Michael joined us for our afternoon outing and we left port about 3 pm. Winds were blowing in the 10-15 knot range when we left the marina and we raised single reefed main and put out a small jib before heading northward for the lee side of Angel Island.
As we crossed the bay, this sailboat flying main only was heading across the bay in the other direction, passing to port.
Way off in the northeast, some other sailboats were headed southeast toward the lee side of Treasure Island, like this one. We were glad to have some company out there on such a blustery afternoon.
Winds intensified between Alcatraz and Angel Island and were southwesterly, so we made great time along with some flood current assist, heading up some after sailing past the southast point of the island, and tacking just north of the east mouth of Raccoon Straits and passing in front of this Magnum 44 sailboat flying double reefed main and reefed jib.
We sailed on starboard tack to a point near the shore of Angel Island and then tacked to the west, pulling out the jib to full since the breeze in the straits was more moderate, and sailing past Ayala Cove were a few sailboats were at the buoy field.
Two boats were still tied up and one was motoring out of the cove, heading west.....
... pulling out her inner jib and sailing along the shore of the island.
Eventually, this Hunter also motored out of the cove, heading across the straits.
We had to tack a few times to complete our journey through the straits, eventually watching as this small sailboat out of Tiburon crossed in front of us, heading for the central bay with full canvas.
That Hunter that motored out of Ayala Cove with main only flying was eventually spotted sailing down the weather shore of the island flying full canvas.
We sailed toward the gate on the moderate westerly breeze that we encountered west of Belvedere, after beating toward Sausalito for a while, then we encountered very strong wind that forced us to fall off to dead downwind and reef the jib before continuing on toward the gate, soon finding ourselves in a wind hole, and being passed by this lovely dark-hulled sailboat, named BLUE COUP, t flying jib only.
We eventually picked up a steady moderate breeze and sailed southward toward the gate into freshening breezes, being passed to port by this lovely small Catalina flying full canvas.
We continued beating toward the gate, watching as that Catalina retreated when encountering much stronger winds that probably had her overpowered with full canvas. Near the gate, the winds were building into the 20-25 knot range and we were happy to be well reefed and have just the right amount of canvas to handle the winds. Seas were also building with swells of incrasing height and sharpness, but we managed to beat out the gate, then tack to sail parallel to the gate, then come about and head back inside on port tack broad reach, surfing on some of the waves and swells.
Inside the south tower, winds were still light, so we gybed, pulled out the jib to full and headed for home on broad reach starboard tack, blasing along, as were these sailboarders enjoying the strong winds.
As we blasted downwind, our old pal ADVENTURE CAT was headed out for her sunset sail, flying main only. Winds were westerly, so we had to sail deaddownwind, pulling in the jib all the way, so we wouldn't have to gybe.
As we sailed past pier 45, the city was enjoying hazy early evening sunshine.
Winds continued to freshen, seeming now to blow at 25-30 knots, as had been forecasted, and the flags on the end of pier 39 were strongly pegged out!
We sailed into the lee of pier 35-- happy to have her clear of cruise ships-- and doused the main there, readied the fenders for landing, then motored around pier 35 and into the marina, seeing that the winds were still increasing in velocity, and though we landed fine, we had winds even in the lee of the pier. It was a wonderful outing with some exciting conditions from time to time.