Sunday, May 11, 2008


Saturday morning was sunny and warm and my hiking buddy Keila and I did a morning hike, first heading down to the Ferry Building so she could purchase some dinner fixings for a friend, then taking the steps up the east side of telegraph hill and down the other side to her apartment to drop off the stuff, then over to Caffe Greco for a coffee and sweet, then off down Columbus to the waterfront and all the way to Ft. Point under the Golden Gate Bridge and back-- stopping at Trader Joe's on the way back.

After lunch and a nap, we headed out solo for a late afternoon sail about 4 pm, with winds blowing in the 15-20 knot range, so we raised single reefed main and put out a double reefed jib and headed out into the central bay.

The huge cruise ship that had been tied up on the east side of pier 35 was also leaving port and steaming toward the gate, as a small sailboat headed home under main only.

As we blasted westward, against a relatively strong flood current, this lovely race boat was heading home down the cityfront flying her colorful kite.

Behind us, a highly reefed FANSEA was heading home -- seemed to be heading for the pier 39 marina.

The flags on the end of pier 39 were pegged out in the 20 knot breeze.

A short time later, another race boat flying her kite passed to port, close to the cityfront and making great headway with flood assist.

This small pocket cruiser was heading home under full canvas!

The race boat SCORPIO blasted past pier 39 flying jib and spinnaker.

Further out on the bay, the charter sloop RUBY was heading toward her home port south of the Bay Bridge with quite a few passengers aboard.

As we continued blasting westward on the strong southwest breeze, we watched as DREAM KEEPER approached, checking to make sure we were not on a collision course that would require us to give right of way-- and we weren't.

She was flying full canvas and looking great as she passed astern of us-- must be a heavy displacement boat to handle full canvas in such strong winds!

This sailboarder was blasting around the bay quite a ways east of where they usually play around on the bay.

Way off to port, this lovely large sailboat was heading home, looking good downwind.

Way over by Angel Island, these two sailboats were headed home and about to encounter the strong central bay winds.

Way to the north, over by Belvedere, this lovely cutter-rigged sailboat flying full main and her staysail was looking good!

This small race boat was getting tremendous lift from jib and spinnaker and planing as she blasted downwind!

We continued on our single port tack until we were approaching Yellow Bluff, enjoying our view of the GGB as we sailed along, and noticing the fog bank behind. We reefed the jib down to a much smaller area in the lee fo the headlands before tacking and heading southeastward down the shore of the headlands.

As we blasted along this kiteboarder blasted past us, having a great time!

He was sailing downwind on the southwest breeze, his kite not too far above the water.

This large sailboat-- a Hans Christian I think, was heading home under jib only.

We sailed out into the central bay with the flood current pushing us away from the gate, and then tacked to sail past Horseshoe Cove, then tacked again to sail across the gate with the strong flood current pushing us away as this kiteboarder blasted past us, sending up a plme of spray!

This lovely dark-hulled sailboat passed astern looking good!

We sailed southeast across the gate until we neared the shore of the city and then tacked to head out the gate, passsing this lovely J-boat heading home.

We sailed out the gate between midspan and the north tower, as another sailboat was heading back inside near the south tower.

The north tower of the GGB and the headlands were looking beautiful in the late sunshine.

The rugged cliffs just outside the gate look especially dramatic with sun and shadow at this time of day.

We sailed out a short ways, then tacked to sail parallel to the gate, watching as a sailboat further out was beating out toward the ocean.

A massive fog bank was now starting to move over the headlands and we decided to abort the notion of sailing all the way out to Pt. Bonita.

Inside the gate a small sailboat was headed home under reefed main and kite. I kept hoping to see the race boats doing the ocean race heading home, but either they were already finished or were delayed out there in the fog-- more likely the former.

Pt. Bonita and the lighthouse there took on a ghostly appearance in the shadowy mist.

The city was enjoying brilliant, though hazy sunshine and a sailboat was motoring out the gate near Ft. Point.

We came about and headed back inside, sailing to the north on port tack broad reach and watching as the fog bank started to lower and move in over the headlands.

A small flock of pelicans flew past, heading out toward the ocean. It's great to see them back on the bay again after being gone all winter!

We sailed toward the Marin Headlands and then came about to head back inside the bay, pulling the jib out to full for our downwind sail, and watching behind us as the fog continued moving toward the bay.

Some sailboarders like this one were still having fun in the strong winds inside the bay!

We were blasting along with strong 20 knot + winds and some flood current assist, watching behind us from time to check on the progress of the fog bank marching into the bay and now partially obscuring the bridge.

A bit later, only the bottom of the south tower was visible.

Our old pal ADVENTURE CAT was heading out for her sunset sail- though there would be no sunset visible with the fog bank intrusion.

A large cutter rigged sailboat flying full main and jib was blasting westward on the southwest breeze and must be a heavy-displacement vessel since she was hardly heeled over with that much canvas flying and winds were about 25 knots.

We did outrun the fog bank and were happy to see that the eastern port of the city was still enjoying brilliant sunshine.

This ketch-rigged charter catamaran was heading out to the west as we approached home port.

We sailed into the lee of pier 35 to douse sails and prepare for landing, then motored around the pier, passing this small sailboat heading east toward home port....

... and this larger sailboat doing the same.

This small catamaran motored out of pier 39 and headed east as we were heading in.

We motored into the marina and landed nicely, happy to have spent several enjoyable hours on our blustery bay!!

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