Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Because of other schedule commitments, we didn't get out sailing over the weekend, but Michael and Bill joined us around 10:30 on monday morning for an outing. This was Bill's first time on a sailboat in many years-- he is the father of one of Michael's friends, Marco, who lives in Malta with his wife and two young children.

As we headed out into the central bay and sailed to the west toward the gate on the northerly breeze, the flags on the end of pier 39 were fluttering in the breeze in the range of 7-10 knots, but soon thereafter softened to just a few knots.

We had to tack to the northeast for a while to get away from the cityfront shore and be in position to tack to the west again and head for the gate, while we noticed Alcatraz in hazy sunshine.

Soon the breeze picked up again and began blowing over 10 knots, giving us great headway toward the gate on starboard tack, and as we approached the gate, we spotted a couple of jet skis or wave riders, like this one, that were loaded with electronic gear, and so apparently not pleasure craft.

Off to starboard, a tug pulling a barge was entering the bay after an ocean voayage from somewhere.

As we continued on toward the gate, a charter sailboat from SFBAYSAIL passed us to port, heading home.

We sailed out the gate between midspan and the south tower, giving Bill his first experience of sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge and enjoying the view of our magnificent bridge from that vantage point.

We were temporarily tempted to sail out to Point Bonita, but the winds were much softer outside the gate, so we came about and headed back inside with Bill enjoying the now somewhat stronger sunshine.

We had good winds for the first mile or so inside the gate, but they then softened and we were ghosting along to the northeast, eventually passing Alcatraz again on our way toward the north end of Treasure Island.

We picked up a stronger northerly breeze once we were out of the shadow of Angel Island and made good headway toward Tresure Island, where, after turning the southeastward, we spotted this nice sailboat heading west after exiting the marina at Emeryville.

On the east side of Treasure Island, the winds were light, so we just ghosted down the east shore, eventually spotting this sailboat named 'keylargo' that had exited the marina at TI.

A bit later, we were passing the new east span of the Bay Bridge and watching the work still being performed on this structure, including the white coating that now exists on the underside of the first section-- possibly the support towers are also coated with the same material.

After passing the bridge structure, we could see the suspended scaffolding that they were using to spaycoat the bottom of the roadway support. We could also see that an as-yet-uncoated element looking like an iron beam of some sort had been mounted to the angled portion of the underside of the roadway, as well as some already-coated L-shaped brackets. Wonder what their function or purpose will be? We also noted that the section that is cantilevered off the south side of the roadway is finished and is probably the bike and pedestrian lane that is being provided between the east bay and Treasure Island. [As far as we know, there is no plan to put such a lane on the suspension span west of the Island.]

As we ghosted down the east shore of Yerba Buena Island, this sailboat came motoring past-- also apparently out of Treasure Island marina or possbily the cove north of the bridge. The crew on the foredeck seemed to be getting ready to hank on the jib that was probably stowed in the blue bag on the foredeck.

After passing the southeast point of YBI, we could see the city through the Bay Bridge-- both locked in quite thick haze.

As we headed for the Bay Bridge, this sailboat south of us was sailing eastward.

That cute lighthouse on the southwest shore of YBI was enjoying the hazy sunshine of the early afternoon as we passed.

As we approached the Bay Bridge, fighting against the waxing flood current, this Coast Guard motor lifeboat was steaming westward along the shore of YBI. Perhaps you have seen the dramatic photos on the internet of a motor lifeboat like this practicing in big ocean waves recently.

We certainly had more sailboat company on the bay than we expected when we headed out, including this nice sailboat north of the bridge....

... and this one that had passed under the A-B span of the bridge.

We tried first to sail through the D-E span of the bridge, but the wind was too light and flood too strong, so we tried next the C-D span, with the same result, and then headed for the A-B span as this main-only sailboat was sailing with the current through the B-C span.

We finally sailed through the A-B span and headed for the cityfront shore, with the Bay Bridge behind us locked in haze.

The Ferry Building was grayed out by the haze as we approached the shore before tacking to the northeast.

This lone herring boat steamed past, heading toward the south bay.

All the buildings of the financial district were grayed out by the haze as we approached the shore after another tack.

The breeze was continuing to soften and the flood current waxing stronger, so we turned on the engine and motored the rest of the way to home port, having enjoyed about 5 hours of nice but chilly sailing on the bay.

No comments: