Saturday, May 3, 2008


We stayed in port on Thursday because the winds were howling all afternoon and we didn't feel like fighting with old man Neptune's strong breath.

On Friday morning, the winds started out quite strong and then softened, so we headed out of port around 11:30 am with a light wind of only a few knots blowing from the SSW.

We raised full main and headed out into the central bay, sailing to the north for a while and then gybing to head down the cityfront toward the A-B span of the Bay Bridge, pulling the jib out to full and passing the mammoth cruise ship tied up at pier 35.

The financial district buildings were illuminated by the cloudy bright sky conditions.

As we ghosted down the cityfront on a close reach, a Beneteau was heading north along the shore of Treasure Island, sailing with the waxing ebb current while we were fighting it.

A NOAA research vessel was tied up at pier 29.

As we continued ghosting down the cityfront, this Commodore Hcrnblower harter yacht steamed past to starboard.

We encountered a few gusty wind alleys from time to time and managed to sail past the Ferry Building around 12:25 pm.

As we approached the A-B span of the Bay Bridge, the wind softened to a point that we may have been going backwards for a time, but finally a freshening breeze came up and drove us under the A-B span, after which we fell off and headed east with the ebb current pulling us northward, but we were enjoying the views of the city through the Bay Bridge as we sailed along.

We did some broad reaching and some wing and wing to the east and finally were sailing around the southeast point of Yerba Buena Island where the cute lighthouse stands on the bluff.

Just west of the lighthouse, on the shore, a colony of harbor seals was snoozing in the afternoon sunshine.

As we headed for the east span of the Bay Bridge on the east side of Yerba Buena, we spotted a Coast Guard fast boat on a trailer on the dock-- haven't seen that before.

It was interesting to see that they have apparently built the superstructure of one section of what appears likely to be the exit and entrance ramps for Yerba Buena Island from the new Bay Bridge span. How they are going ot take traffic off the cantilevered suspension span is a mystery to me. Guess I'll look on the web and see if I can find any photos or drawings that depict this feature.

As we approached the bridge span, this crew boat was dropping some bridge construction crew members off at the base of the tower on the island.

Progress on what seems to be the support tower base for the suspension spans is happening but seems mighty slow.

We had reefed the jib down to a small size while in light air east of YBI, so we had the right amount of sail power as we headed up the east side of Treasure Island and then out into the central bay where the winds had now strengthened to 15-20 knots. We were blasting to the northwest as this cutter-rigged sailboat was heading southeast with her trisail flying along with full main. She was looking good!

Winds were strong all the way across the bay and half way up the lee side of Angel Island, then softened as we approached Raccoon Straits, so we pulled the jib out to full for more power, and then this copter circled overhead, taking photos of ANTICIPATION looking good, I suppose.

We lost most of the breeze for a while and wondered if we'd have to motor into the straits when a nice breeze filled in and we were able to fight the ebb current and sail into the straits, just north of Angel Island, eventually passing this smaller Ericson sailboat heading down the straits.

A couple of sailboats were tied up at the buoy field in Ayala Cove, which another sailboat motored into the cove.

Two sailboats were tied up at the docks of the small marina in the cove.

As we continued westward on close reach port tack, this nice Cal sailboat passed to port, looking good except for the fender dragging in the water.

This larger sailboat followed the Cal down the straits and she was looking good!

The Corinthian Yacht Club was enjoying the hazy sunshine of the early afternoon as we sailed past.

We watched as this Folkboat sailed past Belvedere and headed out toward the central bay, wondering if full canvas would be too much eventually.

Approaching Belvedere, we tacked to the southeast and arrived eventually into some stronger breezes, so tacked toward Sausalito, and watched as this lovely schooner passed us and headed down Raccoon Straits.

We sailed across the mouth of Richardson Bay with some decent winds most of the way, but lightening as we approached the shore, south of this small sailboat that was being subjected to a Coast Guard safety inspection.

We reefed the jib in light air near the shore of Sausalito and then headed down the shore toward the GGB, eventually encountering much stronger winds that caused us to give up on shooting the gate and to head for home port instead. We were screaming downwind, as was this cutter-rigged sailboat that eventually passed us.

We, in turn, caught up with and passed this smaller sailboat flying main only in the strong winds.

The city was basking in cloudy bright light as we sailed between pier 45 and pier 39.

Our old pal, ADVENTURE CAT, was headed out for an afternoon sail.

The flags on the end of pier 39 were pegged out in a breeze of 20-25 knots as we sailed past.

A short time later, we noticed that that schooner had tacked and was now heading west in the strong bay winds which she can easily handle-- not hardly heeled over here.

That small sailboat that we passed earlier had also tacked and was heading upwind, well-heeled-over.

We sailed into the lee of pier 35 to douse sails and ready ANTICIPATION for landing, then motored toward the marina entrance, watching as ADVENTURE CAT 2 was approaching home port and getting ready to douse her main.

That small sailboat passed earlier was now dousing her main right in the thick of the strong winds-- can't figure why she didn't follow our lead and douse in the lee of pier 35.

We motored into port, happy with our 4.5 or so hours out on the bay, noticing that a rather large catamaran is now tied up on the end tie of F dock.

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