April 26/27, 2003
Encinal Yacht Club Cruise

(If you like, you can skip down through the prose and go straight to the pictures below!)

After a week of cold, windy rain, Saturday morning dawned sunny and mild. Low cumulus bubbled up over the hills around the bay in the moist, still air as the fleet powered to the Treasure Island rendezvous point under the Bay Bridge. Julian & Debby Cohen's Four Cs and Vanishing Animal arrived from the south, Gary & Pat Salvo on Ophira and John & Nanci Melton on Freedom Won were on the north side. Harry Farrell on Pacific HIgh joined up and headed for the estuary, while Don Henderson on Kindred Spirits (with Treasurer Ron Damsen aboard as crew) followed up about a mile behind. Dennis, Judy & Matt Bush, Cruise Coordinators, were waiting with Natural High and Cruise Chairman Charles Hodgkins when we arrived at Encinal about 1 pm after an easy, sunny ride. Charles, as Officer of the Day, directed everyone neatly to their berths.

We passed Jack London Square with Pacific Sail Expo going on - complete with Dennis Connor's America's Cup contender Stars and Stripes as the star attraction, along with the newly-built Irving Johnston, and local color Hawiian Chieftan.

Everyone enjoyed swapping stories as the six arrived boats rafted neatly at the outer end of Enicnal's guest dock. Some cool, passing clouds failed to dampen the spirits, particularly as more fleet members arrived by car. There was Bill Higdon (Blockbuster), Lou & Diane Zevanov (Diane), Linda McClellan and pregnant daughter Annette (4 Our Sanity), Jim Stover (Solace), Hank & Patti Williams (Night Train), and wives Kathryn Hodgkins, Marge Higdon and Karen Damsen. Art & Betsy Fowler were right next door at Svendsen's working on Zenith's bottom, and Arnie & Louise Gallegos arrived in time for dinner. A grand total of 15 boats were represented by 30 folks.

At 5:15 almost everyone piled into cars and headed for Svendsen's yard for a special, after hours, "Fleet NIght", complete with wine, nibbles, and most important up to 50% discounts on merchandise. Sean Svendsen, son of founder Sven Svendsen, welcomed us, telling of the 40 years they have been in business and how Svendsen's has expanded to provide a very wide range of services - including this their first "Fleet Night". In addition to the traditional basic boatyard services of haul/launch and bottom work, they provide the full range of painting options for spars, decks, topsides and bottoms, plus they have a full rigging shop on premesis, a machine shop to do repairs and custom metal work, and an engine shop. They are also skilled with wooden boats and sell dinghies too. Their chandlery, with over 40,000 items, is more fully stocked than many big boat supply chain stores, and they even sell wholesale to other marine yards across the country and to Europe and Mexico. I don't know if it was the wine or the great prices, - 40% off on line had our members standing in line to add or replace running rigging - but there were smiles on everyone's faces, including all 5 of the helpful and knowledgeabe Svendsen's staff who were there to serve us. As several of our members remarked when we returned for dinner, "Next time I will certainly be more prepared for these great deals!" Those who missed this opportunity, really missed both a fun event and a great value. So if you're in the neighborhood, stop in and take a look. A collective warm "Thank You" to Svendsen's!

Having shopped til we dropped, all settled in for a fine dinner at Encinal. Beef, chicken and shrimp dishes were all delicious and graciously served. It was around 2200 when we all drifted back our boats and a peaceful night's sleep.

Sunday was Opening Day on the Bay - the traditional start of the summer sailing season on San Francisco Bay. This sometimes wild and wooly event draws upwards of 500 to 1000 boats, complete with a blessing of the fleet, a parade of dressed boats of all kinds around the Bay, and the nortorious flying water balloons and occasional bare-breasted women. The judges committe boat happen to leave from the Encinal dock, so we were treated to a few of the entries as they left Sunday morning.

It was a warm and wonderful rendezvous, enjoyed by all!

Pictures are compliments of Ron Damsen, Bill Higdon, Barb Henderson & Rick Van Mell. Charles Hodgkins has posted his pictures of the cruise on thier web site, and the link is included at the bottom of the pictures below. Click on images to enlarge, click "Back" to return.

Julian & Debby Cohen's Four Cs approaches the Bay Bridge rendezvous point.. Teak checks out Ophira and Four Cs as they rendezvous.
Gary & Pat Salvo on Ophira. Harry Farrell arrives with Pacific High..
Let's Go!. Four Cs rounds the channel buoy close aboard to minimize current and stay ahead of Pacific High.
Dennis Connor's America's Cup contender Stars & Stripes graces the Oakland waterfront. the Hawiian Chieftan is nearby.
Encinal Yacht Club was our host for this rendezvous. Cruise Chairman & Encinal Officer of the Day, Charles Hodgkins chats with Julian & Debby Cohen.
It's hard to move three boats at once! One by one, they're all here.
Everyone is getting shipshape. Judy Bush checks in with Rick on Vanishing Animal.
Tied up sung & secure. Max (Melton) on Freedom Won isn't so sure about this "tied up" business!
Commodore Don Henderson is all smiles. John Melton returns the expression.
Gary Salvo declares all is well. First Mates' conference on the dock.
Commodore Henderson shows us how he reminds himself to favor his still-mending hand! Teak goes looking for Cathy on Ophira.
Cathy is more interested in Max! Mom, Max is really such a nice boy.
Ok, I'll get on your boat, and you can get on mine. Canine corps will please report for duty.
Harry Farrell is a straight forward kind of guy - just read his hat. Of course the back end tells the rest-of-the-story!
Harry Farrell & Carol Williams celebrate mellow time. That's so much fun, Debby & Julian Cohen and Karen Damsen indulge too.
Now it's goodie basket time. Which one is the dog?!
You would swear the Commodore had something important to attend to! Annette & Linda McClellan, Judy Bush & Barb Henderson chat on the dock.
Ron Damsen keeps it all in focus. Dad, isn't it time to go to Svendsen's?
That's why everyone is gathering on the dock. Mother & daughter McClellan pause for one more chat.
The mighty Islander crew arrives at Svendsen's. The last of the crowd makes it through the door.
Sean Svendsen welcomes us to the evening's event. John Melton checks out cleats and says, "I'll take one of each."
Now this is how you prepare to shop! Patti Williams & Debby Cohen take a moment out form serious shopping.
Veg, dip & Cheese - nice and mellow. A treasure chest of nautical items..
Hank Williams compares notes with Ron & Karen Damsen. The Kindred Spirits crew ae definitely " Retail Customers"!
Betsy & Art Fowler show off Zenith's new bottom. Carol Williams, Harry Farrell & Karen Damsen think it's time to enjoy dinner.
Ron Damsen, Betsy & Art Fowler. Commodore Don & Barb Henderson with Julian & Debby Cohen.
Arnie & Louise Gallegos from Mi Amor. Gary Salvo, Nanci & John Melton (Freedom Won), Charles Hodgkins, and Diane Zevanov.
Diane & Lou Zevanov (Diane), Marge and Bill Higdon. Hank & Patti Williams (Night Train), "moneybags" Dennis Bush with trickster Matt Bush.
Harry Farrell & Karen Damsen solve the problems of the world. Rick relaxes (for a moment) with Hank Williams, Judy Bush and Linda and Annette McClellan.
Judy Bush with Linda & Amanda McClellan. Sail San Francisco Executive Director Alison Healy (Tall Ships organizer) & judge for Opening Day on the Bay, stops for a chat.
Boat US was a major sponsor of Opening Day on the Bay. The Judges boat heads for the Bay - looking like a dressed ship itself!
John Melton had Freedom Won heading for home.Light going for crew practice on Pacific High.
Pacific Sail Expo at Jack London Square - note comparative size of Stars & Stripes! The rest of the show..
Oakland's container cranes look like Spielberg movie monsters!

Here's a link to some more great pictures of the weekend from Charles & Kathryn Hodgkins: http://www.sailingmischief.com/Islander36Cruises/Encinal/index.html

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