Saturday, February 16, 2008


Olivier callem me in the early afternoon and asked about conditions in the city, and decided to come up so we could go out for an afternoon and sunset sail.

We left port about 3:30 pm with a moderate wind blowing as we left port, raising full main and putting out a reefed jib as we headed out into the central bay.

The tide had been a quite strong ebb and substantial wind waves had built on the bay waters, so we were banging through them and taking some spray as we headed west on the southwest breeze.

When we were about 2/5 of the way to the gate, we began to spot some other sailboats, like this one crossing the bay on close reach starboard tack....

...and this one sailing on a port tack beam reach to the east.

Strangely, a major fog bank was hanging over the gate and the western part of the bay. This was the third incidence of fog in February-- very strange and unusual for this time of year. I can't figure out what causes fog to develop this time of year when the cnetral valley is about the same temperature as the coast.

Way in the north, a large Beneteau sailboat was pointed directly into the wind with its sails flapping....

...and later she was crossing the bay on starboard tack.

A bit later, a Jeanneau sailboat was crossing the bay behind us-- and note the small red-hulled sailboat in the distance, heading west on starboard tack close reach.

We sailed west on that single port tack, until we arrived in softer winds in the lee of the headlands and then tacked to head across the gate, with the building flood current pushing us eastward a bit.

After sailing to hear the SF shore, we tacked to head out the gate, enjoying out view of our beautiful bridge, and sailing through some substantial ocean swells.

The fog bank out in the west had some gaps in it and sun rays were streaming through, creating some beautiful patterns.

We tacked to the WSW after approaching the shore of the Marin Headlands, and sailed out a bit further before falling off the wind and heading back into the bay when suddenly we spot this lone windsurfer-- earlier spotted near the shore at Crissy Field-- heading straight for us....

.... flashing past....

... and blasting away, outside the gate.

A bit later, we saw the windsurfer heading toward Ft. Point and getting into some swells and waves there.

With a good breeze and waxing flood current, we made quick progress to the east, gybing as we approached Aquatic Park to head north, watching the near-setting sun illuminting the city

We sailed toward the less side of Angel Island, and watching the sun drop behind the monster fog bank over the headlands...

..leaving a large patch of brightness behind.

We sailed about half way up the east shore of Angel Island and saw that there was no wind at the mouth of Raccoon Straits, so we headed back toward home port, eventually blasting across the bay on close reach starboard tack. We sailed into the lee of pier 35 to douse sails and then motored into the marina, happy to have spend some chilly but delightful hours on the bay.

No comments: