A sailboat that ran aground on Stinson Beach in July has until Monday to get back in the water, a federal judge has ruled, or else Marin County authorities are going to start taking it apart. Its crusty captain made a notable appearance in federal court on Thursday, without shoes, and sparked up some weed outside.
Captain Logan Walker was the solitary sailor aboard the 33-foot sailboat named The Chandalar when it ran aground on July 31st. As Walker told the Point Reyes Light after the incident, he was headed back home to Seattle and was napping with the sailboat on autopilot when it drifted ashore — and people on the beach started yelling.
"I looked outside and saw the beach and just thought, 'Oh shit,'" Walker told the Light.
The subsequent task of trying to get the boat back in the water hasn't exactly proceeded with lightning speed, and now six weeks have passed.
Some in the community have rallied around the sailor and his misbegotten journey, launching a GoFundMe that has raised almost $7,000 of a $10,000 goal to help get the boat off the beach. But it's a matter of tides and some serious pulling power — the vessel weighs some 10 tons.
As ABC 7 reports, the past week saw a major community effort with at least a dozen people who came out at high tide, in the middle of the night, to pull the boat around 90 degrees so that its bow is facing the ocean, ready to get pulled out.
But others in the area are annoyed by the mess — Walker has been living on the boat, and images from the scene shows some detritus collecting on the beach around it. And the county sought a temporary restraining order on Walker, which was granted August 29 by U.S. District Court Judge James Donato.
Walker had to make an appearance in federal court in San Francisco on Thursday, and ABC 7 was there to catch him coming out of the courtroom after what was reportedly an expletive-filled hearing about the situation.
"What happened to your shoes?" asks ABC 7's Stephanie Sierra.
"I... don't know what happened to them," Walker replies, pulling some paper booties off that were given to him for the hearing. He walked through the Tenderloin like that!
The judge gave Walker until noon on Monday to get the boat back in the water.
"Do you think you'll make it?" asks Sierra, speaking to Walker outside the federal building on Golden Gate Avenue as Walker sparks up a weed pipe.
"Yeah, it can be out of here real soon," Walker says.
"How soon?" Sierra asks.
"The next tide," Walker says.
The whole exchange is pretty amusing, and unfortunately we don't have footage from the courtroom.
We'll see if Walker makes it out! If not, Marin County authorities say they will begin the process of disassembling the boat.
"Their fix to the problem is to cut up my boat, which is really bad for the environment," Walker says to ABC 7.
And some in the community agree, and it will likely end up costing the county a lot of money to dispose of the boat.
"I understand it's an eyesore," says Stinson resident Erica Lowry, speaking to ABC 7. "I was told $50,000 worth of taxpayer money to remove it by the county."