Occupy Oakland Riots

The Occupy Wall Street Movement started on September 17, 2011. While the movement was centered in New York City, many other cities around the country started similar movements at the same time. San Francisco’s Occupy Movement was centered in the Financial District near the Ferry Terminal, first at a Bank of America, then at the Federal Reserve Building. Christi often walked by the protestors on her way to her favorite Internet cafe.

Christi worked in the banking world from 1996 to 2007. In 2002, Christi became deeply troubled by the economic policies set by the Federal Reserve, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As time went on, she became more troubled as the policies she viewed unfavorably were expanded. She wanted to join in the San Francisco protest, particularly once they moved to the Federal Reserve Building. Unfortunately, the peaceful protesters were harassed by police from the beginning. Eric made Christi promise never to go into the protest area because it wasn’t safe for a pregnant woman, particularly one who wasn’t yet showing.

After we moved Kosmos to Oakland, we saw that there was an Occupy Oakland protest set up in the park in front of City Hall, in the heart of downtown. Since it was across the street from the BART (train) station, we passed it often. Eric never went over to that side of the street to get a closer look, but Christi did several times.

In keeping her promise to Eric, she never actually went into the park, but she lingered around the sidewalk nearby and talked to some of the people that worked in the shops adjoining the park. There were a few more times she intended to stop by the park that she didn’t, though, because there was police wearing riot gear surrounding the park.

The more Christi talked to the locals, the clearer it became that this movement was different from the other Occupy Movements around the country. Instead of expressing anger about federal policies that have exacerbated income inequality, Oakland was more focused on Continue reading Occupy Oakland Riots

Blue Angel Sky Show

Another fun thing we did was watch the Blue Angel Skyshow over San Francisco Bay on October 9th. Many boaters like to take their boats out to watch the planes perform directly overhead. We don’t like to take Kosmos out on special events days because the waterways are generally packed with inexperienced, drunk boaters. We spend the entire time out worrying about what others are doing and never get to relax and enjoy ourselves.

Fortunately, we figured out how to watch the show from the water without taking Kosmos out — we rode the 3:00 ferry from Oakland to San Francisco.  It was a great plan. The show started a little after 3:00 and ended just as we pulled into San Francisco. We had amazing views!

 

As you may have surmised, the Blue Angels are essentially military aviation stunt show. Six Boeing F/A-18 Hornets fly together in a coordinated series of maneuvers, some maneuvers so daring that they take your breath away. The planes fly as high as 15,000 feet, as low as 50 feet, at speeds between 120 miles per hour (mph) and 700 mph (which is just under mach 1), and get as close as 18 inches from each other while twisting, turning, darting past one another, flying in close formation and doing other amazing coordinated tasks. If you get the opportunity to see a Blue Angels show, don’t pass it up!

We are glad we chose to take the ferry instead of Kosmos. Our poor ferry driver was constantly changing course to avoid nutty people who got in his way and weaving in and out of boats anchored in inappropriate places. We saw several near accidents between other boats, too. We probably would have been so focused on the other boats on the water that we would have never looked up to see the show.

Exploring Oakland, California

We knew that every Sunday morning there was a Farmer’s Market at Jack London Square. But when Sunday morning rolled around, we almost fell over from shock when we walked upstairs shortly after waking up to see this:

The booths were so close to Kosmos that we could have stood on the bow and stolen produce from the stands! Here is a shot from the other direction:

Having the Farmer’s Market come to us made shopping easy! It was an especially good market, too. We knew we’d miss it when we were gone.

We did a little exploring of downtown Oakland in the month we had Kosmos there. Oakland was officially made a town in 1852, the same time the shipping industry began on Oakland’s shores.  Oakland was prosperous from the beginning. In addition to the shipping wharves, Oakland became the main staging post for passengers and cargo journeying between the Bay Area and the Sierra foothills during the California Gold Rush. In the 1860s a railroad hub was put into Oakland and the town boomed even more, with shipbuilders, automobile manufacturing, canneries and many more industries developing there. Oakland’s history is rich with fascinating information, but we’re not going to get into the details in this post.

As we walked around downtown Oakland, we noticed that most of the buildings looked to be from the late 1800s to early 1900s. It was clear from the architecture, the quality of construction and the appointments that this was once a very wealthy city, and that it was beautiful in its heyday. Here are a couple of examples:

Oakland continued to flourish until World War II. During the war, an influx of Continue reading Exploring Oakland, California

January 2012 Update

We are pleased to report that Part 2 of The Unexpected Circumnavigation is selling well (for a self-published book, at least). We haven’t gotten much feedback as of yet, but so far all of it has been good. If you want to read some excerpts, there is one in The Mariner Magazine taken from Chapter 1 (starts on page 18) and one on Lulu with the first few pages of the prologue (click on preview link under image of book). If you have already read the book, we’d appreciate if you would rate it on Lulu, as well.

Part 1 is also selling well. Sales had been steady for most of 2011, but since Part 2 came out, sales of Part 1 have leaped up.

We are nearly finished with our next book project, a workbook called Recipe for Success: What My Cruising Will Cost Me. The text is more or less complete, but we are finding it harder to format a workbook than a reading book. We didn’t have much time to work on it over the holidays, but now that things have slowed down, we hope to have it done by the end of the month. Once Recipe for Success is finished, Christi will focus on Part 3 of The Unexpected Circumnavigation. 

In personal news, Continue reading January 2012 Update

Moving from Downtown San Francisco to Jack London Square in Oakland

As we mentioned in an earlier post, we docked Kosmos at South Beach Harbor Marina. We loved being in the heart of downtown. We could walk to many great restaurants and attractions. The marina entrance was steps from public transit that could easily and quickly take us anywhere beyond walking distance. The city was exciting and full of life, a fun place to be in general.

However, we didn’t love the marina. We were on an end tie, and it was a long walk to the boat from the gate — we estimate a full quarter mile. One of our friends commented that at night the dock was eerie — that it looked like the hallway from “The Shining.”

Our slip was exposed to the bay and very rocky — so much so that Christi Continue reading Moving from Downtown San Francisco to Jack London Square in Oakland