Adios, sayonara, auf wiedersehen and goodby to gangway 33.
Today is a bittersweet day for me. It is my last day on gangway 33. I have lived aboard good ole GW 33 for thirty four years. I moved here on 1 November 1982 from the infamous "toilet bowel" in downtown Long Beach. Actually I had a lot of fun back then, but back then, I would have a lot of fun regardless of where I was. A lot of the people downtown that moving day morning were motoring east towards Alamitos bay thinking and saying, Oh boy we're getting out of downtown. An equal number of folks that morning were motoring west thinking, Oh boy, we're moving into a new marina.
I was a happy boy that morning. I was separated from my second wife at the time and I had my beautiful Donna with me. Donna and I spent fifteen wonderful years here in this slip number 1521. We made a lot of friends here and sadly most are gone. They've sold their boats or moved or died.
Alas, nothing lasts forever and Donna and I went our separate ways. By then, Dave my youngest son had moved in and he and I lived here together until he went of to UC Santa Barbara. For a few years, my oldest son Edward lived on Merrymaid my Downeast schooner with Dave and me for a few years. I went through a gaggle of different girls until 2001, when I met my third wife Nancy. Nancy was a TWA flight attendant and we traveled a lot together. She working and me soaking up fine booze in First Class.
Alas, nothing lasts forever and after a few years Nancy and I went our separate ways. I went through another gaggle of ladies for a few years until I met Julie. Wife number four. Julie was cute, had a nice body and was very smart. She was working on her master's degree at Cal State Long Beach in Middle English poetry or some such rot. We lived on a sailboat with Sadie my Golden Retriever and her two cats. Oh what fun. We had one deal breaking problem however, she is bipolar.
Alas, nothing lasts forever and we divorced. Starting to read like the movie Groundhog Day? Sadie and I lived alone in our empty nest. She was great bait for meeting girls. Nobody could resist that sweet Golden face of hers. Yet another gaggle. Yata yata yata and then I met Jamie.
Jamie moved in with Sade and me with her two dogs. Maui, a boxer and Lady a diminutive German Shepard. Maui eventually died of cancer as did Sadie and we are down to one dog, Lady.
The marina has been ongoing a four year renovation. New concrete docks etc. etc. They started across the way by the Long Beach YC and then moved on to basin five by the Alamitos Bay YC. Next came the big yachts and then some of the intermediates. They are finally done with the intermediates and we have all of next week to move. Most of our good friends are moving to the same dock as us and the new docks obviously are not fifty six years old as the current rickety ones are.
I'm ready, But not without more than a bit of sadness.