Monday, July 31, 2017

Empress in Sacramento

The new owners of Empress, Patrick and Francis Noone, had a delivery captain and crew take Empress from Mission Bay in San Diego to Martinez on the Sacramento River.  From there Patrick Noone and crew took her to her new home port in the Alamar Marina in Scramento, California.

The photo below shows Empress approaching the Alamar Marina seen under the bridge on the starboard side.
Empress Approaches Alamar Marina
The photo below shows Empress tied up in the Alamar Marina.

Empress Tied Up in the Alamar Marina

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Drone Video of Empress at Sea

On September 1, we took Empress to sea off Mission Bay in San Diego and flew a Typhoon H drone to record UHD video of Empress in action at sea.  The crew was John Penhune, Captain and Rick Busch, First Mate.  The done pilots were Brons Larson, Tim Herrin, and Wes Wang.  The video recording was done by Brons Larson and Tim Herrin, and the video editing and production were done by John Penhune.

A lower-resolution short clip of the video recorded by the drone follows:

You can watch a much-longer, much-higher-resolution version of the edited UHD video by going to Vimeo at

Some photos of our crew follow:

Rick, Wes and Tim approaching Empress on G Dock at Marina Village

Left, Tim in front of chart table; Right, John at helm
Tim & Wes on boat deck from which the drone was flown

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving Aboard Empress

Marcellite Penhune cooked and served a scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner aboard Empress.  The photos below show the entire spread and Marcellite with the turkey.

Cowboys v. Raiders and the Thanksgiving Spread

Marcellite and her Beautiful Turkey
Guests lift a Thanksgiving toast.  From left, Jim Penhune (John's son), our friend "Beej," Marcellite Penhune, and Tomi Faust (Marcellite's mother).
Guests around the Salon Table
For desert, Marcellite made two pies, pumpkin/banana/coconut and mincemeat, and served them with whipped cream.
Marcellite's Homemade Pies

Monday, July 8, 2013

Fourth of July Aboard Empress

Longtime friends and the Penhune and Lasensky families gathered aboard Empress to watch the 4th of July fireworks from Sea World, which is near where Empress is tied up in Mission Bay in San Diego. As shown in the photos below, Marcellite Penhune decorated Empress for the occasion.
Empress exterior decorated for 4th of July
Empress interior decorated for 4th of July
Appropriate to the occasion, John Penhune displayed the yacht ensign and the Fourth of July Yacht Club burgee, as shown in the photos below.
Yacht ensign at the stern of Empress
Fourth of July Yacht Club Burgee at Bow of Empress
After an elegant BBQ dinner put on by Marcellite Penhune, we all watched the spectacular fireworks display from Sea World from the boat deck of Empress.  Some of the fireworks are shown in the photos below.
Fireworks from Sea World
Sea World Fireworks Finale





Saturday, June 15, 2013

Empress has a Pinniped Visitor

When I returned to Empress from West Marine today, I found people from G Dock photographing a large sea lion that was snoozing on the dock near the bow of Empress.  In Quivira Basin the seals normally hang out at the North end of the bait barge and on dock fingers close to the bait barge, although big guys like our visitor often find difficulty finding a good spot, so I guess this one was exploring alternative napping locations.

Sea lion snoozing on dock near bow of Empress
As shown in the photo below, viewed close up, sea lions look like friendly dogs, although they can be aggressive and bite, if scared or provoked.

Our visitor's face close up

After preening for the photographers, our visitor dove in between the bow of Empress and the dock finger - the spot where we often tie up our Boston Whaler tender.  Needless to say, we hope he doesn't come back and jump into the tender.

Sea lion preening on the dock for photographers
When we tied up our previous trawler (a 45-foot Sea Ranger) in Monterey, there was a very large sea lion on the dock finger assigned to us.  When a member of the crew tried to step on the dock with a line, the sea lion growled at him, so we circled around and I called the harbor master on the radio.  To our amusement, the harbor master answered on the radio, "Don't tell anyone I told you this, but when no one is looking, poke him with a boat hook!"  Fortunately for us and the sea lion, it took off when we re-approached the dock.

Monday, February 25, 2013

New Safe Dock Stairs

So that Marcellite's 91-year-old mother and I can board Empress safely at her end tie at the Marina Village Marina, we had Rick Busch build a new set of dock stairs as shown in the photo below.  Rick is one of the marina dock captains who also is very skilled at carpentry and boat repairs, having lived aboard a sailboat for many years.

New Empress Dock Stairs
To bridge the gap between the dock stairs and Empress when the wind or tidal current causes her to stand off the dock, Rick cleverly devised a boarding plank that is hinged to the dock stairs and rides on wheels on the side deck of Empress when deployed.  When not in use, the boarding plank folds flat on top of the top platform of the dock stairs.  The photo below shows the boarding plank deployed.

Folding Boarding Plank Deployed
Rick totally enclosed the interior of the dock stairs and provided a door to allow the interior to be used for dry storage as shown in the photo below.

Dry Storage Under Dock Stairs
I am in outpatient physical therapy now and am becoming more mobile every day.  I hope that my next blog post will show me back aboard Empress.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Interior Redecorating

Marcellite Penhune is taking the lead in significantly redecorating the interior of Empress.  The first step was replacement of the carpet throughout the boat with a European product made for marine applications and having a dark blue background and a gold nautical pattern.  The photos that follow show the new carpet in the salon and on the aft stairs.

New Carpet in Salon

New Carpet on Aft Stairs
The next step was reupholstering the cushions in the aft master cabin and the chairs in the salon.  The photos below show three of the reupholstered chairs around the glass table in the aft end of the salon and the reupholstered large swivel chair in the main salon.

Reupholstered Chairs around Glass Salon Table
Reupholstered Swivel Chair in Salon
After that, Marcellite had the old metal blinds on the salon windows replaced with individual retractable cloth shades, so that individual windows can be shaded as need.  The photo that follows shows the new shades on the port side of the salon, first in the up positions and then in the down positions.

Salon Shade in Up Position

Salon Shades in Down Positions