Sunday, April 6, 2008
SATURDAY, 5 APRIL 08-- 2 BRIDGE KISS IN MOSTLY STRONG WINDS
We left port about 4 pm with a strong westerly blowing and raised single-reefed main and headed out into the central bay.
After sailing out a ways with main only flying, we came about and headed down the cityfront, pulling out the jib to full, and sailing past the mammoth cruise ship tied up at pier 35.
Even in the lee of the city, the wind was stong and gusty at times, but we were sailing off the wind and so had no problems, eventually passing this sailboat flying double-reefed jib only.
Way over in the east, by Yerba Buena Island, a group of sailboats were heading home to the east bay somewhere.
Behind us, the BAY LADY schooner, flying full canvas, was blasting down the cityfront toward home port and looking good!
We sailed under the A-B span of the Bay Bridge, shortened the jib, and then continued sailing southward to check out some of the sights there, like the BAY LADY dousing sail before motoring into the South Beach marina.
A large NOAA research vessel was tied up at one of the piers south of the Bay Bridge--- a vessel that we had, from a distant vantage point, mistaken for a cruise ship on thursday.
As we headed back toward the Bay Bridge, this nice Catalina passed to starboard.
We sailed under the A-B span and then tacked toward the cityfront, before tacking to the north again, sailing past the pedestrian pier south of the Ferry Buidling, where someone was taking our photo as we took theirs...
This lovely sailboat passed to port, looking good.
PISCES aslo passed to port, heading for the Bay Bridge...
... as was this nice ketch.
When we reached the central bay, winds were strong, but not anywhere near as strong as on Thursday, and eventually we encountered this sailboat heading northeast and doing wing and wing....,
.. but then gybed onto port tack as she passed astern of us.
Tihs small sailboat also passed astern as we headed toward the lee of Angel Island.
North of Alcatraz, the breeze began to soften dramatically, and so we headed up toward Angel Island, watching as this good looking boat headed north toward the lee shore of Angel.
After a couple of tacks we were heading up the weather shore of Angel Island and again spotted that racing catamaran as she headed toward the central bay.
Off to port, this sailboat was headed toward Sausalito and was making less headway than we were.
We ghosted in softening breezes to the mouth of Raccoon Straits, but clearly there was insufficient winds in the straits to buck the ebb current, so we headed up and sailed into the mouth of Richadson Bay, with Mt. Tam towering over the bay.
We scouted the homes on the west side of Belvedere, including thsi unfinished monstrosity on the west hillside...
... and this new-looking mansion on the shore with a private dock.
Many more shots of the houses are available on my photo album page
at this url:
Eventually we started to run out fo breeze altogether, so we tacked toward the gate and were then sailing parallel with this smaller sailboat, flying full canvas.
Way over by the shore of Angel Island, this lovely Catalina was ghosting up the weather shore, as we had done earlier.
A short time later, we and that other sailboat off port, were in a storng breeze and accelerating toward the gate, well-heeled-over.
Meanwhile OSPREY was sailing past Belvedere behidn us.
We sailed across the gate with full jib flying and struggled with being over-canvassed. We then sailed back to the north and eventually reefed the jib down to a much smaller size before heading for the gate again and sailing out in strong winds and big seas, just ducking out and then coming back inside while watching this charter ketch heading for the gate.
ADVENTURE CAT 2, our old pal, was also out there, shooting the gate near sunsdown.
We spied this tug and barge headed into the bay and called the CG traffic channel to get an advisory on the route to be taken by this tandem, and were advised that they would be using the deep traffic lane, heading for Richmond, so we tacked around until they passed and then headed for home port.
The sun was going down behind the Marin Headlands as we reached for home port, pulling the jib out to full again for downwind power.
At some point, WAHOO, a catamaran, passed to starboard, headed toward Sausalito.
As we sailed past Aquatic Park, the city lights were beginning to come on and brighten.
A bit of sunset color showed up over the Marin Headlands as we continued on toward home port.
We sailed past pier 39 as dusk fell with winds still blowing at 15-20 knots.
We sailed into the lee of pier 35 to douse sail, then motored around the pier, watching as the San Francisco Belle was headed out for an evening sail, looking as garrish as usual. We motored into port happy to have spent several nice hours on on lovely bay.