Wife goes overboard in S.F. Bay

By JOHN M. DERBY
Times Founding Publisher
September 27, 2018

There are times when we wonder what we are going to write about for next week’s column — and then something always happens.
This was the case last weekend as Kathy and I decided to spend the weekend in Alameda and celebrate my 82nd birthday on our sailboat.
It was an absolutely gorgeous day, and we had scheduled an appointment to have our sailboat — the Day Dreamer — painted at The Boat Yard which is located on the estuary north of the Aoelian Yacht Club, where we dock our boat.
The sail should have been easy, under three draw bridges, and less than an hour of sailing to get to The Boat Yard.
We had plenty time, and we had a crew member who had never sailed on a big boat. The breeze was brisk and with the mainsail up, the Daydreamer heeled over and made way slowly against the tide.
The Boat Yard is located near Jack London Square where there is also one of the few gas docks. Since we were running low on gas, we decided to take a half hour detour and fill up our gas tank. By that time it was 3 p.m., and the wind now was up to 20 knots.
Normally this would not have been a problem, however, the gas dock was very crowded and for some reason they had allowed a large cruiser to dock at one end making this a little more difficult.
Kathy was ready on the bow of the boat to tie off the line on one of the dock cleats while our other helper, Michael, was going to tie off the stern.
That was when the wind and current pushed the boat up against a jetty which had been placed right before the gas dock.
Suddenly, the Day Dreamer rammed the jetty, and at the same time, the lifeline that runs around the sides of the deck (the one that provides a safety perimeter), broke free.
Kathy was hanging onto the lifeline when it gave way, and before she realized it, she was dropping into the icy water.
Down she went, sinking under the bow of the boat, and fortunately coming up on the other side.
As the captain steering the boat, I was concerned with shutting off the motor. I saw nothing that happened to Kathy, but Michael was upfront immediately and over the bow of the boat. He saw Kathy swimming to the gas dock, and he got there to lift her out of the water.
She was soaked from head to toe, and had a nasty scrape on her forearm, however, she was little worse for wear, and her comment — “that was one hell of a landing” — was well taken.
Fortunately I had put a whole set of dry sweats on the boat before leaving, and she climbed into them.
There was nothing funny about this near miss. She actually was lucky to have gone underneath the bow of the boat because otherwise she might have been crushed against the gas dock.
As I said in the lead paragraph, things always seem to happen, but this is one story where the captain should have been up for a court marshal.
We are happy to say Kathy is fine.
FOOTNOTE: After securing our boat to the gas dock, we were notified the gas dock was closed for repairs! … Now why couldn’t they have had a sign saying “Closed For Business” that we could have seen from the water?

BONUS PERSPECTIVE:
Soccer center becomes area to grow marijuana?

Can we be the only members of the community who read in disbelief that Merced’s Indoor Sports Center — which has served as a training center for thousands of local soccer players — will now be turned into a marijuana cultivation site?
The building located at 115 Heron Way was approved by the Merced Planning Commission on Aug. 8 as a site to grow, manufacture and distribute cannabis, according to city records.
Did our lawmakers and voters envision that when they allowed marijuana for recreational use?
Did they think that it would actually end up replacing a facility which was already being used for recreational use, and the kind which was having a positive effect on the minds and bodies of our youth?
The Merced Indoor Sports Center reportedly was serving nearly 3,000 youth from the surrounding area each month.
What have we allowed this state, and our community, to become?


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