Monday, April 14, 2008


The day warmed up quickly with barely a breath of breeze all morning. A light westerly began to puff around 2 pm, so we headed out, hoping to watch much of the J-Fest racing, figuring that their start was delayed by absence of breeze. We put out full canvas and headed out into the bay, hoping for a freshening breeze and, happily, it did freshen a bit, but not as much as the day before.

Out on the bay, there were some sailboats enjoying the brilliant sunshine and warm temperatures, like SALA RUN here heading east with flood current assist.

Our pal, ADVENTURE CAT 2 was just heading out with a huge number of passengers topside!!!

ADVENTURE CAT, on the other hand, was returning from her cruise with just a few passengers topside.

A large charter ketch that had been sailing eastward was now in the process of coming about and having difficulty making it around, sails flogging.

This lovely and large center-cockpit sloop was blasting away from Alcatraz-- LOOKING GOOD!

ESCAPE was looking good also, as she headed east.

Alcatraz Island was basking in sunshine as this small trimaran sailed up her southern shore.

After a few beats against the wind to the west, we were approaching the leeward marks of the J-Fest race course when we spotted this old traditional sailboat with our former boat neighbor Christian aboard-- only the second time that we have seen this interesting looking boat on the bay. Christian works at the Maritime Museum and takes care of this boat.

We hung around the leeward mark of the race course to watch the race boats heading that way with colorful spinnakers flying-- here three J120s are heading for the leeward mark.

Here, MR MAGOO is in the process of dousing the kite as she approaches the leeward mark.

GRACE DANCES here is approaching the leeward mark on port tack while others further back are approaching on starboard tack.

MR MAGOO rounded the mark and headed back upwind toward the windward mark about a half mile inside the gate.

After all the J120s had rounded the leeward mark, the J105s were approaching-- the J105 fleet, in general, has the more colorful designs on their kites!

Here are a group of those colorful kites!

The J105 fleet is much larger than the J120 fleet, so the mark roundings are much more crowded and traffic jams can occur.

Here, ORION is dousing her colorful kite as she approaches the mark....

.... and is still in the process of finishing up the douse as she rounds the mark and begins beating upwind-- but at least she isn't shrimping, i.e. dragging the kite in the water.

We had noticed this damnable small container ship belching out thick black smoke as she steamed under the gate and here she is still belching a horrible plume of smoke from her engine exhaust! Fortunately, we were upwind of her!

After rounding the leeward mark, the J105 fleet is heading upwind with crew on the rail, like TMC RACING here. This boat won the overall regatta in her class.

We were west of the start line as the J120 fleet engaged in their pre-start maneuvers, and watched as MR. MAGOO won the start and headed our way, looking good!

Here, four of the J120 boats are heading toward the cityfront for flood current relief, and all are within a couple of boat lengths, but still a few boat lengths behind MR. MAGOO.

GRACE DANCES was in the four boat bunch and LOOKING GOOD!

A bit later, the J105 fleet was heading for the finish line on their first race, and here WALLOPING SWEDE's crew was looking quite relaxed as they headed for the finish line.

We stayed around west of the start line to watch the J105 pre-start for the second race, like here with a group of boats all headed in the same direction.

A bit later, the lead boats of the J120 fleet were already heading for the leeward mark to complete the first of two legs of their second race-- MR MAGOO still in the lead, and CHANCE a close second. MR MAGOO won the regatta on overall points.

DESDEMONA and TWIST were also bunched together.

A small fleet of other J-boats were also racing in the J-Fest Regatta, like MR. TOAD, a J24, heading for the leeward mark here.

The crew of NANTUCKET SLEIGHRIDE was looking quite relaxed as she sailed downwind toward the leeward mark. This was the only race that this boat won during the regatta. GOOD TIMIN won the regatta as she almost always does.

BALD EAGLE was sailing downwind with a twist in their kite that they seemed not to be attempting to shake out.

This J boat was dwarfed by the Celebrity cruise ship that was steaming past on her way to the gate-- they look close together here, but were actually separated by several hundred yards.

The mammoth cruise ship was blasting toward the gate, and probably the passengers were all topside, enjoing the views, including the race boats that must have seemed tiny from their perspective.

The crew of MR. MAGOO looked relaxed as she headed for the finish line of the second race.

She was a couple of boat lengths ahead of CHANCE at this point and was almost certain to be still in the lead crossing the finish line.

We managed to make it up to the leeward mark to watch some mark roundings and spinnaker sets-- here NANTUCKET SLEIGHRIDE in the lead was rounding the mark a number of boat lengths ahead of the next boat, but had a twist in her kite.

You can see a time-lapse sequence of her crew working to untwist the kite in my photo album website at this url:

She was off and running and LOOKING GOOD as the 2nd place boat approached the windward mark.

Here a group of J105s are approaching and rounding the windward mark, and looking good.

Here is a video of a bit of the mark rounding.

We watched all of the fleet round the mark, taking many photos that you can see on the above-mentioned website, including a couple of time-lapse sequences of spinnaker setting, and then we headed for the gate on a breeze that had finally freshened to about 8-10 knots, at least along the cityfront. As we beat toward the gate, we watched as another lone sailboat sailed to and out the gate near the north tower, and then headed our way, and wondered if it might be Olivier on CORTO MALTESE-- and sure enough, it was!

She was sailing toward the shore at Crissy Field, probably planning to gybe back and forth toward home port, like the day before, while we just managed to ghost out the gate between midspan and the north tower of the bridge-- ghosting along against the still flooding current in a much softer wind.

We just ducked out and then came about and headed back inside, making faster headway with flood current assist, and eventually encountering this odd-looking center-cockpit sloop crossing the bay in front of us.

CORTO MALTESE was way ahead of us, along the cityfront, but when she gybed our way, she was behind us, sailing nicely on the flat waters of the bay.

We were about 8-10 boat lengths ahead of her when she gybed again to head for home port on the same starboard tack that we were on, so we gybed and let her pass us-- the crew all looking quite ruddy in the late afternoon sunshine.

The city buildings took on a golden sundown color as we approached home port-- very beautiful!

We rolled up the jib as we sailed past the end of pier 39, and came into the wind to douse the main after passing the east marina seawall, readied for landing and then motored into port, happy to have spent over five exciting hours dancing with Neptune and watching the colorful J-Fest racing!

1 comment:

capirani said...

Great pictures as always. I love sailboats, houseboats, and pontoon boats. Maybe someday...:)