We found the prop! — posted by Erin

We found the propeller! We asked a friend of a friend, Kevin – a professional diver who also sailed his boat down here from Seattle – to set up a search and rescue mission for us… He and Brian agreed on a search range that spanned about 15 feet from the side of the boat to 100 feet out. The water reaches depths of only 15 feet in the bay, but it’s incredibly murky. Visibility is less than two feet, so Kevin had to rely on his hands to find the prop. Spirits were low – we knew that the chances of finding a propeller in a bay as big and murky as Sausalito were pretty slim.

About an hour into their efforts, I came out into the cockpit to see how things were progressing. I instantly felt that Kevin was in the wrong place – if we had any chance of finding the propeller, we had to search closer to the boat. Brian decided to give it a shot and alerted Kevin of the new search parameters. A few minutes later Kevin dropped down to the bottom, about a foot from our boat, and immediately came back up with a big grin on his face. When he’d dropped down, his foot had hit the propeller.

Today Brian bought some SCUBA gear and figured out how to dive below the boat to reattach the propeller. By late afternoon, we were once again a fully functional boat. Tomorrow we’ll test out his handy work by motoring up the Sacramento River to Napa Valley. Keep your fingers crossed!

In the meantime, I’m still trying to acclimate to the fact that we’re here in Sausalito and ready to head further south, rather than back up to Seattle. I’ve cleaned the boat, done laundry, folded away the sea bunks, and have tried to make “home” feel like home again, rather than a vessel taking us from Point A to Point B.

On Sunday I flew back to Seattle to pick up our cat, Mishka, from a friend’s house. Before the trip, Brian and I decided that she’d be better on solid ground while we delivered the boat south, since winds can be near hurricane force on that leg of the trip. The day was busy and exhausting for both me and Mishka – one filled with plane rides, shuttle rides, and taxi rides. But as I flew over the Bay Area at 8:00pm on the way back to the boat, I witnessed one of the most beautiful sunsets I’d ever seen. A harmonic symphony of orange, purple, gold, and yellow sat above a dense bank of clouds, while the vast Pacific Ocean shimmied in step with each of the sun’s setting rays.

After the plane ride, Mishka and I waited for the shuttle back to Sausalito, but when it arrived I was told she’d have to ride in the cargo hold. Instead, I found a taxi driver with a penchant for classical music and pedals fully pressed to the metal. We crossed over the Golden Gate Bridge in a fog aglow with the last light of dusk. With Mozart playing in the background and the taxi speeding away from the bustling, glowing cityscape, I felt as if I were in a movie.

It’s surreal, and somewhat overwhelming, to think that this is just the beginning of a slew of new experiences, new cities, new days filled with new things… We’re writing a new chapter in our lives. The picture above describes pretty well how I’m feeling at this moment… But I’m happy to know that you’re all following along. It’s nice to know that you’re with us on this journey.

P.S. Joe, Harold, Autumn, and Ryan – thanks again for being such wonderful company on the trip down the coast. You all made the journey memorable – we can’t imagine doing it without you.