Bob, who sailed with us quite often in 2007, joined us again for an afternoon outing after a hiatus of about 3 months that I did not hear from him. I was happy to learn that he was okay and ready to do some more sailing.
We left port about 2:15 pm, under sunny skies with a moderate westerly wind blowing, and we raised single reefed main and headed out into the central bay.
Once out a ways on the bay, we came about and then pulled out the jib to full before heading for the A-B span of the Bay Bridge, eventually passing CaliScotia, looking good and flying full canvas.
We had variable winds as we sailed down the cityfront, with some strong wind alleys that propelled us along quite smartly from time to time, and it wasn't long before we had sailed under the A-B span and were looking back at the financial district buildings through the bridge.
We reefed the jib down to a double reef, and then headed up toward the shore a bit before tacking to head north on close reach port tack, falling off to a beam reach once we reached the central bay where winds were now howling at 20-25 knots, seas had been stirred up and we were taking on many blasts of spray as we crossed the bay toward the lee side of Angel Island.
Eventually, we spotted this Beneteau, beating to the west and south and eventually passing us to starboard, looking good, as well as a small sailboat sailing main only to the west.
As we finally arrived in lighter air in the lee of Angel Island, we headed up and sailed toward the east mouth of Raccoon Straits, watching as this traditional woodie crossed the mouth of the straits under main only, with what looks like a surfboard riding on the port side deck, and with strong winds stirring up the seas in this area.
We entered the east mouth of the straits in the northern half and sailed into the straits a ways before tacking to head toward Angel Island, watching as that same woodie was sailing westward through the straits and passing Ayala Cove.
As usual, Angel Island and its cove looked beautiful on a sunny afternoon.
After we approached the shore of the island, east of Ayala Cove, and then tacked, we had closer views of the two nice looking sailboats rafted together in the buoy field in the cove.
This cutter rigged sailboat seemed to be preparing to leave the cove as we passed-- it looks like a boat that we see quite often out on the bay with her quite long bow pulpit, club footed staysail and a stern pulpit that carries the backstay-- overall quite an attractive traditional looking sailboat.
Bob took the helm for a while as we sailed through the straits, watching a flotilla of small boats sailing in front of the Corinthian YC.
Heading eastward down the straits ws a small race boat that was setting an asymmetrical spinnaker on her bowsprit.
She was looking good already under full canvas with Tiburon in the background and Mt. Tam towering over the scene.
And she was looking very good with spinnaker flying as she cruised down the straits past the waterfront homes of Tiburon.
The breeze softened when we were almost through the straits, so we tacked and headed south, eventually pulling out the jib to full for more power in the light breezes in the west mouth of the straits. We managed to clear the buoy on the northwest side of the island and eventually arrived in stronger winds, which allowed us to make better headway as we beat westward toward the gate with some ebb current assist, at one point watching as this nice looking sailboat sailed westward past Angel Island.
We contemplated beating to the gate, but the afternoon was wearing on, and, eventually, as we were on one of out starboard tacks, we decided to head for home and eased out the sail to scoot for home on beam reach starboard tack. The winds in the central bay had softened to about 15 knots in the strongest areas, making for a nice, but less exciting crossing than we had anticipated from our earlier crossing that afternoon.
The city was gleaming in the bright afternoon sun as we approached Pier 39. We pulled in the jib as we passed the marina, and doused the main after heading into the wind as we approached Pier 35. We motored toward the marina entrance while tying up the main on the boom, then lingered outside the marina entrance while readying fenders and lines, before motoring in and landing nicely with some flood current pushing through the marina. Our almost four hours on the bay was very enjoyable, and it was nice to catch up on life stuff with sailing mate Bob.