We packed into the car with just enough clothing (jackets, mostly) to last us for a few days, a few dry bags to keep the aforementioned jackets dry on the trip, & a bagel to split.
The drive to Inverness isn’t long, but it does cross the famous Golden Gate Bridge (emptier at that hour than I’ve seen it in a while) & then wind through fields & small towns.
We pulled off the road into a small dirt parking lot. We’d been given a map & as though we were treasure hunting, we followed our trail on the paper, long out of cell phone range, finally deciding that we had, in fact, picked the right parking lot.
Nobody was there, for a while, so we waited. A large group of friends pulled into the parking lot & started loading up their boat for a day of hanging out & fishing & drinking beers. We watched them load coolers & fishing poles & chairs, & one small dog & putter out across the water.
The sky was grey & the fog was dense, but out of the mist came the little boat. A handmade sailboat, our Pelican puttered along with an external engine, working hard & hanging out very low in the water.
Its sails were tucked in when it arrived to pick us up. We piled in, us & all our stuff, & puttered off. I’ve never felt more like I was sailing off into a fairytale adventure than I did in that one moment.
The rest of the Labor Day weekend was spent living that little fairy tale.
We sailed the handmade Pelican (her name is Green Eggs) into a First Place win (yay!). The wind was light: less ideal for sailing, but lovely for hanging out. The sunshine came out during the day & the view of Hog Island & the rest of the prettiness along Tomales Bay was absolutely stunning.
In the evenings, when the day’s races for the regatta were over, the little boats were pulled up on the sand and their sails were tucked away for the night. We lit campfires, made dinner in the flames, told jokes & scary stories as the evening got dark, & roasted marshmallows. In the interest of of full disclosure: I had a LOT of marshmallows.
Hanging out around the campfire is one of the biggest reasons that I’m learning to play the guitar (surprise! I’m learning to play the guitar!). There’s always that moment in the evening when everybody is sleepy from a busy day outside in the fresh air (the best kind of sleepy), full of camp dinner, sipping a beer or recovering from a marshmallow overdose (or maybe both), bundled up in the dark watching the flames flicker.
It feels late, but really it isn’t.
If somebody pulls out a guitar at this moment, it’s magical. I’m learning to play so that I can create magic. I know it sounds corny, but it’s so true that I don’t even care.
Anyways, this was a great weekend. We sailed in on a fairy tale boat, won a regatta, camped on the sand, roasted marshmallows, & just HUNG OUT. We didn’t have service so there wasn’t any internet to distract me & instead I just focused on breathing the fresh air, taking in the view (amaze), & sneaking in a very lovely nap.
p.s. They used to have a little boat called “Ham” that they tugged along behind them. It was a full house back then, with Green Eggs and Ham along for the sail…
Photography: Simone Anne