Friday, March 21, 2008


Another glorious day in San Francisco, with brilliant sunshine, an almost summer weight westerly wind, and clear air. We left our slip around 2 pm, and motored over to the pump out on A dock, pumped out the holding tank and then headed out from there.

The flag on Telegraph Hill and the ones on shore were fluttering nicely in teh westerly breeze.

Out on the central bay, a large freighter was heading for the Port of Oakland, and the SF Police boat was blasting eastward.

We headed to the northwest, toward Alcatraz, fell off to avoid bucking directly into the large wake of that freighter, and then continued on, with the flags on the end of pier 39 showing the strength of the 15-20 knot winds.

After approaching the lee side of Alcatraz, we tacked and headed toward Ft. Mason, assisted by a waxing and alreaddy strong ebb current, and after arriving near the Ft. Mason piers, we turned on the engine, doused sail and motored toward the fuel dock in gas house cove, watching as this Hunter sailboat, named THE OTHER WOMAN was struggling in the wind and never quite getting her jib trimmed properly.

We motored into the fuel dock and purchased 25 gallons of fuel-- at almost 5 bucks per gallon-- YIKES!!!! wish we had filled up several months ago before prices skyrocketed. After refueling, we headed out toward the central bay, passing the unprotected pier pilings of the Ft. Mason pier, some of which look to have some series deterioration. I wonder if the pilings below the water line might be in worse shape and if this threatens the stability of the pier. Pier 39 recently spent beaucoup bucks to make repairs to the concrete pilings underneath it that had deteriorated.

Once out on the central bay, we enjoyed views of the city in the brilliant sunshine as we headed toward the weather side of Angel Island, hoping to be able eventually to sail down Raccoon Straits.

Eventually we noticed that that same Hunter sailboat was now crossing the bay under full canvas.

A bit further to the west, another lovely sailboat was also crossing the bay under full canvas.

Angel Island was basking in the brilliant sunshine and clear air.

Ahead of us, this sailboat was in the process of putting up its canvas along the shore of Belvedere.

Also ahead of us, we spotted a fleet of small sailboats practicing their sailing skills in the cove off the shore of Tiburon.

The civil war structure on the shore of Angel Island was basking in the sunshine.

A large flock of birds was resting on the sea's surface near the northwest shore of the island.

We ghosted past the buoy off the northwest point of the island, and continued ssailing across the west mouth of Raccoon Straits.

Eventually, we headed down the straits and enjoyed more views of that small sailboat fleet with Mt. Tam towering over the scene.

Against the ebb current still flowing, we managed to sail all the way to a point opposite Ayala Cove where a few boats were enjoying the afternoon sunshine.

After reaching Ayala Cove, we came about and headed across the straits on the westerly breeze, eventually encountering this sailboat heading down the straits-- the same sailboat that was crossing the bay behind us earlier.

This 44 foot sailboat seemed to have a remarkably small cockpit, and the name on the stern of the boat was not readable.

We tacked to head south, up the straits, enjoying views of beautiful Angel Island and its tree lined slopes leading to the peak of Mt. Livermore.

As we exited the straits, we spotted a dark-hulled sailboat heading northeast in the central bay, sailing on a broad reach with that same flock of birds in the foreground.

A bit later, we noticed that that sailboat had changed course, headed up and was coming our way on port tack, close reach.

Soon after, she tacked and was headed to the southwest on starboard tack close reach with the crew on the rail.

After ghosting up the west shore of Angel Island, we spotted this lovely ketch way in the east and headed northeast.

Far in the southwest, the Golden Gate Bridge was looking lonely with no boats nearby.

As we headed across the bay, we spotted ADVENTURE CAT heading our way, with a dozen or so passengers on board for her sunset sail.

We sailed past the weather side of Alcatraz, and then fell off to head for home port.

A small race boat passed to port as we continued toward home port.

The city was enjoying the late afternoon sunshien as we approached home port.

The pier 39 flags were still fluttering strongly in a breeze of at least 15 knots.

As we appoached pier 35, suddenly the setting sun was reflecting brilliantly off the windows of a financial district hotel buidling.

We came about and headed back out toward Alcatraz to watch the sundown and look for the full moonrise, and suddenly noticed that we had missed seeing the moon coming up over the hills in the east, and she was now quite high over the Oakland hills.

As we approached the lee side of Alcatraz, the sun dropped behind the island, and we tacked back toward home port to watch the sundown.

The full moon was brightening as the eastern sky darkened.

The enlarged sun was starting to set over the Marin Headlands...

...eventually starting to set behind Pt. Bonita.

The full moon was quite high over Yerba Buena....

... as the sun was going down into the ocean past Pt. Bonita.

ADVENTURE CAT was approaching home port as we sailed past the marina with the marmalade sunset behind.

We doused sail after passing the marina and then motored into port.
Later that evening,, the full moon was shining spectacularly in the night sky.

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