Thursday morning started with very strong northerly winds in the 20-25 knot range, but by early afternoon the wind had declined to under 10 knots.
We headed out about 3 pm and winds at that time were about 5 knots.
Once out in the central bay we looked around for some company out there. Way in the east, this small sailboat was headed north.
The air was clean and clear and we could actually see the houses on the lower reaches of Mt. Tam.
The flags on the end of pier 39 were fluttering in the light northerly breeze....
...and the city was enjoying brilliant sunshine as we sailed toward the gate on starboard tack.
We soon saw a couple of sailboats headed our way from the west, and SEA FOX passed to starboard.....
...while LI'L WING passed to port, sailing past the JEREMIAH OBRIAN tied up at pier 45.
A sand dredge was operating betwen the city and Alcatraz ....
.... and here is a closeup of some of the barge features. I'm not sure how thes barge works, but obviously it does something to separate the sand and the water that it sucks up.
As we continued westward, this fully loaded freighter passed to starboard with a name on her side that I can't recall ever seeing before. So perhaps we have another new freighter line bringing in carge to the Port of Oakland.
We watched off to port as one of the Coast Guard fast boats blasted eastward as we were passing the San Francisco marina.
This lovely sailboat named GAMBLER was returning to the bay from the gate.
An APL freighter was now slowly steaming through the bay with a Coast Guard fast boat now blasting westward toward the gate.
The Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands were enjoying the late afternoon sunshine as we ghosted westward on a declining breeze.
The San Francisco Police fast boat blasted westward.
The lightly greening Marin Headlands were in part sun and shadow as sundown neared.
The same SF Police fast boat was soon blasting back to the east no more than 15 minutes after blssting westward, making one wonder if they were just out for a joyride.
As we approached the gate, the wind started to shift, first into the west and then into the southwest, so we had to begin beating toward the gate as the city behind us was enjoying the late sunshine.
Wind near the gate was too light to make any headway against the light flood current, so we came about and headed back toward home port, watching the sun reflections develop on the east bay hills.
Directly overhead, the half moon was beginning to shine more brightly. Fortunately, the wind freshened as we sailed along and we were able to make good headway toward home port with some flood current assist.
Alcatraz was wearing sunset color as we approached.
The sun was highly enlarged as it began to drop into the ocean...
... and remained bright as it was nearly gone.
The following sunset color was a dusky marmalade with some jet contrails sweeping rhrough it.
Some pink sunset color displayed on the clouds over the bay.
It was dusk as we sailed past the marina, and city lights were brightening.
We doused sail after passing the marina and then motored into the marina, enjoying the view of Telegraph Hill at twilight.