Aurora Restoration Project Part 32
by Christopher Wilson - Published July 29, 2017
We are still back in late 2010 with this story and just arrived at Pier 38 almost two weeks ago. Unfortunately we had not been able to build a proper fendering system prior to the Auroras arrival and the Aurora now sat on the apron of the pier using truck tires as fenders. We were in a mad rush to get a system in place as we only had a couple of months before the weather would change and the winds and waters in the bay would be rough enough to destroy the Aurora if we didn't have things set up properly.
Lucky for me I had my good friend of many years Mark available along with long time volunteer Steve to help make things happen quickly. Both Mark and Steve were my live aboard crew at the time. Mark and I were working on the massive fendering brackets and line mounts for the side of the pier that would hold the bow and stern.
Steve was working on another part of the same project the large Yokohama fenders readying them for installation once we finished the brackets. The fenders had been floating in the bay for many years and had a massive amount of sea growth that needed cleaned off as they would no longer float in the water. They would now rest on brackets at the apron of the pier.
We had one other live aboard volunteer at the time named Clifford. He was a hard worker but wasn't around much for these projects. Once we arrived in San Francisco he took a little break from the project. His roll will get much more interesting however as the story progresses.
I bet your wondering about my meeting with the investors? I went to my meeting at a very fancy hotel in downtown SF and met with the investors who were still very interested under certain terms. First and foremost that we find another location in San Francisco to place the Aurora. It wasn't that the current location was a bad location at all. We likely had the best location on the bay. They just didn't like Mr. Potter and he was the deal killer. It was more then a mild dislike they had for him.
During their meeting at Pier 38 Mr. Potter wanted to dominate the conversation from the beginning and told them that no matter what they did at his Pier he was their 50% partner in all business. Mr. Potter wanted them to make very expensive improvements to the pier that were unreasonable. But that's not the worst of it. Mr. Potter further told them to wait a few months until Chris was out of the picture and he had full control of the Aurora. They wanted more clarity on that statement so Mr. Potter told them that Chris had not lived up to his end of the deal and he would be putting a lien on the Aurora soon.
This confirmed my thoughts. I knew something wasn't right and now I would have to think of just how to deal with this P.O.S trying to steal the Aurora. Not even two weeks in and I already had a nightmare to deal with. What could you do? I had to be on my feet and at the same times me act is if I knew nothing of their meeting.
Really there was nothing I could do. This is when stress and frustration set in. Of course I'm not going to walk away from everything I have worked so hard for. I just had to wait and see what happens. Maybe a miracle or maybe the end of the road for me and the Aurora.
The situation was growing more and more difficult and it turned a situation that could have been something wonderful and beneficial for the Aurora into a dull hum in my head that wouldn't go away. The hum of heavy stress.
Despite all that was going on we continued to work on securing the Aurora but now everything became much more difficult knowing that I may loose everything that I had worked so hard for to this man. Now everything seemed three times as heavy to pick up and much much harder to do anything difficult. Much like digging my own grave.
A couple of days later Mr. Potter wanted to show a friend the Aurora. So of course I let them in and the did the tour accompanied by Indy of all people. This was going to be an interesting couple of hours.
They toured the Aurora and all of her prime spots. They looked at all the cabins and the common areas much like they were planning a rebuild her for a purpose. Soon I found myself on the deck with Mr. Potters friend who seemed like a nice enough person. Mr. Potter and Indy were touring down below and his friend felt as if they had better give me a warning and a bit of inside info about Mr. Potter. We spoke for a few minutes and Mr. Potters friend felt the need to tell me some thing about Mr. Potter and his stance on the Aurora that absolutely floored me. I couldn't believe what I was hearing......
But that's the next part....