Aurora Restoration Project Part 24
by Christopher Wilson - Published March 29, 2016
Over the past years we have had some of the best people volunteering aboard the Aurora. Unfortunately along with all of these fine people we have also had our share of people with bad intentions. We have had people who gave everything to help this ship move forward and some who have volunteered for other reasons and only took what they needed and have long moved on.
I have shared with all of you the bad and the good to this point. My journey has been tuff and will become far more difficult as we move forward in this story. Let's continue..
We had months to go prior to our lease ending with the small city in the delta. We were offered a fantastic location downtown near our current dock that may have been a positive move for both the city and the Aurora. Unfortunately we will never know. I chose another future for the Aurora.
We were also offered a beautiful dock that t-boned the end of Pier 38 in San Francisco. This spot would give us the absolute best view of the bay if I could pull this off. There were so many small moving parts needed to make this deal work. I was hopeful but somehow knew it was just a slight possibility at best.
As you all know I am all about the negotiation and the word impossible is just a word.
It's time to introduce yet another key character into our story. I will call him Mr. Potter because he is much like the character from the movie ( It's a wonderful life ) if you have watched the movie then you have the idea and an accurate image in your mind.
My first sit downs with Mr. Potter were pleasant. He had the idea of having the ship sit at the Pier but his thoughts were all about the money. My goal was to avoid paying anything outrageous every penny was out of pocket and the ship was not making any money but needed lots of money to help save her. I had to create a way to make this happen without going broke.
I had ideas about future profit sharing. That was an idea he appeared to be interested in but it was not enough. Mr. Potter had offered to help fund getting the Aurora to Pier 38 from the small city in the delta, however I didn't want to take any of Mr. Potters money because that would show my weakness. That's always a bad idea.
The next idea that could give the Aurora some value to Pier 38 was the idea of being a wave break for the existing docks located north of the pier. This would help out business for the Pier and it made perfect sense. He would now be able to park smaller boats at his docks if we made this happen. Mr. Potter liked that idea.
Now I had two reasons to push this project to move to Pier 38. If I could make this happen, it would be the greatest thing that could happen for this old ship. But if that didn't work out at least I now had some options.
I soon needed to divide my time between working on the ship and negotiating and schmoozing Mr. Potter. It was a long drive to take ever couple of days but the more time I spent in San Francisco the better off this deal would turn out.
My small but loyal crew back in the small city were working hard to get rid of all signs of rust and make her beautiful as possible for the new potential location. I was getting a good feeling about this new place.
Indy had a good relationship with Mr. Potter and had given me some light warnings about him. I listened carefully and decided to keep an eye open for anything that wasn't right. This also prompted me to put together a lease contract in order to help protect both myself and the Aurora.
Looking at the face of the pier, there was no way that I could park a 300ft ship at an 80ft dock easily. Mr. Potter wanted me to modify this dock to fit the Aurora. That was just about a deal killer. I had to now put on my engineering shoes and come up with solutions. As some of you know the water in the bay can get rough and the water at the end of the Pier was 80ft deep.
I began drawing up plans that were within the realm of possibility and Mr. Potter would come up with ideas that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. He was not an open minded man and always wanted things his way, the expensive way.
I had to negotiate differently with Mr. Potter because he was Bi-Polar and extremely stubborn. First he would give me his idea and I would change it around and make him feel as if my changes were thoughts of his from out past conversations.
I already had a vision in mind that wouldn't cost much but could work ok. I just had to work him into feeling as if my idea was his idea first. I went as far as to construct a scale model of the face of the pier. We went back and fourth for weeks. But I could feel progress.
Everything felt great. The Aurora had a potential home with a million dollar view.
This was just the calm before the storm. The nightmare was coming....