Wednesday, February 13, 2008
SUNDAY, 10 FEB. 08-- NICE AFTERNOON SAIL CULMINATING IN UNUSUAL SUNSET
Only a light westerly breeze was blowing when we left port about 3 pm, but we hoped for some freshening of the breeze as the afternoon wore on.
Once out on the central bay, and heading northeast, we spotted quite a few other sailboats out there on this lovely afternoon, like CARMELITA, a Catalina heading east under colorful spinnaker with an advertisement for a pharmacy on it. [Perhaps the owner deducts his boat expense as a mobile advertising sign.]
We eventually gybed and headed toward the Bay Bridge, hoping for the breeze to freshen to give us more headway against the wasing ebb current, and watching these kayakers paddling east along the cityfront, and shortly after, turning around and heading back west again.
Earlier, this Hunter named INVICTUS was closing with us -- we on port tack and about to gybe to give them right of way-- but she gybed first.
FAST FLYER, with some unusual stripped sails, was heading toward home port and looking good.
We eventually gave up on heading for the Bay Bridge and gybed to head north toward the lee side of Angel Island, figuring we could ride the ebb home if the wind died out, and watched as this lovely sailboat passed between us and Alcatraz.
This Hunter sailboat named SEAPEACE passed in front of us, with the lazy skipper sailing solo and keeping his fenders dangeling over the side-- ie. not looking good.
On the other hand, this small Cal sailboat was definitely looking good as she crossed our path.
SEA ROOM also crossed in front of us, and by now the breeze was nicely freshening up to between 10 and 15 knots-- very nice for good sailing.
A bit later, SEA ROOM was reefing her main, which seemed a bit odd, since the wind wasn't that strong and she was on a broad reach.
This small sailboat passed to port, looking good and sailing off the wind to the southeast.
Another small sailboat with a colorful, stripped genoa was heading east, doing wing and wing direct downwind.
A bit later, we spotted SEA ROOM again headed our way, after reefing, and sailing toward Angel Island on a close reach port tack.
As we sailed on to the north, now on the lee side of Angel Island, this racing trimaran shot past us.
We eventually ran out of a good breeze, so gave up on reaching Raccoon Straits, and began tacking south and west, to get in position to waatch the sundown through the gate, and the following sunset, and eventually spotted this cat boat heading north.
LONESOME DOVE, with full canvas flying on her cutter rig, looked great as she entered the stronger winds of the central bay and blasted along with a good heel to port.
Behind us, this small sailboat had motorsailed out of Raccoon Straits, and eventually pulled up its jib and was in the process of trimming it for her sail back to home port.
A brand-new-looking Hanse sailboat, named KIND OF BLUE, passed as she continued on her way toward her home port in Benecia-- a long ways away.
We eventually rounded Point Blount on the southeast tip of Angel Island and continued beating westward toward the setting sun as this Ranger sailboat, named DIVA, headed for home port
Behind us, the Hunter named FOGHORN was blasting southward across the bay.
We sailed past the inoperative windmill on the southwern shore of Angel Island, and thought what an appropriate place for a functioning wind generator with the good winds that are typical at that location.
The sun began now to go behind some clouds extending over the bay, creating beautiful light and shadow patterns.
Another small sailboat under spinnaker passed to port, heading toward home port...
.. as was this small sailboat towing a dingy.
We got into position to witness the beauty of the sun setting through the gate as we now headed toward home port...
... the sun gradually starting to disappear behind the horizon....
....and eventually leaving just a glimmer of its light above the horizon.
A rather unusual sunset followed, with some brilliant sunset color display on clouds just above the horizon and also on a major sweep of cloud extending over the bay.
This sweep of cloud, with windblown whisps feathering out from its northern edge, eventually took on some brilliant sunset color, creating quite the unusual image.
Check out this brief video of this unusual sunset display.
Sunset pinks colored the sky over the city as lights on shore brightened at dusk.
A spinnaker flying sailboat returning from the ocean was a mere shadow against the brilliant sunset backdrop.
As dusk turned to twilight, city lights brightened further and the magic of evening settled over the bay and the surrounding landscape.
The breeze softenened and we had to begin motoring earlier than we wanted to because of the ebb current, and it was dark as we motored between pier 45 and pier 39, with city lights now gleaming brightly in the night sky.
As usual, we were filled up with pleasure as we motored into the marina, and landed in our slip.
You can see a slideshow of the over 100 photos that we took on this outing at my
photo album page at this url: