Aurora Restoration Project Part 33
by Christopher Wilson - Published August 21, 2017
There have been concerns from some of my readers that I may be taking bad form by telling parts of this story. I am not a writer but doing my best to tell this story. I have done minor editing for this case while keeping thing accurate. Our story timeline is still back in 2010. Many of the people involved in this story are no longer with us or have gone onto different paths in their lives. I feel that this story has to be told as it is the history of the Aurora. Moving forward....
Pier 38 in San Francisco was certainly a beautiful location for the Aurora but this place is proving to have a rather unique collection of difficulties. A new set of challenges to overcome.
During the short tour that Mr. Potter, His friend and Indy took of the Aurora I could see that this was more than just a tour. He had no interest or need for me to tour the ship with them. He felt that Indy had a good enough knowledge of the vessel to explain anything he needed to know. That was just another clue of his bad intentions. As things had it I found myself on the upper deck with Mr. Potters friend for a few minutes while He and Indy were below decks touring. This was a bit awkward but it seemed her intent was to find a way to pull me aside.
Mr. Potter was for the most part a broken down older man. He could get around ok but he wasn't far from needing something to assist his walking. He didn't move very fast and every step was a challenge for him. This would give his friend time to say what she needed to say.
His Friend told me that He was a good man and had the best of intentions but on most of his dealing something always changes in his head and he ends up having conflicts and legal issues with just about everyone that he does business with. She further told me that he was diagnosed with an advanced BiPolar disorder and one moment he is the the nicest man you could ever know and the next moment the biggest @ss that you ever seen.
She clearly let me know that he was after the Aurora but likely he would loose interest or realize that he can't handle a project that big. Just let the newness of the situation ware off.
It's important to know that she wasn't looking to stab Mr. Potter in the back but simply trying to tell me what everyone else already knew and avoid a potential conflict.
As It turns out Mr. Potter actually baited me to come to Pier 38 so that he could expand his mini empire with the use of 85 rooms and large conference areas to lease out. Things became very clear at this point. I finally knew what I was dealing with.
I trusted what she told me and for a while I was very frustrated and felt that I needed to do something to prevent this man from stealing the Aurora.
So after much thought I made my first move. I set up a meeting with the very people that didn't want me there in the first place. The Port of San Francisco.
They were very prompt in sending a Chief Wharfinger to meet with me at a nearby cafe. We sat down and this man seemed very friendly but also very much all business.
He let me know that the reason I was permitted to go to pier 38 was because of an existing lawsuit between Mr. Potter and Port of SF. Apparently Mr. Potters original lease with the Port allowed him to bring in any vessel he chose to his Pier unlike the more modern leases the Port would give a new tenant today. They really didn't like Mr. Potter as he was in the unique situation to do almost anything he chose to do on his Pier.
After a few moments the Port representative seemed to get a bit more aggressive and defensive about the Aurora being within the Port. I let him know we could leave and we had another place we could go but it wasn't going to be easy in the current situation. He told me that if they win the lawsuit the Port was going to close Pier 38 and everyone had to leave but this could be either months or years away.
This whole lawsuit thing was news to me. I needed to find out more and fast. Being new to the ship world I had no idea what so ever that I needed Port approval to move to Pier 38 and as it turned out in my unique situation I only required Mr. Potters approval.
His last words were warning me that it was in my best interests to find a solution and move he Aurora away from the Port as quickly as possible. At this time that sounded like a great plan but was it possible? Well not really. So I thanked him for his time and we shook hands as he wished me luck and we parted ways.
Now I was armed with some valuable information so maybe I could find a way to turn this into a way to get myself out of this mess. First I needed to find out more about this lawsuit.
James was the driving force in defense on Mr. Potters legal council against the Port but I was not sure at this time just how close Mr. Potter and James were. So I approached the situation very gently. I told James that I would like hear about the lawsuit and wanted to know what it was about.
James let me know that things were under control and the Port did not have a good enough case to win the suit. To this point James was the one person who gave me any kind of respect. Not a lot of information however. He seemed like a good person employed by a very bad person. I didn't know the details but James had something about him worth figuring out. Who was he and how did he end up at Pier 38.
I just hoped that I never had to do any sort of legal battle with Mr. Potter with James defending his interests.
Now with everything I now knew I realized there was a very bad storm coming my direction and I may loose everything that I had worked so hard to accomplish. It was a good possibility that Mr. Potter was going to take the Aurora and make the fight so expensive and impossible that I didn't have any chance.
The next weeks would bring more drama as Mr. Potter pushed towards his goal. He was always nice to me but I could tell that he wasn't far from turning on me.