Thursday, April 3, 2008


Michael joined us for an outing on a nice sunny and breezy afternoon about 2 pm. and we left port shortly thereafter, raising single-reefed main and putting out single reefed jib before heading out into the central bay where the winds were blowing at least 20 knots-- summer weight winds.

We headed west on the southwest breeze with a declining ebb current, sailing through substantial wind waves that blasted the bow of ANTICIPATION and, from time to time sent blasts of spray over the bow-- one big blast making it all the way into the cockpit. After sailing past the southern shore of Alcatraz, regularly taking spray, we fell off and headed on a beam reach toward the weather side of Angel Island, making good timing all the way to the mouth of Raccoon Straits where the winds were much lighter.

We had earlier been watching as a racing catamaran blasted westward about a quarter mile further east, and now she was blasting southward, and I took this video of her-- you can tell from the shakiness that we were sailing through substantial wind waves.

We sailed across the mouth of the straits toward the Tiburon shore and then gybed to head down the straits, pulling out the jib to full for more power in the lighter winds, and eventually passing beautiful Ayala Cove on Angel Island, where a solitary sailboat was tied up at a buoy and the small marina was emply.

The lone sailboat was a cutter-rigged sailboat, probably over 40 feet in length with nice lines.

As we passed Ayala Cove, we fell off and took a double reef in the jib to be appropriagely powered for the strong winds of the central bay, then came about and headed back up the straits. Michael took the helm for a while, and we beat our way toward the gate, where our brilliantly beautiful bridge was enjoying the clear air and full sunshine.

Way off to port, a sailboat was crossing the bay from the lee side of Angel Island and sailing well heeled-over.

JUBILEE 11 was returning from the ocean udner main only, and passed to starboard, looking nice.

This ketch was also returning from the ocean and passed to port with the city as a beautiful backdrop.

At one point, we tacked into the area just insdie the north tower of the GGB, then tacked to sail across the gate with the now waxing flood current pushing us away a bit, and finally tacking out the gate between midspan and the north tower, enjoying views of the bridge an dthe cliffs of the Marin Headlands.

I love the play of light and shadow on the headlands in the late afternoon!

We just sailed out a short distance and then came about and headed back inside the bay on a broad reach starboard tack. We had seen a kite surfer playing around near the gate as we headed in that direction earlier, but once inside the gate, we also noticed that at least one windsurfer was also playing around on the bay-- here just getting up after falling during a gybe.

I didn't notice until I was reviewing my photos that this windsurfer was wearing a cat mask and a tail on the wetsuit-- perhaps it was catlady on the water on April Fools Day.

We also spotted several kitesurfers when we were about a half mile inside the gate, like this one that crossed in front of us....

...this one that was off our starboard side...

.. and another also off starboard-- their colorful kites adding to the natural beauty of the bay and surroundings like performance art.

Eventually we spotted this jib-only sailboat crossing the bay on a fairly even keel.

The city was enjoying brilliant late afternoon sunshine as we sailed past pier 45.

With a wind shift more into the west, the jib started backwinding, so we pulled it in and began sailing main only direct downwind. Michael took the helm so I could tie on the fenders in preparation for eventual landing, and we sailed into the lee of pier 35 to douse and tie up the main before motoring around toward the marina entrance, catching sight of that cutter-rigged sailboat from Ayala Cove heading home as we were about to motor into the marina.

We landed fine, playing the now flooding current near perfectly, happy to have spent several pleasurable hours on our beautiful bay.

No comments: