Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sailing on the bay

Dick Haiduck is a friend that I met about 15 years ago in the biotech industry when he was with a company called Desmos in San Diego. Over the last 15 years Dick has moved about the industry and is now working independently as what I call a CEO gofor. That is, he reports to the CEO's of a number of biotech companies and does work specifically for the CEO. He usually has 3 in his stable and provides them with resources that CEO's need to satisfy the requirements of their respective boards. Dick now lives down on the peninsula with is wife Barb and the two of them are some of the nicest people you could ever meet. Dick and Barb are what you call a "Miami Merger"- Miami University (that's the university that was a university before Florida was a state) has an incredible number of kids who meet in college and "merge" their lives- Dick and Barb are one much "merger". Barb hails from Hamilton, Ohio- And they spent some early days of their marriage living in Cincinnati so they are really folks from home. They're the sort of folks you just like to be around doing "whatever"- but sailing was a huge treat.

Dick has a sail boat that he docks in the marina just next to AT&T baseball park here in San Francisco and he asked Max and me to go sailing with him and Barb last Sunday. We of course jumped at the opportunity and scheduled to meet them at the marina at 1:00. We both got there at about 1:00, but as it turned out there are two parking lots at the Marina and we were at one and he and Barb were at the other. We were both about to give up on meeting each other when I decided to do some searching and found them sitting on a curb waiting patiently for us to show up.

Once we finally got organized and I was parked in the right parking lot, we prepared his sail boat for some time on the bay.

Now Max has never really sailed and I had only been out once several years before with Dick while at a conference here is SF. I wasn't really "nervous" about the adventure- we see so many boats at in the bay I rather thought had gotten use to the idea. But I must admit my heart did race a bit when Dick asked me if I knew how to swim- well one thing for sure I hadn't planned on swimming- I don't like swimming even in more hospitable water. He then did reassure me we weren't at risk of tipping over- well not much risk but I could wear a life vest if I wished- I bravely said no. We set off out of the marina and sailed under the Bay Bridge heading for Alcatraz Island and beyond. But it was a pretty windy day and the bay west of the Bay Bridge was pretty rough. That's Alcatraz in the background and a large container ship that was steaming into the harbor.

It was "smooth sailing" until we crossed under the Bay bridge on our way to Angel Island, Alcatraz and views of the Golden Gate Bridge- But the minute we crossed out into this part of the Bay the waters got SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO rough and the waves SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO big.

So we turn and go back towards the Bay Bridge- and then try again. Now this was the moment of the real racing heart- we dipped and the wave came crashing over - splashing cold water all around- just like those movies of the battle between the angry sea and the fisherman's boat- But before I could get really nervous at all it was over and we were headed back to calmer water.
And below is Barb with the rapidly closing container shop passing us by.

Max's first indication that this was not just a sail in the park was when a wave broke over the bow and sent rather cold water spraying on us all. We tried the waters west of the Bay Bridge for a while and then decided to head back to calmer waters not too far from the baseball park.

Once we got into some decent water with steady but not too heavy winds, Dick felt that it was calm enough for both Max and I to take our turns at the wheel and we sailed on the bay for over two hours. But Dick was always close by making sure we didn't all get wet.

I was just more than a bit nervous about about "driving" this boat- But Dick was determined that I have an opportunity to take the "helm". I thought I was doing absolutely perfect until Don and Dick pointed out the the tail of my driving so visible in the wake of the boat was very, very ripply- to say I was weaving a bit was an understatement- And I hadn't noticed at all!

She was doing great and building confidence until the wind changed a little and we were suddenly moving a bit faster and starting to list over as the wind bit into our sales.

We finally headed back to the marina and with the baseball park in the background, we brought the boat back into the dock. But before we arrived in the dock Dick and Don brought in the sails.

Then it was the drive into the marina.

By now the Giants game was over and the water a softer blue. What a fantastic day! I just love doing things for the very first time- at 59 years old!

It was a great day on the bay, although I got some real sun burns on my face (the only part of me exposed since it was pretty cool out on the water and I just didn't recognize that the UV rays were still burning through my cheeks (on my face).


Anonymous said...

You two are so adventuresome! I love that you are and that you post all about it. I get to experience it with you! I hope to follow your lead and not allow dust to settle on my butt when I hit the 50"s as well!
Can't wait to see you in June!

Anonymous said...

Great blog, great adventure. Mom, I think you were born with sea legs!

Karen said...

What wonderful experiences you are having!

Lucas said...

Those pictures were just fabulous and you two just look like a couple of kids on the water! What a splendid day to have and I'm so pleased for you! Cheers to all your adventures!