Maltese Falcon

I’m a big Humphrey Bogart fan. Casablanca is the best movie ever made and The Big Sleep is a classic, certainly when it comes to plot confusion. The Maltese Falcon is always worth watching though it is the elusive falcon itself that seems to be the star, to me. [Spoiler] The genuine Maltese falcon, a legendary jewel-encrusted gold statuette, never actually puts in an appearance in the movie and the protagonists spend all their time chasing a lead fake.

Naturally, when we read that the Maltese Falcon was going to be in the area I just had to go and see it. This Maltese Falcon is a high tech. 289-foot three-masted super yacht and was now anchored in Drake’s Bay where we had been on Monday after visiting the Point Reyes lighthouse. It is reported to be waiting for the right time to enter San Francisco Bay for a charity event. The right time is low tide because the masts come within 20 feet of the Golden Gate Bridge and it is expected to sail in at 2:00 PM tomorrow (Saturday).

Regrettably Drake’s Bay faces south so the sun was always going to be on the wrong side of this spectacular vessel but it was still a chance not to be missed, being a mere 20 miles or so distant. Naturally, as we neared the coastal areas we also neared the irritating coastal fog bank but, as we descended the road towards Drake’s Beach itself, we could see the ship moored serenely and fog-free in the bay.

Maltese Falcon moored off Drake's Beach Maltese Falcon head on in Drake's Bay As we watched, slowly but surely the yacht was pivoting about its anchor so we eventually had a chance to see it beam on and head on. A few other people had gathered to see it at anchor but, for many, this is quite a remote spot so the car park wasn’t at all crowded. I imagine it will be a very different story tomorrow and that all the vantage points surrounding the Golden Gate Bridge will be filled to overflowing to see the legendary craft enter the bay.

The yacht was offered for sale at €115 million but is now off the market. You’ll have to be content with a week’s rental at €350K, plus expenses, of course.

Posted in California, 2008

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