Friday morning September 14 at 8:51 we cast off our dock lines from our berth at Marina Bay Yacht Harbor, which is where 'joice was when we bought her, and which has been our home base for the past year.
A bunch of our friends were accompanying us virtually, chatting with us on Slack on our phones when our attention allowed. As we sailed up Racoon Strait, which lies between Angel Island and the Marin coastline at Tiburon, we got a message: our dear friends Dan and Jenifer Ancona had been waiting for us in the Bay just outside the channel from Richmond to meet us and escort us to the Gate. The were aboard Resolute, our first boat, who now belongs to them. They'd even taken their son Marco, whose birth I supported as their doula, out of elementary school for the day to join the festivities. Their position made it faster for them to sail up the other side of Angel than follow us, so we met up at the far side of the strait where it opens up onto the approach to the Golden Gate Bridge. We danced our boats, sailing around each other in circles, taking photographs for each other, shrieking I LOVE YOU! OH MY GOSH! THIS IS AMAZING! back and forth, and weeping for the joy of being together in this incredible moment of fruition and inception. Great thanks to Dan for these images, which we treasure.
Then we did it!!
Our friend Gabe was standing up on the hillside in Marin beside the Golden Gate Bridge with his sweet little dog Luna. The fog was between us, but he managed to get a shot of us in our first moments in the Pacific! Thank you so much, darling. If you look at this on a big screen, you can see Rejoice in the bottom third of the image, a bit right of center.
At the head of this post is the first photograph of the two of us in the Pacific Ocean with the Golden Gate Bridge at our backs.
When you tell SF Bay sailors that you are going cruising, they all ask if you've been out the Gate, and then they tell you horror stories; it's kind of like being pregnant that way. For a long time I was terrified of this transition, having been taught that it was something to fear. On James' birthday in July, I woke up incandescent with joy and love for him. As the morning anxiety began to try to tell its story, I thought: "Instead of just brushing these thoughts away, could I perhaps transmute them?" I tried infusing the idea of departure with all this joy and love, and it flipped like a switch, all the energy that had been manifesting as anxiety turning suddenly into pure excitement. As the actual moment arrived, I was bright with excitement, a little bit nervous, and very, very happy. James and I couldn't stop talking about love and joy.
We chose a day with mild weather conditions to pass through the Gate with the morning ebb tibe, as the water just outside can be quite rough. The wind was light enough that we kept our engine on and motorsailed down to Half Moon Bay, staying a couple miles offshore throughout the trip, with land on our port side and the vast sea to starboard. We felt great peace to be in the ocean at last! It was a beautiful first coastal passage, about 5 hours to get down to Half Moon Bay, where we anchored at Pillar Point and were rewarded with a glorious sunset.
Thank you, San Francisco. It was an amazing 25 years. We are so grateful for everything we shared with you, and carry the people we love and the lessons we've learned in our hearts.