Under the Spell of a Golden Gate Wooden sloop, Hull #18 Maestro

Baby in Cradle of the Imagination

Indian summer ignites my passions. I don’t mind a hot summer
day, don’t care for a cold winter night, but those last gasps of balm that
slather my skin as the Northern hemisphere inevitably marches toward winter
stir some deeper part of my yearnings. Because fitting out a wooden sloop is so
time intense they become objects of contemplation. Some days a single task
takes the whole of the day. You get out of a thing what you put into it. Put
your whole back into a marriage and you might just get the life partner your
heart has always dreamed of. So, like the feel of sun on my skin in October the
mere sight of a wooden sloop displaying a refurbished and seaworthy appearance
stirs some illusions I carry in my soul as I quest toward perfections that I
know do not actually exist in reality. And so against the odds a beautiful day
appears between the last storm and before the next. One repaired and soon to be
launched wooden sloop pushes back against the tyranny of all those neglected
hulls dissolving back into the primordial soup from which they arose. My mothers
love for her son was unconditional, absolute, and foundational. As Shunryu
Suzuki would say, “we must find perfection in imperfection.” Work on a wood
sloop beneath the healing beams of an Indian summer day comes close to such a


Bankrupt Heart                                               The Second Novel 

“He had to start over and walk the length of the mast one more time. Seemed by the
time he got to the other end he’d forgot he was supposed to be doing a final
inspection instead of dwelling upon his new job. It was like that for Ry. He
looked up. He turned and looked one direction and then in another direction, he
looked up into the sky, it was blue the air clear the sun warm, he looked down
into the water it was calm, reflecting the sky it was darker but blue, the
siren like high pitched scream of a woodworker cutting an edge with a router in
the distance sounded right to his ear, Palo and Javier were moving boats with
the jitney, Max had just dashed by in his straw hat with his stoic manner, the
yard was alive with one man  painting a
bottom, another man carving out a piece of rot from the hull of a wood boat in
the early stages of a major refit. The long rainy season was giving way to
warmer days. The light of the sun shined more often and longer. The late
afternoon was after a hot shower, if a man had worked to his limit became a time for
satisfaction, for a beer, with the acknowledgement that a hard day’s labor had
moved a project closer to its end.”

Bankrupt Heart Copyright © 2011 by Dana Smith

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Dan Oswald
Dan Oswald
9 years ago

My brother owned and sailed your sloop, Golden Gate hull#18, in the 1960s. I spent some nice days on the Bay aboard that sleek sloop, then Joy II.

Dana Smith
9 years ago
Reply to  Dan Oswald

She was a lovely sailboat. She lives in Santa Cruz now