Thought I would put a good word in about the different companies/people we have had the pleasure of meeting and requiring help or information from.
San Francisco and area
San Francisco Marine Customs: We had to check in with customs but our experience with the officers was outstanding. They accommodated us in every way; during our night entry and the next day when we were not able to make it to the land office in time. Thank you!
Johnson Hicks Marine Electronics: 298 Harbor Dr., Sausalito. We had an urgent request to have our AIS fixed and they looked at the system the next day and programmed it for us within two hours. Thank you to Beau!
San Francisco Coast Guard: Thank you for pointing us in the right direction to obtain guest berthing at a nearby marina.
Marina Village Yacht Harbor: This is an excellent, top notch marina located in the Oakland Inner Harbor, the Alameda area. Sandra Coong is the Manager. 510.521.0905 Look for the yellow capped pilings on the right side, just past Scott’s Restaurant (which is on the left, you cannot miss their sign). The best Chinese food restaurant is located at gate 8 and so are the sailors we met!
Enterprise Rental Cars: 2307 Blanding Ave., Alameda, 510.523.5722 and ask for Maggie. Also ask for Mike the driver if you require picking up, which you will need. They will send a car out to get you. Mike was our driver, maybe he will remember us.
Loch Lomond Marina: Located in San Rafeal. We had the most relaxing and quiet stay there. Very, very reasonable pricing and the staff are excellent. The manager Pat, came out to introduce himself and Christine is fabulous! We were an oddity as they receive very few cruisers as most seem to stay in Sausalito or San Francisco proper. How lucky we were to be the oddity! We had so many people say hello but that could also be because I would wave at everyone! The marina is a little way from the downtown but hop on a bus or call a taxi, we had our bikes and in no time, we were in town. Cautionary note: at marker 17 there is a channel to the marina. DO NOT vary from it, as soon as you can blink you will be in a foot of water.
Land or Sea Design: Loch Lomond Marina. During our weather adventure off the Oregon coast, our dodger tore on one side plus stitching was coming away over the entire canvas (due to age) and had to be fixed sooner than later. Laurie was amazing! She was up to her eyeballs in orders but we explained that we required something done now before the whole thing fell apart. No problem, it will be done by the end of the week. She had it completed in two days for us and indicated that she used specialized thread. Thank you!
Andy’s Market: Loch Lomond Marina. I wish they could deliver to the boat. This was truly a jewel to have literally at our front door or should I say dock. High end, quality market. Not just your ordinary market but one that has beautiful wooden tables in the café area, sit up wine and bar area (not that we drink but it was just so civilized), plus a kitchen that is producing amazing foods and salads. Then there is the market itself. They bring in mostly locally grown produce. A real treat. Yes, more expensive than the local grocery store but worth it. Staff began to recognize us and other locals would greet us in the morning as we had our usual coffee and banana bread, then ask if we would be back later for dinner. Love it!
Ocens: Des Moines, Washington, 206.878.8270. We have decided to try another communication system by using the satellite phone to retrieve weather information. This required obtaining a router and setting up two weather programs. The poor man (Pedro) that constantly ended up receiving my phone calls as to what to do, how to do it, how to download etc. was extremely patient and he eventually remotely took over my computer and set everything up! Big thank you to Pedro! The new system worked great. Uses up valuable satellite airtime but for ease of use and instant download, perfect.