Tomorrow we plan to leave Oakland, where we have been tied up for a few weeks, within sight of the very impressive shipping facilities pictured above. The Panamax (meaning ships that are too large to transit the Panama Canal, and mainly serving the trade between China and the US) port of Oakland is a tiny piece of the rich stew that is Oakland. While we have been tied up at the Jack London Square, we have enjoyed great farmer's markets, the odd mix that is Old Oakland, the ferry service to San Francisco, the haunting sound of Amtrak trains passing by just a block away, and impeccable marina facilities, including high speed internet. This last has been a mixed blessing, because we have been able to spend hours reading online and learning more than we ever knew we wanted to know about the financial markets in the US and worldwide.
But, still, we have to leave because we are in danger of loosing our sea legs. While moored here, we have rented cars, spent days at a time off the boat with treasured old friends, and soaked ourselves in the pleasures of city life. The particular combination of perfect California Indian Summer, great food and wine, and deep connections to people and places is like an opiate. We can tell we are straying from our purpose, which is to make progress toward the south. So adios to Oakland and our Bay Area connections.