Aurora Restoration Project Part 6
by Christopher Wilson
And you are likely thinking this story couldn't get any better.
So we concluded our meeting with the State Lands Commission and now I was fully responsible for the relocation of the ship and liable for anything that happened to her meanwhile. That's a lot of responsibility if you are familiar with old ships.
Now if I am able to find her a location my deal would be complete with Indy. So, I rested up for a day back at home and gathered my thoughts. I then started searching satellite images of the Delta on Google. I had no idea where to take this ship. I was completely in the dark. Did I finally tun into a brick wall? No way. I was motivated.
I have never been one to get easily discouraged so I talked to Indy and asked him places he had already talked to. He pretty much named every place there was. Not a single place would give him a break. I couldn't believe that there was absolutely no place to take this ship that was off from State Lands jurisdiction. So I looked even deeper.
It turns out that State Lands controls maybe ninety five percent of any submerged property this side of the Golden Gate Bridge. I sure could have used that information earlier.
After only a days of investigation I decided to make my first play. I dressed nice once again and rented another fancy car and Once again was off to find this ship a new spot.
I boldly walked into the nearest City offices and asked to speak with the City Manager. With a great deal of luck on my side he just happened to have a small window of time to speak with me. For such a small town this City Manager was sharp. One of the most intelligent people I had ever had the pleasure of speaking with. It just so happens that there were some available docks in town but it wasn't going to be easy to obtain one according to the City Manager, This subject would have to be an agenda in an upcoming council meeting. The odds were not in my favor he said.
So many things could go wrong and the ship was ugly and extremely neglected.
I was given the proper paperwork that needed to be filled in order to be an agenda subject and told the City Manager fair well and left. Afterwords I did as much investigation as I possibly could over the next days on each and every council member. Names, Hobbies, everything I could possibly possibly learn to gain an edge over this group.
I needed to be closer to the project so I decided to spend my first time at the ship.
As I mentioned before she was located on a small island on the California Delta and there was no easy access to get back and fourth to her without using the less then appealing to be around watchman. At this point he needs a name, let's call him Smeagol as this best describes his nature.
Smeagol was on the ship full time for the last eight months with his dog. So I hesitantly used him for the ride to the ship the first few times. He was like a troll guarding the bridge, always wanting gas money and a tip to get across. Indy had yet to tell him my position with the ship. I figured that he didn't need to know so I kept quite. As far as Smeagol knew I was just another potential buyer out to play on the ship. Smeagol was as disrespectful as a human could be and disgusting to boot.
So, I stepped back onto the decks for the second time in the early afternoon. I looked around and thought to myself, What in the hell did I just do?
I took the tour yet again in further detail looking at all areas of the ship, I explored even the smallest spaces. I knew that I just signed a good part of my life away.
Everywhere I went on the ship Smeagol followed. I guess he didn't trust me on the ship. He gave crusty a new meaning. As he followed me everywhere he would consistently burp and fart and used the word F#@k a lot.
He was a chunky man in his mid 30s with long dirty blond hair that wore a greasy yellow ball cap and farmer style overalls commando style, not even a shirt. I remember him having a huge creepy white zit the size of a quarter on his neck that was a key focal point. Not appealing to have that fallowing me all over an already disgusting ship. I felt like this could very well be another chapter in Deliverance.
Night time was coming fast so I had to find a room to sleep in for the night. Every single room was filled with trash and there was no power wired in the ship. I brought a sleeping bag and pillow and flashlight in hopes to clear a spot in the mess.
I found room 109. It was a good room layout and remains one of my favorite rooms on the ship but Smeagol quickly let me know that this room belonged to his dog. So I chose 110 across the way. 110 used to be his dogs room of choice but his dog became board with this room and had already ate the couch, carpeting and Mathews and opened himself many bags of beautiful garbage.
I began removing his dogs favorite garbage and just tossing it outside of the room until I had a somewhat clear place to sleep. I had managed to put myself in the worst sleeping environment that I had ever been in. Needless to say, I didn't sleep well. I woke up what seemed about every 10 or so minutes the entire night. I heard noises and voices that were not really there. It was very creepy, much like sleeping in a giant haunted house out in the country miles from anywhere.
I finally climbed out of my sleeping bag just before sun up and walked onto the front deck and saw the most spectacular sunrise that I have ever seen. The sunbeams made a pattern that could only be described as an Aurora. My phone battery was of course dead so I couldn't snap a shot but the memory sticks in my head to this day.
I had my first solo tour of the ship this morning as Smeagol was not exactly an early riser. I was so saddened by her condition.
On this morning the ship had spoken to me.
Not in words as I am not crazy just yet. But I started to imagine her past and see the magnificent things she has done. The experiences aboard this ship must have been unforgettable for so many.
She needed help. It wasn't her time to see the breakers. Could I do right by her? I didn't know but as with everything I do, I would try my best.
Finally Smeagol woke and slowly did his disgusting morning rituals of blowing out each nostril right inside the ship on to the floor and heading up stairs to sit on his home made bucket toilet for a while. After this beautiful display, I had him take me back to the marina where my car was parked. I made him wait while I went into town to buy cleaning supplies and lots of garbage bags. I was not about to have another night like the last night.
After an hour in town I finally arrived back at the ship to find that Smeagol's lovely dog had reclaimed my chosen room in a big way. I decided I would just head home for the night.
Much more to come...