Wednesday, February 20, 2008


The day started out with an overcast marine layer that didn't burn off until late morning--- why in February are we having summer fog conditions???

Olivier called me in the late morning and said he had spent the night in Tiburaon on Corto Maltese and would be sailing around for a while, but would then come back to pier 39 to pick me up if I wanted to sail with him that afternoon. He arrived around 1:30 and we headed out for an afternoon sail.

Winds were moderate, but with a velocity of 10-15 knots as we left port.

After putting out full canvas, we headed out into the central bay and soon began seeing many sailboats out on the bay, like this green-hulled small boat named PAGAN BABY.

We headed west on the nice southwest breeze and this lovely large sailboat passed to port.

With ebb current assist, we were making good headway westward, and eventually passed this yellow-hulled sailboat sailing downwind and looking good.

A bit later, this small Catalina passed to starboard with an almost fully enclosed cockpit, which seemed silly to us-- sailing is fresh air recreation.

Along the shore of Alcatraz, this small Hunter was heading east with fender dragging and so not looking good.

After sailing well past Alcatraz, with intensifying winds, we fell off toward the weather side of Angel Island, hoping to sail down Raccoon Straits before heading for the gate, and enjoyed looking at the GGB with fog behind and overhead.

As we approached a point west of Angel Island, we passed this Cal heading south and looking good.

As we approached the southern tip of Belvedere, we were closing on this lovely Swan sailboat heading for Raccoon Straits on starboard tack, and prepared to give them right of way by gybing.

A bit later, we arrived in a bit of a wind hole created by colliding wind systems and gybed toward the shore of Angel Island, hoping to keep some wind for making progress against the ebb current, and soon watched as this beautiful large sailboat crossed in front of us, looking great!

Our tactics in gybing toward Angel island worked and we soon left the other boats in the vicinity far behind and stuck in the wind hole. As we approached the shore of the island, this small J-boat with reefed main also passed in front of us.

The western shore of Angel Island was bathed in sunshine as we approached and looking very inviting.

Approaching the shore, we gybed again to sail into the mouth of Raccoon Straits past the lighthouse on the cliffs at the western tip of Angel Island-- the cliffs having variagated rock colors that lend great beauty to this feature of the island.

We sailed across the mouth of Raccoon Straits toward Tiburon, with the ebb current tending to carry us westward, and we passed this nice cutter-rigged sailboat heading west with the current.

Eventually we gybed to head down the straits, and watched as this J105 set her spinnaker to head home after the afternoon racing was completed.

A lovely blue-hulled sailboat was sailing beautifully along the shore of Tiburon-- off to port-- as we ghosted down the straits fighting the ebb current.

A beautiful J-boat passed us to starboard looking just spectacular with perfectly trimmed sails and making great headway -- clearly a crusing verson of hte J-boat fleet with that nice dodger installed, yet carrying racing sails.

Over on the opposite side of the straits, this lovely large sailboat was also heading west and looking good....

As we exited the straits, this lovely sailboat was heading for the western mouth of the straits.

We continued on to the northeast for a while after exiting the straits, and Olivier was taking a catnap in the cockpit, but we were being pulled south by the current and I didn't want to get into the lee of the island and have trouble returning to the straits, so I woke Olivier up with a suggestion that we come about and head back into the straits.

We eventually made it back into the straits, fighting the current, and picked up the stronger breeze in the straits with ebb current assist, and soon were approaching Ayala Cove, where this J-boat was heading out under sail.

The cove was enjoying the mid-afternoon sunshine and seemed to be quite full of boats at the moorings and at the docks of the small marina.

We sailed westward across the straits, approaching the shore of Tiburon, and watched at RAZZBERRIES headed down the straits under spinnaker, looking great! Olivier knows the skipper-owner and shouted a greeting as we passed.

Just off the Tiburon shore, there was far less breeze, so we tacked and headed south, passing astern of this ketch named PENDRAGON.

We also passed astern of this small sailboat heading toward Sausalito, as we sailed toward the gate on a westerly breeze with ebb assist.

The breeze eventually shifted more into the southwest, and we tacked to sail toward the shore of the headlands at Yellow Bluff, enjoying views of the GGB with fog behind.

Approaching the shore, we tacked and headed south, eventually passing this small sailboat sailing past Horseshoe Cove after returning from the ocean.

We sailed across the gate, watching as a number of sailboats returned to the bay, heading home.

The GGB was in shadow because of the fog, but still looked beautiful as always, and the misture of cloud and blue sky provided a nice backdrop.

We sailed to a point near the south tower, watching a windsurfer playing around near the shore at Ft. Point, and then tacked out the gate, soon spotting that some lone windsurfer headed our way and blasting past us-- the same lone windsurfer that we had encountered on Friday afternoon.

Outside the gate, we were treated to some lovely sun and cloud pattern with some gaps in the marine layer allowing the sun's rays to stream down onto the surface of the ocean.

We sailed to near the shore of the Marin Headlands and then tacked to the south, eventually passing a point that we could see the city-- still in brilliant sunshine-- framed by the south tower and bridge deck-- one of my favorite views!

This Islander, named SPINDRIFT, was heading back toward the gate, as we continued our course to the south.

We soon left the GGB far behind and framing the view of Angel Island, also still enjoying brilliant sunshine.

We eventually tacked to the west, to head over toward Pt. Bonita, sailing to a point just southwest of the point before coming about and heading back toward the gate again.

As we headed toward the expensive home in Seacliff, especially the ones on the bluffs adjacent the sea, we noticed that one of the houses had gone to great expense to have concrete retaining walls and terracing constructed along almost the entire cliffside-- a project that probably cost several hundred thousand dollars, but perhaps one that was necessary to stabilize the hillside and prevent erosion that might have endangered the house itself.

We eventually gybed again and headed inside the gate, making good headway in a good breeze and with some waxing flood current assist, eventually enjoying views of the city, now in shadow.

In the eastern sky, an almost full moon was slowly brightening as the sky darkened.

High sweeps of clouds combined with the dark fog bank to give a nice pattern of light and shadow at sundown, but left little hope of a beautiful sunset.

We gybed back and forth a few times on our journey toward home port, eventually passing this Hunter sailboat heading westward at dusk.

City lights were brightening on shore at dusk and some nice pink sunset color provided a nice backdrop to Coit Tower and the financial district towers.

We doused sail after passing the marina and then motored into port, enjoying the view of Telegraph Hill at twilight, and happy to have spent five wonderful hours on the bay! It was also great to have been out sailing for four days in a row: twice on ANTICIPATION and twice with Olivier on CORTO MALTESE!

1 comment:

Chris said...

Nice boats. Sailing looks like a lot of fun. San Francisco is a beautiful city...Sausilito...The golden gate bridge...brings back memories...