Bringing out the big guns

IMG_5919 (1280x853)We sailed from Oakland YC to Brisbane Marina in San Francisco Bay on September 11, 2011 and the Coast Guard and police were out in full force.

As we motored out of the Oakland-Alameda estuary, the Coast Guard pulled over boat after boat behind us. I don’t know what questions they asked but they didn’t seem to stay on any particular vessel for a long period of time.

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I’m glad they didn’t make it to us because, as much as I appreciate their intentions and respect their right to patrol, I’m not a huge fan of having guns this big pointed at my body or my vessel. We joked that the huge purple sunglasses that I was wearing probably took us out of any danger profiles.

We were once approached by the Canadian Coast Guard. We were in our dinghy watching the fireworks on Canada Day and they checked our safety gear, congratulated us on being so prepared (we had our ditch bag with us at the time and so had survival gear far superior to what the situation called for), and gave us a flashing LED light. And once we the US Coast Guard in Washington came alongside and checked our passports while we were sailing (very slowly) through their waters while tacking back and forth on the US-Canada border in Haro Strait.

SF Bay was our first time being in a position to assist the Coast Guard. Usually we are too far away, given how slow we are, to aid any of the many pan-pan and mayday calls we have heard. This time we were on the scene. It turned out to be a derelict boat (notice the shopping cart? there also wasn’t an engine and the dash was ripped out) but we were glad to be able to notify the CG to that effect because it meant little risk of a person in the water.

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  1. Let's see... big purple sunglasses, zebra print shoes, in California.... you're only missing the fake fur vest and the protest sign to legalize marijuana on the side of the boat.

  2. Did you call the grocery store and claim salvage rights on the cart?

  3. Well, we have so many carts aboard already, so...



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