Friday, April 18, 2008


Thursday was a warm and sunny day in San Francisco but a finger of fog was invading the bay in the early morning.

Winds were moderate-- 10-15 knots-- in the early afternoon when we left port about 3:30 pm and raised a full main, hoping that the wind would not freshen dramatically in the later afternoon.

We headed out into the bay where a thick finger of fog was invading the bay....

.. and piling up over Alcatraz Island.-- a summer fog pattern that we don't usually see in spring-- especially mid-April.

We sailed out to the north for a short distance, then came about to head down the cityfront and pulled out the jib to full for full power in the lighter winds in the lee of the city, following another sailboat heading toward the A-B span of the Bay Bridge.

As we passed the Ferry Building, we noticed that the sun has migrated far enough northward to illuminate the north side of the financial district buildings and the tower of the Ferry Building.

Way over by Yerba Buena Island, a trimaran was headed north and seemed to be flying only a huge colorful genniker.

A small sailboat was heading north near the center buttress of the Bay Bridge.

The Bay Bridge was basking in the late afternoon sunshine.

As we sailed under the A-B span of the bridge, a beautiful Knarr sailboat named ADELANTE passed to port, heading north and LOOKING GREAT!

After passing under the A-B span, we gybed and headed parallel to the bridge to sail toward the northeast to sail around the southern shore of Yerba Buena Island, now noticiing that fog finger was now hiding part of Alcatraz.

The cute lighthouse on the southern tip of Yerba Buena was basking in the late afternoon sunshine.

A colony of harbor seals was taking life easy on the southern shore of the island.

We reefed the jib in the lee of Yerba Buena and proceeded to the north, noticing that they continue to make progress on the support base for the suspension span portion of the new east section of the Bay Bridge.

As we passed under the Bay Bridge again, we spotted this Santana sailboat heading our way and eventually turning into the cove between Yerba Buena and Treasure Islands.

We had good but moderate winds all the way up the lee shore of Treasure Island, then encountered strong winds in the 15-20 knot range after passing the north point of the island, ending up blasting to the northwest, through quite heavy seas, taking spray over the bow mostly, but some into the cockpit as well. After a fast trip across the bay, we had good winds all the way up the lee shore of Angel Island-- though we were well east of the island, and we eventually headed up toward the east mouth of Raccoon Straits.

This sailboat exited the straits and was headed for Richmond.

This small sailboat was heading north toward the Richmond-San Rafael bridge.

We sailed into Raccoon Straits where winds were light and an ebb current was still flowing though waning in strength, and passed beautiful Ayala Cove where only a few sailboats could be seen.

The finger of fog that earlier invaded the bay through the gate had largely disappeared. We were happy to see that we wouldn't have to cross the bay in heavy fog on the water obscuring our vision.

Two sailboats were tied up at the small marina of Ayala Cove which is almost always full on the weekends.

We had earlier watched as this sailboat entered the straits ahead of us and more to the south, and she was now sailing across the straits from the shore of Tiburon...

.. and then tacked to the west.

With the light winds in the straits, we pulled out the jib to full and continued sailing west through the straits. We saw a group of small dingies round the south tip of Belvedere and now sailing toward their home port in Tiburon.

We arrived in lighter winds after passing the point of Tiburon, and tacked to the south to begin beating toward the gate. Behind us a lovely sailboat was sailing westward through the straits along the shore of Tiburon, and later doused sail.

Angel Island was looking beautiful in the early evening sunshine.

After exiting Raccoon Straits, we saw this sailboat heading across the bay toward the city.

With a moderate wind that was quite southerly, we ended up sailing across the mouth of Richardson Bay toward Sausalito, watching as that same sailboat we saw in Raccoon Straits heaidng a bit more off the wind toward Sausalito with the GGB in the background here.

Much further south, ADVENTURE CAT was heading toward the gate on her sunset sail.

As we tacked to the southeast to head for the gate, we spotted this outrigger canoe heading toward Richardson Bay.

The GGB was free of fog as we continued to beat toward the gate.

We shortened the jib after encountering the stronger winds in the central bay, and then continued to beat toward the gate, but winds were too strong, so we gave up on shooting the gate and headed for home port, enjoying views of the city as sundown neared.

At one point, the sun was reflecting brilliantly off the flat face of the 101 Californa building.

The ADVENTURE CAT was returning from the gate and gybing around, waiting for the sundown.

The California Hornblower was steaming along the cityfront on her dinner cruise.

We sailed into the lee of pier 35 to douse sails and get ready for landing with fenders and dock lines, then enjoyed this view of the almost full moon brightening in the eastern sky.

The sun had set and the western sky as a dusky marmalade color as we motored around pier 35 and headed toward the marina entrance-- another great afternoon of sailing on our exciting bay.

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