Aurora Restoration Project Part 29
by Christopher Wilson - Published June 1, 2017
He finally called back. The Port of San Francisco Chief Wharfinger called just for me and of course I figured he would have nothing good to say as now I knew just who he was and what his roll was within the Port. I spent the entire time building up just what to say to this man who was about to ruin my entire project and send the Aurora into limbo..
Mr. Potters assistant James was on his game however and knew just what to say during his chat with the Wharfinger. This was also the moment I found out that Pier 38 was in a legal dispute with the Port. I'm sure this legal dispute couldn't be good for the situation at hand.
The first words from the Chief Wharfingers mouth were, Go ahead and bring the Aurora to Pier 38 and we will send some of our people over in the next few days to see how your tied up. That was it. That was the entire phone call. So we proceeded at full speed ahead. We crossed the bay in the late afternoon till early evening.
Everyone onboard was stressed because we all worked so hard to get this far to be almost ruined by an authority that had no heart for the project.
An hour or so before sunset James showed up in his Navy Rib and offered to loan a hand in any way he could. The most important thing I could think of was to get Peter Knego on the water so he could properly document the occasion. Like a true man of the sea he was ready in moments to head out and get some of the most spectacular images of the Aurora headed across the bay.
As we came closer to our destination the entire crew was regaining energy. Everyone was on deck to view the city from the bay aboard the Aurora. At this moment it all seemed worth the effort. The Aurora for the fist time in many years had the chance to become something special.
On Pier 38 we had a small crew ready to catch the lines and among the crew were the potential investors ready to make a final deal that would have helped greatly to restore the Aurora and make her something more then amazing.
We neared Pier 38 and everyone was ready. The secondary tug released its lines and pulled away and Indy slowly turned the Aurora to the bow facing the bay bridge. Indy was on his game that night because we pulled in flawlessly and the first lines were thrown.
About an hour of working with the lines and we were tied off good enough for the night. Indy untied from the Aurora and traveled around to dock at another location on the Pier. I gave the investors a short tour and they were floored. It was perfect for what they wanted and were ready to make a deal.
Everything seemed perfect. I was able to finally get some sleep. My cabin now overlooked the bay and I had likely the best view one could ever hope for. I tried to sleep as long as possible but at 6am I was up with the sun. I remember that day being miserable and getting nothing done. I just crawled around the Aurora for the day.
I did however look out the window a few times to see literally hundreds of curious people on the street wondering who and what was now at the end of the pier. This went on for days. People would try and sneak to the back of the pier to get a better look. For those I ran into I was more then happy to tell them some history of the ship.
The second day on the pier I was social with Mr. Potter and James. I was slowly getting to know James a bit more each time we talked. He was very intelligent and knew that the Aurora had great potential in San Francisco. Mr. Potter however was different. Something was different about him now.
Right away Mr. Potter wanted he tour and right away he wanted to lay claim on the captains quarters as his office. This came out of the blue and made me rather uncomfortable. I didn't really know how to tell him no.
Over the first few days Mr. Potter gave some tours to people whom I had no idea who they were but looked very interested in the project. He would bring them on and not even introduce me at all. I felt even more uncomfortable. He would have long meetings in the lounge and ask for privacy.
I knew at this point that something was not right. I felt that I was officially in a bad situation. How bad? I didn't know just yet but I really had no escape and had to play this out.
For those of you that are superstitious. The first time Mr. Potter sat foot aboard the Aurora he brought one of his important looking people on a tour. As he passed the first hallway on the A-deck about 5 seconds later a mirror that had been affixed for many years just fell and shattered. It was very strange as if the Aurora had something to say.