Michael and Vincent joined us about noon for our afternoon's attempt at a three bridge kiss, and we headed out about 12:30.
Flags on land were quite limp, but a moderate breeze was already blowing on the bay, so after exiting the marina, we raised full main and pulled out full jib and headed west on the southwest breeze.
We immediately noticed that quite a few boats were already out on the bay, like this Catalina heading downwind....
...and this one heading upwind behind us.
We sailed to the west for a while and then tacked into the lee of pier 45 to give the people on pier 39 a photo op, than tacked away to the west again-- the city behind us enjoying the brilliant warm sunshine.
The wind now started to freshen dramatically and we were soon overpowered with full canvas, so came about and fell off to dead downwind to reef the jib, and then came about and headed west again, watching this lovely schooner heading east and closer to the SF shore.
Behind us, this lovely cutter-rigged, center-cockpit sailboat was crossing the bay and looking good!
PRIVATEER was also crossing the bay behind us, heading for home port.
Way way behind us, we spotted the charter sloop RUBY heading westward.
As we continued to blast westward, we spotted this race boat re-entering the bay under beautiful spinnaker.
We fell off a bit to give right of way to the very large sailboat heading across the bay on starboard tack and looking GREAT!
The Golden Gate Bridge was standing proudly above the sun-sparkled waters of the bay as we continued sailing toward Yellow Bluff.
We tacked as we approached Yellow Bluff and sailed southeastward, passing in front of this lovely small Catalina heading toward Horseshoe Cove on port tack.
Way off to port, our old pal ADVENTURE CAT 2 was sailing downwind, heading back to home port.
We saw many large flocks of cormorants during our outing, like this one heading for the gate, further off the water than usual, and against the backdrop of the Marin Headlands.
We eventually tacked toward Horseshoe Cove, sailed past the marina in the cove and then tacked to sail parallel to the gate, watching this race boat returning to the bay under spinnaker.
Winds near the gate were much softer than further inside the bay, so we sailed partway across the gate with the flood current pushing us away, and then tacked to head out the gate, accomapanied by this small sailboat.
We just ducked out the gate between midspan and the north tower, then came about and headed back inside.
We pulled out the jib to full for our downwind sailing, then gybed the main to head northward toward Raccoon Straits, eventually gybing again to head into stronger winds away from the headlands, sailing northeasterly and watching as this lovely cutter-rigged sailboat was crossing the bay toward us.
We passed astern of this lovely ketch headed for Sausalito.
This small sailboat passed to port, looking good!
Eventually, we did a chicken gybe to head toward the west mouth of Raccoon Straits, and a bit later this single-hander passed us to port, looking good with full canvas flying, large jib [a 120 probably] and rail in the water.
As we approached Raccoon Straits, STREKER passed in front of us, heading south with the crew on the rail.
Off ot port, a lone kayaker was heading across the mouth of the straits.
We sailed northwest until we were apporaching the shore of Tiburon and watched as this single-handed race boat passed in front of us before we gybed to head down the straits on starboard tack broad reach.
Several other raceboats were beating westerly up the straits, like GAMMON here.
CALABEA passed us to starboard, looking good.
As we passed Ayala Cove---being on the north side of the straits, we spotted a small sailboat heading up the straits on port tack, and a very large sailboat passing the cove and preparing to tack
Soon this lovely dark-hulled sailboat passed to starboard, looking good!
Off to port, this small race boat passed us heading upwind.
As we reached the east mouth of the straits, we spotted this lovely ketch heading into the straits, flying full canvas and looking GREAT!
Off to port, this smaller sailboat was blasting into the mouth of the straits, also looking GREAT!
As was this sailboat enjoying the good breeze with her rail in the water.
After exiting the straits, we gybed and headed for the Richmond-San Rafael bridge in much softer winds- much of the time just ghosting along, helped by a bit of flood current, and eventually being approached by this sailboat heading southeast.
Eventually, a land breeze out of the east filled in and we were able to ghost under the bridge and then come about and head back south again, eventually becomming bacalmed about a half mile north of the west mouth of Raccoon Straits, along with the lovely ketch.
Since we were becalmed and there was still a slight flood current, we were moving backwards slowly with the current and had to turn on the engine to motor into the breeze again so we could sail into Raccoon Straits again where we spotted this lovely ketch sailing into the straits from the east.
Three nice sailboats were anchored in the cove on the northeast side of the Angel Island.
We sailed toward the shore of Angel Island on a southerly breeze and then headed up to sail to the southwest on a westerly breeze, finally having to tack back to the north with a wind shift into the west again, with Ayala Cove behind us still full of boats at the buoy field, but emptying out at the docks of the small marina.
After sailing across the straits we again tacked to sail to the south and sailed past the marina at the Corinthian Yacht Club where many of the sailboats were bedecked with flags in celebration of the so-called "Opening Day on the Bay" on the following day.
Once we left the west mouth of the straits, we arrived in very shifty and flukey winds and had to tack around to find some consistent breeze, finally heading southeast on a southerly breeze and heading for the lee side of Alcatraz, watching as our old pal, ADVENTURE CAT 2, headed out for her sunset sail.
ADVENTURE CAT was also headed out for a sunset sail...
...as was PRIVATEER, the charter ketch out of pier 39.
The city was enjoying the early evening sunshine as we sailed past Alcatraz on winds that were gradually softening.
Behind us, the sun was beginning to set over the Marin Headlands.
Ahead of us, the Bay Bridge was in partial sun and part shadow of the financial district buildings.
Some sailboats from the single-handed Farallons race were returning to the bay under spinnaker as the sun was setting.
As we continued sailing toward the Bay Bridge, attempting to complete the three bridge kiss, the sun was setting behind the headlands....
...leaving us with a brilliant sunset.
We eventually gave up on sailing to the Bay Bridge as we could see that there was no breeze further south and east, so we headed up to sail toward the shore of the city, then tacked to sail to the west, before finally tacking into the lee of pier 35 to douse the sails and ready the boat for landing.
We then motored around pier 35 and toward the marina entrance, enjoying the brilliant and vivid sunset color over pier 39.
As we motored down the fairway toward our slip, the sunset color in the west still persisted, putting a nice cap on a delightful 7 plus hours on the bay.
After docking and saying goodbye to Michael, we were joined by Olivier for some wine and cheese and crackers and good conversation before all three of us headed over to North Beach for a pizza dinner and more good conversation.