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Category Archives: Sailing

Yesterday, as part of my Volunteer in Parks training, I was treated to, along with my fellow SFMNHP docents, a behind the scenes tour of Alcatraz Island by the lead interpretive ranger there.  Caught the 9:30 ferry and seeing all the other docents in uniform made me realize how geeky in love I am with my volunteer commitment.  We gathered and caught the 9:30 Ferry to the island and were greeted by the lead interp.  We were able to stow our gear in the Ranger office because the day proved quite mild whereas we had all geared up for weather most inclement.  One never knows in San Francisco.

The lead ranger started the tour in the barracks where the Rangers have their offices.  Immediately I was taken by the pastel lead paint of the 1905 structure realizing that I have similar colors in the insides of my flat’s cabinets and I was getting some good ideas for design.  The tour led us all over and what was scheduled as a 3 hour tour ended up running 5.  I got to scale the light house and climb on top, get locked in a cell and explore the gunnery, the place where the guards would keep watch behind wrought iron gates so that the inmates couldn’t get at them.  It was an amazing tour.  One I won’t forget.

So I was just arriving at Pier 33 after the boat docked at 3.  Warriors Choice Yoga looked like it was a miss, but I decided that I could do Naked Yoga for Men.  Had enough time to snack and nap.  Had a couple of beers and ventured off to Naked Yoga.

Class was fairly small because of the Lost finale and Darren was teaching much to my relief.  Somehow my nap had caused a significant soreness in my left shoulder and bearing weight on it was quite painful so I had to modify.  I’ve never been sick at sea, but onshore I still remember the rolling of the waves and I was getting a little sea sick from inverting and balancing.  It was obviously bad and Darren came over to see what was wrong and I explained that my shoulder hurt and inversions are making me nauseous.  Darren read the energy of the class which was low and the rest of the session became somewhat restorative.  Maybe I shouldn’t have gone.

I came home and relaxed.  Ended up falling asleep on the couch watching Doctor Who and woke up in the middle of the night to find now that my right knee is giving me pain.

Grr… there goes any hope of getting in a run on Monday.  I woke up, realized that my knee was stiff and sore, couldn’t go to 7am yoga nor my run with Santa.  I texted her I couldn’t make it but got no answer.  I took a Tylenol 3 and got back in bed.  Santa called and I explained what was going on.  I hate saying this knee is from running, but everything is connected.  Thinking the worst about the marathon and then just let it go.  Good news followed, my Aunt Teresa called to tell me she had tickets to give me for the Giant’s game.  I played an online poker tournament and had coffee until she stopped by to drop them off.

Finished up the poker tournament and I’m thinking I’ll be good to go and start doing weight training at the gym since my knee is fucked up and I want to start doing upper body regularly.  Just put on a fresh tank and went down and did a bar routine with 2 exercises going, no rest in between, 3 sets each until muscle failure.  Then I did the same with dumb bells, modifying a bit.  Then Fauxnique walked in to teach her 4:30 class.  I finished up on my workout about 4:20 and went to go talk to her about my knee and let her convince me I could hang in there to get yoga.

Went back to my Contour to get my mat and came into the studio and found a sunny spot to do yoga.  The class was smooth and gave me the confidence to know that I can go yoga tomorrow but I’m waiting for the stiffness to get out my knee before I push running.  I was just really happy to get my workout in today despite this setback.  I’m just going to keep positive, train smart and keep going.


I dropped my Aikane off at the airport early Saturday morning, and crunching the time, I knew I would have just enough time to do trail before I sailed.  We had a great visit, getting to know each other further, playing ‘ukulele together and listening to music from my Hawaiian music collection on vinyl which Aikane agrees is a treasure.  Aikane served as a catalyst to help me get my act together, encouraged me to keep playing in my own style and I think with friends who you don’t see in awhile, you see yourself as a reflection of who you were in the past reverberating through the future.  Probably one of the best benefits of friendship is that friends remind you of who you are, especially when you get lost in yourself.

Because I thought that Aikane was going to be staying all day on Saturday as well, I was trying to  book a tour on the Alma for us, but since he was leaving in the morning, I invited the last guy I dated, LGID, to come sailing with me because he just moved into the neighborhood and I seem to be bumping into him alot lately and I think I’d like to start a new friendship with him instead of a dating relationship.  LGID is having problems with the developer of the condominium he just moved into because the developer has gone bankrupt and does not have the cash to restore the tenant’s security deposits while the property is being foreclosed.  LGID asked me to accompany to his tenant’s meeting on Tuesday, so I thought hanging out and sailing would be a good way to bond with each other in a friendly way.

So after coming home from the airport, I quickly changed into my gear and went down to Baker to do this hill work through the Presidio.  I did well and did it strong.  1 hour and 14 minutes and I found a new trail down from Immigrant Point Overlook that has been redone in stairs that take you right down to the Sand Ladder.  Just to finish as fast as I could I ran back down the switch back that leads to Battery Chamberlain.  In my car, and back home to make a smoothie and change for a tour on the Alma.

It was a perfect day for sailing, when I was on the trail the sun dispersed the marine layer assisted by just enough breeze to disintegrate any traces of presentiments foul.  No need to wear the ski jacket like I had originally planned, instead I layered a light t-shirt underneath my signed ENSLAVED t-shirt, camo-pants, hiking boots.  A nylon shell vest under my Adidas running jacket.  Nike Shades and fleece gloves just in case.  In my back-pack I stowed my manual 35mm camera, field glasses and some peach custard mochi that Aikane brought me from Japan.  Went to go pick up LGID down the street and parked the Contour in Upper Fort Mason.

I found a trail straight through the residences at Fort Mason that I just knew would lead down to the Municipal Pier at Aquatic Park.  I’m developing good scouting skills being on the trail so often.  The steps at the end of the residences led down into a lawned clearing with a battery gun, barbecues and picnic tables.  Battery West.  Down a Nasturtium and Blackberry concrete staircase and walkway, this path leads one right out past the water tank towers and I led LGID through Aquatic Park to the Pier.

There were lots of open water swimmers in the harbor prepping for the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon.  It was a good thing I did my course on Saturday because that meant I could take an active rest day on Sunday.  The Triathlon is running straight through my course in the Presidio.  LGID and I walked up to the Hyde Street Pier and got signed in and our boarding passes at the ticket booth.  We had just under and hour before the Alma set out and we both were hungry.  We were going to go to Jack’s Bar in the courtyard of the Cannery, but they weren’t serving food that early at 11:30 so we sat at table for the Mermaid in the same court.  I was worried that we wouldn’t have enough time to eat, but they accomodated us, bringing his burger, my fish sandwich our beers and my cocktail with the check and a box for me to go.

Checked in at the dock and the Ranger warned us to take a piss and get water as there were no facilities aboard.  We went back to take care of all that and as I did so, ran into the Volunteer coordinator and asked him if I could get a ball cap for my uniform.  He happened to just have them in his office, so I got two different styles while LGID got the waters.  Went aboard the Alma got oriented to the ship by captain and crew and saw a red jellyfish swimming around the side.

I was really impressed by the way the Captain wore dual tooled leather belts: one to hold up his pants and one slung low around his hips to hold his knives.  They asked for volunteers to haul line and I was selected by the first mate and found myself in the lead pulling the boat out to the buoy.  I rather enjoyed it and tried to help out with the lines whenever it was available.

We set sail towards Alcatraz, and the Ranger led the interpretation.  I love being on a boat and after awhile I kicked back on the hatch and let myself doze asleep.  We passed Angel Island where they were doing a historical reenactment.  They shot a cannon as we sailed by.  Coming around Angel Island near Tiburon we got flashed titties by two chicks sailing aboard the Aikane. Good thing the kids were on the other side of the boat at the time. This portion of the tour, this stretch on the Marin side of the Bay, was virtually tropical.  We talked to the First Mate about how she got involved sailing on the Alma and she got into it when her son did an overnight aboard 26 years ago.  I started thinking, maybe I could become a sailor…  She invited me to come for an overnighter where the crew would then sail to a boat show, but as it is on Pride Weekend, it just isn’t feasible, however, I am thinking of volunteering to crew the boat in addition to my regular scheduled commitment as a docent as the Alma does sail on Sundays during the Summertime and I don’t think I can get away with just napping on the hatch every weekend without helping out a bit.

The wind started picking up a bit as we rounded what I think the First Mate referred to as Point Blunt, off of the Easterly point of Angel Island and we tacked in towards San Francisco.  It was an amazing view of the Waterfront, absolutely classic.  There was a developer from Shanghai aboard the ship by himself and LGID and I were making friends as I was definitely assuming he was gay.  So I asked him what he did and I thought he said “gay mobile,” but when I read his card later, it actually said “game-mobile.”  I’ll have to send him a follow up e’mail, but he wanted to know where to go so I showed him how to get to the Castro on the Streetcar.

Sailing over, LGID and I went back to the Cannery to get another drink.  I wanted another Hefe, he wanted that and a shot of Patron.  Tab came to $24 so that was an $11 shot.  We drove back to my work for a Balvenie Scotch tasting and my boss told me that Vodka was for pussies (!?!0) and I found out I have an evaluation scheduled for Tuesday and nobody told me…grrrr!!!  Its Monday as I recap the weekend and I’m going to go do a spa at Kabuki after I post this blog, but I hate having to prepare for that without notice.  It simply is not courteous.

So LGID wanted to grill some meat at his condo, and I was more than happy to oblige, seeing as I had no money and no food.  I was going to drive to Foodsco, but after tasting a lineage of fine Scotch Whiskey, thought it better to just walk to Whole Foods.  We had to walk back to his condo on 10th Street, LGID wanted a cab, I wanted to walk, but the day caught up with me and I was tired!  We got back to his place and I kicked off my hiking boots and relaxed with a glass of wine and my iPhone while he marinated the meat and readied the grill. My legs and entire body was just so sore and pumped it was the most luxurious whole body ache where it felt as if my muscles were stretching my skin to its limit like I was the Incredible Hulk. When the meat went on I did the rice.  Oh that was a good dinner.  We hung out to watch TV and my best friend Bob called to give me a report from rehab.  I crawled into LGID’s bed so as to not wake him, but I was falling asleep on the phone with Bob.  After the phone call I fell asleep right there in my pants.