Soon we will be leaving San Rafael, California and the place that has become our home away from home – Loch Lomond Marina. Our stay in San Francisco has been spent at different locations but mostly we have gravitated back to this marina and community.

Our day always begins with a coffee, a piece of banana bread or yogurt with berries or the full meal deal.  Do I prepare any of this? Noooooo, it is all freshly made at Andy’s Local Market, which is a two-minute walk from the boat.

We have grown accustom to seeing the same staff members each day, asking how their day is going and meaning it.  The owner, Andy, greets us and asks how we are doing.  I ask Andy how many new stores has he opened today? He laughs and tells us he is working on a new store right now.  Andy is there early in the morning, disappears and then is back at the store until way past closing time.  He is building a better life and future not only for himself but also providing employment for many young people. We have thoroughly enjoyed our daily ritual at Andy’s and all the people we have met there.

We have had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with many other boaters at the marina.

Tim, our neighbor two boats away, has been a pleasure.  He offered us the use of his car while he was away one week.  He has led a very interesting and varied life and has been a pilot for many years. He is currently refurbishing his sailboat and talks of sailing the seas once again.  Back in the 1970’s he and his wife did a circumnavigation.  He speaks so vividly about it that it would seem as if it were only last week. I hope we meet him again one day.

There is the gentleman across from us that has a sign on his boat – Attack Cat.  I saw the cat one day as we walked by. There she was gracefully licking her paws inside the boat. Her owner has had a stroke but he is one independent person, like his cat.

Greg has a boat a few docks away and came by one day to say hello.  His wife was Canadian.  They had found a place not far from Victoria, BC, a small house and loved it.  She died a year ago of cancer, spending her last days on their boat here at the marina.  He was about to go on his first date that night. Life goes on.

Ken has a boat down along our dock.  He works hard, knows fish and fishing inside and out. He doesn’t need a fish finder, he is the fish finder. 🙂  He is quiet but such a nice person. He gave us a large King Salmon fillet that we enjoyed for two days and kept us shaking our heads at our good fortune.

I must give special mention to the Harbor Master and staff of the marina.  Pat is the Harbor Master and always has a friendly wave while out on his bike checking on things.  Christine and Besty in the office are wonderful and will do whatever they can to help.   Sebastain zooms around on a golf cart making sure all is in order and always a big wave from him.  I know there are other staff members who we haven’t met that keep the marina sparkling. Thank you.

Then there are others we have met and ones that I have been saying hi to or waving at but don’t know their names.

One such person is a man that I refer to as the “Peace Man”.  On the mast of his boat is an enormous peace sign that is illuminated in white lights at night.  When we first saw this, we were absolutely amazed and knew we had to be in a special place.  Eventually we spoke with him and said how we admired his sign and wondered how he powered it, electricity or solar.  He said electricity but he does not pay for it.  He said that after he put up the sign a person who lives up on the hill (he does not know who), has been paying for his electricity ever since.


This weekend, October 1st over the Golden Gate Bridge, a plane will be flying, called the Love Plane.  It will proceed to make a very large heart marking the 50th anniversary of a parade that went through the Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco stating “Death of Hippie”.

It is a difficult world out there these days and I do wonder how this year will end.

Let’s give this a try.






Tracks and Poo

Last year during our sailing trip to Alaska I became fascinated with mushrooms.  I took pictures of every different one I could find.  There were ones that looked like popcorn and all grouped together, then there were bright orange ones that climbed up trees, had that one as a screen saver for a long time.  Then the old tough as nails ones, not pretty but ancient looking and I liked that they had become hard as the tree they inhabited. The best one of all was a purple mushroom ( I swear, mary ja wanna was not involved). It was the most beautiful colour, completely on its own and the one day, the very one day I did not bring the camera along!  That mistake did not happen again.

This brings me to this sailing trip.  I am gathering pictures of animal tracks and their poo.  Why?  Because it is extremely interesting.  Certainly not a unique thing to do but absolutely a skill that is not your normal thing to do or know.  We have all done the poo thing, lift foot up, scrape it on some grass and you know only too well what poo that was!

As for tracks, they can be found in sand, mud and snow.  I think snow is the best for viewing imprints of tracks.  It usually elicits surprise and a smile when you see the track of a bird, a raccoon, deer or the imprint of a snow angel that a child has made.  It is exquisite.

Captain purchased a book about tracks etc. when were we in Queen Charlotte City and I have had great fun taking pictures, then comparing them to the book, recording the date and location.

This year I have clearly identified bear (tracks and poo), raccoon (tracks and poo), deer (tracks and poo), rat (tracks only) and otter (tracks and poo).  We will forgo any mention of seagull, way too much of the p word.

Soon we will be leaving Canada and heading south.  Not sure what tracks or poo will be found but I am ready with camera in hand.