Not docked in Dockton – On the Road

February 13, 2010

The Bruja Dulce has been anchored 150 yards off the public dock at Dockton Park for nearly one month now. One could say, but might choose to refrain from saying, that she’s parked, not docked, in Dockton Park.Dockton Park

This is not the first month I have stayed here. I spent the end of last summer and most of last fall here in these calm, protected waters. The park facilities make living aboard relatively easy and absolutely free. There is much to say of this place and my neighbors here. They are rich with story, drama, history and discovery. For now, here is a link to an article about the Quartermaster Harbor water quality, or lack thereof, which recently put a photo of the Bruja Dulce, deep in the background, on the front page of the local newspaper.

The flat, 30-foot deep, muddy bottom in Quartermaster Harbor is ideal for long-term secure anchorage. It is secure enough, and the boat is self-reliant enough that I felt reasonably ok leaving her alone for one whole week while I, not alone, made a road trip down the interstate to Oregon, California, and back.

Quartermaster Harbor

I brought a lot of booty back with me from this journey, all of which was freely given and deeply-impacting despite being physically intangible:

  • I serendipitously received the second two parts in what turned out to be a three-part trio of wise pearls from Piper in which “start where you’re at” is just the beginning- I will string the other two later, all in good order
  • I acquired, also from Piper, a raw food recipe for a simple and amazing breakfast: one part each sunflower seeds, rolled oats, and dates, two parts water, let sit overnight…it is so alive it will softly speak your name in the morning.
  • I picked up a virtual cornucopia of unconditional welcome, encouraging words, and wise and inspiring ideas from my dear friends amidst the incredible ecosophic environment at Skyline Harvest– not to mention much heartfelt, in a good way, cooking, baking, and food gifts
  • I nabbed some much needed Brother time in the rolling, dare I say voluptuous East Bay California hills of our youth
  • Still not alone, I earned the “30 hours in a car together and still grew fonder” merit badge as outlined in the Love Scout handbook

And through it all, I carried back with me an ever growing worry for the boat, my home, on it’s own, as much as 750 miles away, at anchor in Dockton.

….She was ok.

In fact, inspecting upon my return in the unusually bright late-day winter sunshine, solarit seemed she was better than when I left her 7 days prior. This was 7 times longer than I had ever left here alone at anchor before. It was a breakthrough for both of us. It seemed like, just maybe, she needed a break from me…….understandable, even for a boat.

The batteries, which I had worried might be struggling to run the bilge pumps, which might be struggling to pump the water out, which might have been rushing in the boat from a leak in some piece of plumbing, which might have come from the imaginary problem in my mind, were in fact, fully charged. The sun was beaming but low in the February sky and the charge from the solar panels, despite being weak, was actually being diverted- it was unnecessary. She’s a good vessel: smart, experienced and well equipped.


One comment

  1. Who knew that a boat could get along without its master! But I guess it happens. I’m so glad you found everything in good order when you returned. Also glad you had a good trip to California. Enjoyed your writings upon your return. It’s amazing that you made it 30 hours in the car and still like each other. However, remember that there were no kids along! That does make a difference. Still love your writing, KID!

    Love you,


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