Maritime Day at Galilee Harbor

Night Beat occasionally steps out into the light of day. This was the case on August 6 when the sixth annual Maritime Day was held at Galilee Harbor in Sausalito.

Maritime Day festivities at Galilee Harbor

Maritime Day festivities at Galilee Harbor

Maritime day was originally held at the Bay Model beginning in 1981.  It was produced there for a few years by Art Zone until it was discontinued. Meanwhile, in the intervening years, every August 4, Galilee Harbor would commemorate the destruction of Bob’s Boatyard in 1980, an event which led to the creation of this community, a resident owned marina for live-aboard artists and maritime workers. Eventually, the Galileans decided to revive Maritime Day in place of the Bob’s Boatyard commemoration.

Curtain Call

Activities included a marine flea market starting at 8 AM, Music starting at 1 PM, boat rides, boat building demonstrations, food and beer and face painting. A rowing dinghy built built by Anton Hottner was raffled off  to one lucky winner. There were many children present who, at first, occupied themselves at the face painting table. A lot of fun was being had. One wonders why, as we age, we let go of all this stuff.

You name it

The flea market was loaded with all kinds of marine wreckage as well as clothing, cooking utensils, fire extinguishers and some music books offered by Joe Tate.

Tall tales abound

Food included pie and ice cream, fish and chips and the aforementioned beer. This was all served up in a little section with picnic tables and umbrellas.

Visitors could also go for free boat rides aboard the Santa Famiglia, owned by Heather Richard of Galilee Harbor. The Dixie,owned by the Spaulding Wooden Boat Center, also provided free boat rides. There were also opportunities to paddle around in rowboats if you knew the right person.

Boarding the Santa Famiglia

A major delight of the day was a visit by the Grace Quan, a replica Chinese shrimp fishing junk built by volunteers and staff of the National Park Service under the direction of John Muir. Between 1860 and 1910, these were the workhorses of the Chinese dried shrimp industry and were similar to vessels from the fisherman’s home waters in Guangdong Provence, China.

The Grace Quan arrives early

The Grace Quan was built on the beach at China Camp State Park. Located along the shoreline of San Pablo Bay, China Camp was among the largest of the Chinese shrimp fishing villages on the bay.

The Grace Quan visit is a salute to Galilee Harbor and it’s own sailing traditions. Several Chinese junk rig boats have been built by Galileans including Peter bailey’s Bertie and Joe Tate’s Whitefin.

The music program started with Ale Eckstrom playing his wonderful sea chanteys, all in traditional style, except for the tennis shoes maybe. Ale is an atomic veteran who was a guinea pig for the Bikini Atoll nuclear bomb tests near the middle of the last century.

Ale Eckstrom

Since then he has played his concertina for multitudes throughout the Bay Area and beyond. He is a true Sausalito Treasure. Living anchored out for the past several decades, Ale can often be seen pedaling his folding bike around the waterfront. Josh Bailey followed with some amusing and well received guitar improvisations.

Fred Odell took the stage with his bassist and played a good many strong country style songs, many of which are his own compositions, and which he embellished with some nice harmonica licks. Fred, by the way, won the raffle for the rowboat amid some disappointment and envy from at least one sore loser.

The party took on a tropical theme with sunlight bursting through the scattered fog. Galilee Harbor has its own micro weather system due to the topography of the nearby hills coupled with somewhat predictable wind patterns. The harbor was lit up with bright sunlight while the neighboring environs were shrouded in fog.

To this, add the Ukulele Friends Ohana, otherwise known as the UFOs. Taking the stage with 14 ukuleles, a guitar and a bass, they sing in a tight chorus with old standards, pop and island songs with Hawaiian lyrics.

The Ukulele Friends Ohana or UFOs

This may have been the high point of the day, judging from audience reaction. The harmony drifted to every corner of the area, lowering blood pressure better than any medicine a doctor can prescribe. Under the leadership of Del Medina, the group plays every Friday at a secret location in San Rafael known only as Area 51.

See their blog at

Peter Belden’s band was up next, delivering some great R&B that precipitated lively dancing. With Steve Furst on drums and Alex Dias on Bass, powerful vocals stream from the sultry voice of Alicia Gomez.

The Peter Belden Band

Peter is a resident of Galilee Harbor and works as a pilot on the Vallejo ferry.

Next up, the Waterfront Pickers do a sort of bluegrass-country thing. Except for the UFOs, like most of today’s entertainment, these folks are from the waterfront and include boatbuilders, mechanics, journalists, and all the other trades necessary to maintain boats.

The Waterfront Pickers: Hans List, Jody Boyle, Andy Turpin, Tom Funkhauser, Suzie Olson, David Gissendaner and Karen White

Gabe Navarre opened the next set with remembrances to those who had died in the past year. After speaking shortly, he sang a couple of spiritual duets with Julie Butler.  With the audience drawn into his sad story, he broke the spell with some hot rock and roll with Scotty Lipsits on bass and Noah Wahldon of Vinyl on drums.

David Lister; sound engineer or mad scientist?

David Lister; sound engineer or mad scientist?

Fiver Brown’s band did the last set, playing mostly original songs. They really connected with the audience, who were by now getting a little dingy from all the fresh air and music. The liquid refreshments may have also been a factor.

Behind the scenes, David Lister was working all the sound gear. With all 16 UFOs on stage, he managed to mic every voice and instrument. He could be seen pulling cables, connecting mics and whatnot all afternoon.

Congo Bongo Natty Aye

Congo Bongo Natty Aye

Oh yes! Those little music books by Joe Tate are called Ukulele Baby Songbook. Over in one corner of the flea market, some happy sounds were coming from Joe’s ukulele with help from Lovise Mills providing percussion on a cooking utensil. The book contains many songs and CD of how each song is played on the ukulele. To learn more go to

To learn more about Galilee Harbor go to

Contact Night Beat at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: