Sunday, March 16, 2008


The forecast was for possibility of showers, but the morning past with mostly sunshine and we decided to head out and go over to gas house cove to put some diesel in the tank. We left the slip about 12:30 pm and had the keel dragging in the mid a bit as we motored out of the slip and halfway down the fairway.

As we approached the end of the fairway, we noticed a couple of guys standing on surfboards and paddling with long paddles. This seems like it is a new fad since we have seen this four or five times lately. [You can see all 300 some photos from this outing at my photo album web site at this url:

As we exited the marina, we noted that a light northerly wind was blowing, but we intended to motor over to gas house cove, so we hoped a stronger breeze would come up later.

Boat neighbor CHANCE was dousing sail and tying up the main as we headed out into the central bay.

A few knots of northerly breeze were fluttering the flags on the end of pier 39 as we passed.

A trimaran was sailing past pier 45 and doused its jib in the lee of that pier, perhaps to begin motorsailing back to home port.

A pattern of beautiful clouds were scudding across the sky as we motored westward.

LAWLESS was motorsailing to the west as we continued on our way.

A folkboat was attempting to sail eastward against the ebb current as we approached the Ft. Mason piers, and sunny Sausalito and towering Mt. Tam provided a backdrop.

We motored into Gashouse Cove, and headed for the fuel dock, but soon found that our keel was dragging in the mud-- I had forgotten that someone had mentioned that Gas House Cove was shallow and problematic to get in at low tide-- so we had to turn around and motor back out into the bay, along with TEMPTATION.

For a while, we were just drifting with the ebb current to the west, but after a half hour, a nice breeze came up and soon we were making some nice headway toward the gate, and watched as JUBILEE sailed eastward with Angel Island as a backdrop.

A bit later, we began to see some of the fleet of boats that were finishing the double-handed lightship race.

Behind us the city was vivid in the wonderfully clear air.

Soon we were egulfed with spinnakers galore as the boats raced toward the finish line-- we later heard that one boat was lost at sea and her two crew presumed drowned. You can see a slideshow of th other photos of this race fleet at my photo album page at this url:

As we continued toward the gate, we spotted ADVENTURE CAT 2 heading home along the shore.

The north tower of the GGB and the Marin Headliands were in partial sun as we continued to beat toward the gate with some ebb current assist.

Eventually we spotted a beautiful schooner with tanbark sails attempting to sail against the current past Horseshoe Cove on the other side of the bay, so we fell off to head over that way and eventually saw that they had headed up and were coming our way with the lovely Marin Headlands behind.

We came about as the schooner approached to get a better look at her.

Her name was ALDEBARON, as we could see as she passed to starboard, looking great!
More phoots of her are on the photo album web site mentioned above.

Off to port, PEREGRINE was also headed for the gate and looking good!

We just sailed out the gate a short ways and then came about and headed back inside, sailing downwind and enjoying the view of the north tower and the headlands behind, now enjoying more sunshine as skies were clearing in the west.

As we continued eastward, we hoped at any time to see the fleet of race boats that had gathered north of Treasure Island heading our way on an upwind course, but here we were passing the south shore of Alcatraz, along with the sailboat, and the fleet was nowhere in sight.

As we passed the southern shore of Alcatraz, we noted both a flock of resting birds, mostly Cormorants, and a large patch of beautiful yellow wildflowers.

After sailing past Alcatraz, we saw that the northern sky had darkened and seemed to threaten rain, so we foulied up and prepared for storminess should it arrive.

We spotted the race fleet in the northeast and so headed that way, hoping to catch some photos of at least one of the races, and LIONHEART, apparently a sailing cloub boat, passed in front of us.

A bit later, the Islander named GABRIANA also crossed in front of us.

10-15 minutes later we were getting with photo shoot range of the windward mark of the race course and watched as CHANCE, a J120, approached the mark....

....and rounded the mark....

....prepared to set the spinnaker for the downwind run...

...and soon was flying downwind under a bright blue spinnaker!

A bit later, we spotted JOLLY MON approaching the windward mark as one of the lead boats, which surprised us as, in the past, this boat has been consistently last in the fleet-- must have had a crew upgrade this year.

We sailed off the wind and soon passed GRACE DANCES, the J120 that my sailing mate Michael has been crewing on lately.

Behind us, JOLLY MON was heading our way under her blue spinnaker.

Eventually, GRACE DANCES and DAYENU rounded the mark and were headed downwind under spinnaker.

Some time later, the wind freshened and shifted more into the northeast, and the next fleet that rounded the mark and set spinnakers were sailing toward the leeward mark on a beam reach, like EXPEDITIOUS here, with spinnakers acting like a huge genniker-- the spinnaker pole pointed straight ahead, perpendicular to the wind direction. Fortuanately, the wind wasn't too strong or the crew would have had to be on the port rail to balance the boat.

Some time later, we spotted the J105 fleet heading toward the windward mark.

Some of the fleet had rounded the mark and were heading downwind, and others were rounding the mark when a race committee boat came flying past, blowing the signal that the race was cancelled, so the whole fleet headed back to port-- perhaps the race committee was worried that a big storm was brewing out of the north.

So we headed towad home port also, eventually ghosting along in light air, so we bagan motorsailing, then picked up a stronger breeze and so just let the engine idle while we sailed toward home port, dousing sail as we approached pier 33 and them starting to motor the rest of the way when the engine conked out and wouldn't start again so we had to pull out the jib again and sail westward while we switched fuel filters in th engine compartment, bled the ending and then tried to start the engine again, but with no luck. Fortunately I had gotten the cell phone number of Tom, one of the maintenance guys at the marina and called him to see if they could muster out and tow me in. He said they just had the small boat, I said i would meet them at the entrance to the marain, sailing around until they showed up nar the entrance and then headed over there to pick up their tow. They towed us in just fine and later teh engine started and ran fine, so i don't know what was its problem out there, but i recall that this has happened before when I've left the engine idling while sailing in stong winds that heel the boat over quite a lot, so perhaps that was the problem, but can't explain it.

You can see a slide show of all the 107 photos from this regatta on Saturday at my photo
album website at this url:

Later that evening, efter returning from the grocery store, I noticed the beautiful sunset colore, grabbed the camera and went out to catch some shots, like this one of sunset color on a cloud bank in the northeast....

... and this one of the sunset over the bay from the end of Pier 39. All in all, a wonderful afternoon, a nice sunset, and later Olivier came over and we had dinner together on ANTICIPATION to top of the day.

No comments: