It is raining in California. Raining, pouring, pelting, pissing down in a way it hasn’t for years. Hillsides slump, culverts fountain, trees collapse. Feet mildew and children climb the walls. The cell phone has taken to blaring out really quite redundant flood warnings, to suggest to the oblivious or catatonic that the creeks may be rising.
We’re not quite that bad yet. But there’s also a rather dramatic combination of high tides and record swells out in Monterey Bay, which has inflicted what may be its terminal injuries on our beloved Cement Boat—
the SS Palo Alto—
just two years short of her centenary. She was built during WWI, an experiment in finding an alternative to steel for the Navy, but was not launched until after the war was over. Instead, she found a grand social life hosting dances, swim parties—and later, a young resident of Santa Cruz who fished off the boat with her father, and who would one day become a writer of mysteries.
But one thing we can say: this five-year drought is now officially over, done, dusted.
(Until next year…)