My parents are from Oakland.

They met and fell in love and so on and so forth. If there’s a cute boy-meets-girl story there, I’ve never heard it.

I did hear how my dad would sneak my mom onto his Sea Scout boat in high school.

From there they became part of the wooden boat community on San Francisco Bay. Men with flat caps, women with flowers in their hair, drinking wine on the waterfront, singing sea shanties and Irish folk music, cruising, racing, salt spray, sea gulls, woodworking, sailmaking, boat yards, varnish, caulk, lead paint. This continues to be their lifestyle.

Their first boat appeared to be an old lifeboat with a mast stuck in it. I’ve only seen a woodcutting.

Something like this.

Their second boat was a 26′ gaff-rigged Sea Bird yawl.

You can build your own.

They named their boat “Paddy West” after a favorite song sung with friends. The lyrics describe a series of farcical exercises in a Liverpool boarding house run by Paddy that alleged to turn greenhorns into experienced seamen. Read more here. My dad sang it often.

Put on yer dungaree jacket,
And walk up looking your best,
And tell ’em that you’re a poor sailor lad,
That came from Paddy West.

They got a German Shepherd, my brother was born, I was born.

We spent a lot of time on Paddy West.