After completing the ocean crossing from New Zealand to Fiji, I'm now back in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I’m settling in for the summer. I've been here about 3 weeks, and will be here (for the most part) until the end of October. More on that later.
I’ll spend most of my time on the water, working as a sailing instructor for the OCSC Sailing School in Berkeley. I’m really enjoying the job so far. It’s fun meeting people and helping them pursue their sailing goals. It's also challenging though, as my typical student has NO sailing experience - so there is a lot of material to cover (from terminology to boat set-up to maneuvers to crew-overboard recovery). And we teach in some pretty difficult sailing conditions in terms of wind, currents, and traffic. But I love it. So much better than my old cube…
The rest of my time I’ll spend in San Carlos, where I’m renting a room in a friend’s two-bed, two-bath apartment. He travels for work almost constantly, so it’s perfect. I am thrilled to have a home base, not to mention a kitchen and a closet!
In my limited downtime these past few weeks, I’ve enjoyed catching up with a few groups of friends over evening happy hours, punctuated with stories about kids, vacations, and careers.
As occasionally happens, I have also encountered a little excitement that I wasn’t looking for. While I was at dinner one night at Skates on the Bay Restaurant in Berkeley, a deranged man crashed through the glass door and entered the restaurant wielding large shards of glass in each hand. He had a crazed, determined look in his eyes. Sitting at the end of the bar, I was just 20 feet away from him.
Everything happened in slow motion, as he slowly advanced toward me and the other guests. No one really knew what was going on, or what he was going to do. But we didn’t stick around to find out. We all got up and quickly headed for the back door. The bartenders and staff stayed behind to make sure all the guests were safe. Within minutes, the Berkeley Police Department arrived as well. Somehow they subdued the man with no major injuries to anyone.
Within 20 minutes, we were allowed back into the restaurant. It was a weird scene as drink/dinner service continued, even as staff were sweeping up broken glass and mopping up blood and as police were taking crime scene photos. I can’t imagine what people coming in for 7pm reservations thought upon arrival!
That random violent event aside, I’m hoping the next couple of months will be pretty mellow. I’m focused on becoming the best sailing instructor I can be, constantly practicing my skills and incorporating feedback from students and fellow instructors. The hardest part is the commute from San Carlos to Berkeley, which is about an hour each direction. But the way I look at, the commute is the “work” part of my job, the rest is ALL fun!
I’ll provide a few updates during the summer. But my next big adventure will be in September 2017 when I head to Germany for a hiking trip, a birthday party, and Oktoberfest! I'll then return to finish up the sailing season here in San Francisco, and then head south for the winter... somewhere.