Santa's seaplane had a dead battery so he had to try to spin the engine to life by hand on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, in Sausalito, Calif. After changing batteries, he flew around Angel Island and returned to hand out toys to Marin City kids.
(IJ photo/Frankie Frost) Frankie Frost
Santa Claus flew into Southern Marin Wednesday afternoon packing a sackful of presents for good boys and girls, but for this trip he left his reindeer behind.
Instead, he piloted his own aircraft, a Cessna 172, to make his special delivery to about 60 children from Marin City and the Canal Area of San Rafael.
Santa made a perfect landing on Richardson Bay and pulled up to the dock at Seaplane Adventures near the Highway 101/1 junction.
"Santa Claus, Santa Claus!" chanted the children — between 4 and 8 — as old Saint Nick himself, joined by Mrs. Claus, walked toward the group of squealing youngsters.
"Hello Children!," Santa said, after uttering his famous "ho, ho, ho."
"It was a very long flight from the North Pole," he said.
Santa's flight was delayed about half hour because of a dead battery in his plane, but he was determined to make the flight to see the kids.
The children swarmed the man dressed in red and quickly formed a line to talk to him one on one.
"I hope to get an Easy Bake oven," gushed Nancy Hoang of Marin City. "It was nice to see him fly in. I actually wanted to come with him."
Said Mikyla Williams of Marin City: "I want to get a microphone for when I sing."
Felecia Gaston, head of Marin City Performing Stars, coordinated the event with help from the Mill Valley, Southern Marin and Marin County fire departments, the California Highway Patrol, the Sausalito Parks and Recreation Department, Bridge The Gap Tutoring, Community Action Marin and Outback Steakhouse.
"Keeping tradition is so important in these days and times," she said. "We want kids to believe and dream so they can be happy."
Seaplane Adventures owner Aaron Singer, who has a passing resemblance to the Santa, came up with the idea.
"We wanted to do Santa's seaplane, and we got together with Felecia to make it happen," he said. "This is the first time we have done this and we hope to do it many years to come."
Story and photos: http://www.marinij.com