One of the world’s most exclusive maritime destinations is located on the west coast in Sausalito, California. An historic and wealthy closed society celebrates their post World War II shipbuilding city’s boating season out on the harbor in what’s called “Opening Day on the Bay.” On the waterfront, surrounded by a vast fleet of docked vessels idly bobbing on the bay’s undulating water, is a beautifully restored and maintained vintage classic yacht named “Freda B.” Labeled as the official flagged vessel for viewing last year’s dramatic America’s Cup that took place on these very same waters, the Freda B is a classic gaff-rigged topsail schooner that fits up to 49 people for private and public sunset and daily sailing adventures along the bay. Marina, one of the owners, explains the history of the boat as being named after her Scottish grandmother; a woman she vividly remembers spending her childhood with, and more than once watching a royal coronation with her, her grandmother mindful to point out the lavish dress of those in attendance decadently attired.
In an effort to maintain this very same sophistication, Marina made sure to create a experience upon the Freda B she felt, as she says, the “Kennedy’s would have loved.” So as the yacht sets sail, the American flag rises, guests toast glasses full of champagne, exchange conversation and sit back and enjoy the attention to detail found in everything: even the cheese and hors d’oeuvres prepared by the crew is a display of organic, locally harvested fare. An hour into sailing, the cool breeze of the bay embraces me, and as it wraps me in a sweet embrace, a picturesque mountain landscape moves into stunning view.
As the journey continues, we sail past the fog caressing Cavallo point and underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, finally arriving for the show second in line. A fireboat across the way explodes with water from every nozzle, sending out tens of thousands of gallons of water per minute into the air. Other yachts and sailboats blow their horns while wine from Sonoma valley is poured into raised glasses, cheering fellow mariners from across the water.
The celebration continues on-board, and suddenly the 30 people who have all along been sailing with you for the last few hours feel like long lost friends reconnected. An elegant surprise waited us below deck, when, all of a sudden, Marina’s staff came up to serve fresh lobster rolls for lunch. The decadence from the crustacean mixed with the salt of the potatoes and clear sunlit skies was the perfect addition to an opulent yachting adventure.