Saturday, May 17, 2008


Thursday started out with a land breeze blowing in the morning, heating up the temperatures in the city to an unusually uncomfortable level. The breeze shifted into the west in the early afternoon but at a moderate velocity.

We headed out about 3 pm, and were surprised to encounter traffic outside the marina where we usually raise the main, including this neighbor sailboat ....

... and this J-World sailboat.

We raised full main and headed out into the central bay, came about, pulled out the jib to full and headed toward the A-B span of the Bay Bridge, following this nice looking sailboat ahead.

The Financial District was enjoying brilliant afternoon sunshine as we sailed along in the light breeze.

As is often the case, warm weather combined with light winds and flat seas bring out some jetskiers.

As we looked ahead toward the Bay Bridge, it seemed clear that there would be little breeze near the bridge, and the tide was starting to flood, so we came about and headed back toward the central bay, passing this tractor tug tied up at pier 27 for some unknown reason.

A Coast Guard patrol boat steamed past to starboard heading for the gate, and soon we were encountering a freshening breeze that felt good to begin with as we were blasting westward in 8-10 knots. The wind velocity kept bruilding and soon we were overpowered, falling off the wind and heaidng for the lee of Alcatraz where we reefed the jib down to a small size. We were still overpowered, so fell off to head for the lee side of Angel Island, screaming downwind as the breeze kept strengthening and the wind waves began to build in height.

Strong winds held uniil we were half way up the lee shore of Angel Island and then finally we found a quiet spot to reef the main before heading back to the southeast, encountering the strong 20-25 knot winds again, and blasting toward home port on close reach starboard tack, taking many blasts of spray over the boat as we cut through the wind waves, but having just the right amount of canvas for the extreme conditions.

Winds were unusually southerly again, so lightened a bit as we approached the cityfront, sailing into the lee of pier 35 to douse sail and ready for landing.

As we motored around pier 35, we saw this neighbor boat rasing full canvas and heading west against the strong flood current-- looking good except for the dangling fender.

Off in the northeast, we spotted three other sailboats heading west in the strong breeze as well as a container ship headed out to sea.

We motored into the marina, having to motor through a small gap between a tug and barge that was inside the marina and the marina seawall-- not with a comfortable feeling, and then as we started to turn into our fairway, we spotted a neighbor sailboat starting to back out of her slip without checking for traffic, and had to divert to the next fairway, turn around and come back to our fairway-- such unusual traffic!!!!!

We played the flood current well and landed in our slip nearly perfect,
happy that the temperatures near the water were cooling off for the evening.

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