. But it seemed rather unlikely to come true.

Bika Contessa 26 giga-yacht A
Bika Contessa 26 giga-yacht A
People often behave like kids around the billionaires expensive toys. But then it wears out. I can feel it now, looking at these pictures. The fascination for the absurdly rich is also a travel back to our own lives. It's a good feeling. I'm looking more and more on our own little boat. The pocket-cruiser Bika. Isn't she a piece of art? And what's that ugly thing in the background?

Bika Contessa 26

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Soft City

It's getting darker. The fog rolls in and everything seems softer. Buildings and cars, people who walk at the far end of the street. The whole financal district appears strangely vague. The upper floors are transparent, almost ghost-like. God knows what kinds of transactions they're dealing up there.

It's getting lighter. We're anchored somewhere in San Francisco, but I'm half asleep and half dead. There's music in the fog horns. The deep basses work their way through the sea and the city. Single, unadorned notes. A mystical minimalism. It's serene, and it reminds me more and more about the composer Arvo Pärt. There's a meditative quality that sinks in, somehow religious.

It makes me think about a church consert back in Norway. How the conductor held the silence in one of Pärt's compositions for maybe a minute after the last note. The audience fell apart in total silence. Our minds fell apart. The church fell apart.

Yes, we're anchored in Aquatic Park. The morning mist is dense and blue. We can hear the distorted echoing from sea lions barking underneath the breakwater. It's like iron clangs.

And there are other sounds around. We hear the soft splashes from people swimming. The morning is very cold, still there are swimmers everywhere. They are strangely low in the water. These are long distance swimmers, and we once met a couple all the way down at Coyote Point. It was a six hours swim.