April 24/25, 2004
Encinal Yacht Club Cruise

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

In fine California fashion, Saturday morning dawned sunny and mild however without any wind. The fleet powered to the Treasure Island rendezvous point under the Bay Bridge by 1100 hours, and Gary & Pat Salvo on Ophira called the roll at 1106. Present and accounted for were Julian & Debby Cohen's Four Cs, Harry Farrell & Carol Williams on Pacific High, Jim & Bill HIgdon on Blockbuster, Chris Mellor & Kelly Montana on Spindrift, Treasurer Ron Damsen & Karen on Woodbine, and Skipper & Nancy Wall on Snowflower. Don Henderson reported in by radio that Kindred Spirits was approaching from the Golden Gate bridge, and Vanishing Animal was just clearing Hunters Point from the south and Rick Van Mell reported that it would be another 50 minutes against the tide. So the gathered armada departed Treasure Island and headed down the estuary for Encinal - under power, dead before what little wind there was.

Secretary Charles Hodgkins and Kathryn left Mischief tied up in her slip next door at Marina Village, but was on the dock with a hand-held VHF to direct boats into the Encinal dock. We moored the first seven Islanders med-style, all stern to the dock. When Kindred Spirit, with Bruce Hope as crew, and Vanishing Animal showed up, they went ahead of the first pack. Dennis & Matt Bush arrived with Natural High and found a berth on the far side of the dock, and Measurer Paul Tara, with help from Mary McKinnon and the kids, tucked Zoop alongside Kindred Spirits.

Mother Nature's natural thermal-driven airconditioning was on the fritz, thanks to a building high pressure inland, so instead of the cooling afternoon breeze, temperatures continued to climb into the low 80s. Not to worry mate, cockpit covers and umbrellas sprouted on the boats to relax in the shade. the hard core soon migrated to the wonderful Encinal porch, overlooking the harbor and fleet, in the shade with a nice breeze.

Everyone enjoyed swapping stories as more members began to arrive by land cruiser. There was Jim & Lauri Stover (Solace & Evanescence F-36), and Lou & Diane Zevanov (Diana) and Art Fowler Zenith who had both been right next door at Marina Villiage on their boats. The Gypsy syndicate, headed by Jeff Knoll, also joined the group. Most important, Les Raos, Commodore of Encinal Yacht Club and his fiancee Elizabeth Bishop graciously welcomed the fleet on the porch. Less has recently purchased the I-36 Kapai - a Moari term for "that's great". They're going to bre married in New Zeland in Octboer. Matthew Callahan (Iolanthe) joined as a new member right in the middle of the Svendsen's shopping! That made a grand total of 18 boats being represented by 37 folks, counting youngsters Claire Mellor, Matt Bush and Patrick Tara, but not counting canine mascots Teak & Nellie.

Even before the appointed 1700 hours, people started piling into cars for the ride to Svendsen's yard for a special, after hours, "Fleet Night", complete with wine, nibbles, and most important up to 40% discounts on merchandise. We even beat Sean Svendsen, son of founder Sven Svendsen, to the party. Instead telling us of the 40 years they have been in business and how Svendsen's has expanded to provide a very wide range of services (which he did last year), he told us of his great day of racing a Knarr, a classic San Francisco Bay boat to a 2nd and 3rd for the day.

Svendsen's, in addition to the traditional basic boatyard services of haul/launch and bottom work, provides 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.

The line at the cash register was certainly long - despite (or perhaps because of) the great pictures of eating and rinking below! A rough estimate was that the Islanders purchased over $8,000 worth of toys. Then we piled back into the various cars that had brought us and headed back for dinner. 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, there was time for a "short one" aboard, then all settled in for a fine dinner at Encinal. Beef, chicken and ono tuna 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. One spectator boat happened to leave from the Encinal dock as they took on about 100 passengers.

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

Pictures are compliments of Barb Henderson, Bill Higdon, & Rick Van Mell. Click on images to enlarge, click "Back" to return.

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Glorious Islanders at Encinal Snug at the dock Dinghy sailor Paul Tara with Chris Mellor & Kelly Montana Med-moored and ready for fun
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The rest of the crowd Teak says it's cooler on the porch Most folks agree! Karen & Ron Damsen, Carol Williams & Nancy Wall agree.
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Solving the problems of the world Ah, relaxation Skipper Wall, Rick Van Mell & Comodore Farrell anchor the wall Rendezvous coordinator Charles Hodgkins
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A beautiful Freeport sails past Discounts at Svendsens? Let's go! How did Smokey get all those people in one thing? Ready to storm Svendsens
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Jim Higdon & Don Henderson Julian & Debby Cohen and Kathryn Hodgkins
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Goodies to shop by! Karen starts the wine flowing! Diane Zevanov samples the mushrooms Shop til you drop!
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Bruce Hope & Gypsy crew Charles, Don, Bruce, & Salvos Kelly Montana & Claire, Diane Zevanov & Debby Cohen Patrick & Claire
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Sean Svendsen Sean Svendsen welcomes the crowd Kathryn, Carol & Karen are ready for heavy weather shopping After the spree the loot goes home!
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Hardly room for goodies & people! Time for a nip before dinner A quick cocktail aboard Kindred Spirits Party animals!
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Commodore Farrell with new members Nellie would rather not listen to mom Kelly Montana Bows lined up Tranquility at Encinal
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Bill & Jim Higdon (Blockbuster) Commodore Harry Farrell Smokey & Laurie Stover Newsletter Editor Barb Henderson & Bruce Hope
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Dinner at last says Debby Cohen and Gary & Pat Salvo Ron & Karen Damsen with Dennis & Matt Bush New members ready to chow down Nancy & Skipper Wall
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Commodore Farrell & Carol Williams We needed more tables for Chris & Kelly Mellor/Montana, & Paul Tara Mary McKinnon & Paul Tara Diane & Lou Zevanov and Smokey & Laurie Stover
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Les Raos & Fiancee Elizabeth Bishop in red Rick & Encinal Commodore Les Raos Spectator boat loading passengers for Opening Day On The Bay

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