Paulo has been using his skateboard a lot. Sometimes at the dock.
Eventually, the skateboard fell in the water. And sank. Again.
But wait, there’s more.
It was a beautiful sunny day on Saturday and we encouraged him to go play outside, after all we’d been tucked inside the cabin for almost 3 days straight due to the rainy weather. He took his skateboard and left. Some 30 minutes later he came back saying that the skateboard had fallen off the dock again and sank, just under Pesto.
Unfortunately this time we didn’t have the oversized magnet that was used to retrieve the skateboard a month ago in Seattle. Adriana went asking the neighboring boats for anything that could work, but all she could get was a mooring hook with a long stick – not long enough to reach the sea bottom though.
Then we remembered the Dinghy. It has a small anchor, foldable style with 4 arms … it might work. Adriana and I spent a couple hours deploying it along the dock and trying to retrieve the skateboard, but all we were able to bring back up was mud. In the middle of the afternoon we called it quits, since we were preparing for an early departure the next day and there was still a few chores to be accomplished.
Later on Adriana took the kids to play at the beach to try to cheer Paulo up. I stayed at Pesto a little longer finishing some work in the engine room. An hour later I went to the beach and they were playing with Paulo’s soccer ball. We met and went to a nearby restaurant. During dinner I noticed Paulo was already over the skateboard thing. Good. And then, right upon leaving the restaurant, it happened … Paulo kicked the ball, it bounced off a pillar and went straight down a small cliff, on to the sea !
It was already dark, there were a lot of sea lions nearby, and it was impossible to even think of retrieving the ball. Paulo had lost two of his most treasured toys within a couple of hours.
Back to Pesto, we checked the weather forecast one last time and realized the seas were getting more favorable the following day, and so we decided to postpone our departure accordingly.
When I woke up the next day, Adriana wasn’t in, and I knew what she was up to. One hour later she came back, the soccer ball on her hands. With a lot of determination and patience, she found the ball a few hundred meters downwind from where it first fell off. Luckily none of the sea lions where interested in it during the night!
Since we seemed to be on a good vibe, and we now had a whole day left there, we thought a mission to retrieve the skateboard was justifiable.
The first step was to confirm whether the skateboard was still there or not. Paulo raised his concern that the tide currents within the marina were quite strong and might have pushed it away. Fair point. For this we created an apparatus consisting of two poles tied together and attached the GoPro at it’s edge. We named it Nautilus 1:
Unfortunately Nautilus 1 proved ineffective. It couldn’t get closer than 4-5 ft from the bottom. And the water was too murky to allow any images to be captured from that distance.
So a new, far more advanced assembly was put together. Nautilus 2 was created by attaching the GoPro to the body of the dinghy’s anchor:
After a couple of missions, Nautilus 2 confirmed the presence and position of the skateboard:
So now the question was: how to retrieve it? The sea temperature (c. 55F at surface) coupled with the sea lions and harbor seals that roamed around frequently, plus the dubious cleanliness of the water all ruled out a manned mission instantly. So a new device was created – Nautilus 3:
We spent a good hour scraping the bottom of the marina under Pesto with Nautilus 3.
We adapted the design a couple of times and kept trying, but with no results. All we could bring back up was algae. The afternoon went by quickly and eventually it was time to put an end to the mission. Paulo told us he was thankful to the effort we had put in, and that he understood that it was just not possible to retrieve the skateboard this time. The Nautilus assembly was decommissioned, all parts cleaned and stowed, and we got back inside for a warm meal and to get prepared for the early departure the next day.
Well, i guess we will be visiting a skateboard shop in San Francisco next week. And when we do, I believe we will amuse the salesman when we inquire about a floating skateboard model, or the possibility of attaching a lashing to the board.