The Point San Pablo Yacht Harbor is hilariously misnamed. It should be called “Junkyard by the Bay” because of all the derelict boats and boat trash; abandoned equipment including cranes, caterpillars, vats and tanks; motorcycles and detritus of all kinds.
Just beyond the abandoned junk and falling-down-yacht club-buildings there is a thriving houseboat community. Despite the beauty of the bay itself, I can’t imagine having to drive the windy, rutted, potholed road out to the harbor through an abandoned military base and then walk out the pier and down the wharf to get to a houseboat in the dark, especially in the rain and wind so far from everything.
Just before the turnoff to the road to the harbor I’d spotted this amazing view of the Brothers (two islands in the bay; East Brother has a lighthouse that has been converted to a bed and breakfast). So after exploring the harbor/junkyard area and saying hi to my fellow painters, I drove the rotten road back to the little cove where I could see the island and painted there the rest of the afternoon.
After all my whining about plein air painting, I had a wonderful time and managed to turn off the judgmental voice and just painted. The weather and light was absolutely amazing—warm, a gentle breeze, and except for smog, perfectly clear without a drop of fog to hinder the glow of the approaching sunset.
Another bonus effect of getting off caffeine—I was painting miles from the nearest restroom and even though I had my wonderful Whiz (stand-up-to-pee device) with me, I didn’t need it.
Another success: when I got home I didn’t touch the painting, just let it be a plein air painting: not perfect, not a finished work, but a record of a beautiful day. Yay!
Here’s a little gallery of pictures from the day: