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We left port a litte after 2 pm with winds already in the 20 knot range, and we raised a single-reefed main before heading out into the central bay.
We immediately began seeing fellow sailboaters out there, like the small sailboat WINDROSE heading east...
... as was this larger sailboat, both looking good!
PRIVATEER left port behind us and had full main and jib up as she headed out.
FLIGHT RISK was also headed east, but flying main only.
Soon, PRIVATEER blasted past us to port, and after she passed, we put out a small jib and headed west on the southwest breeze.
The flags on the end of pier 39 were pegged out in the strong winds, and hte SF Fireboat was steaming into the entrance of the west marina, probably to give the guests aboard a view of the sea lions.
A bit later, after we had tacked into the lee of pier 45, the fireboat had left the west marina and was now steaming westward. Wonder how these 'pleasure cruises'would
affect readiness if a fire were to break out in the meanwhile
As we tacked out to the west again, ADVENTURE CAT 2 passed, heading home with her passengers.
This small catamaran was heading east with a double-reef in her main while a large dark-hulled sailboat was headed west under full canvas.
The large trimaran named DEFIANCE approached and passed us to port.
Further out on the bay, this Ranger 25 named BLITZER was blasting westward under full canvas and looking good.
As we continued westward, this small sailboat was blasting downwind under both jib and spinnaker as well as full main.
Her crew was attentively steering and controlling the spinnaker sheet.
This sailboat passed to port, blasting downwind and looking good.
Note that the helm here is in the middle of the cockpit-- not what I would prefer-- and the crew is enjoying the somewhat hazy sunshine of the day.
A VELA was also blasting eastward under reefed main.
Ahead of us, two sailboats were heading our way, both doing wing and wing dead downwind.
One was this small blue-hulled sailboat....
...and the other was WIND THIEF, a large sailboat.
The helm of WIND THIEF is also in the middle of her rather small cockpit.
We continued beating westward with some light ebb current assist, and this small sailboat passed to port.
Off to port, this lovely Knarr sailboat was heading our way under full canvas and so heeled over that her starboard rail was buried.
The skipper was single-handing the boat and the bottom looked clean except for that large dark splotch amidships. This may be the same Knarr that we saw heading for the gate on Thursday and then retreating when she got into the hearvy winds.
Further out on the bay, a large sailboat was heading east under full jib and reefed main. I wondered about the number on the forward part of the hull and surmised that this might be one of the boats planning to participate in the Pacific Cup race to Hawaii. I checked the website and there are 56 boats signed up, so this might be one of the recent entries practicing for the race.
A bit later, we spotted that same Knarr retreating back to the east.
As we continued beating toward the gate, we spotted one lone kiteboarder out there, but didn't see any racing going on at that point, so we sailed over to near a committee boat and asked if there were more racing coming up soon, and they said that the next race would start in about a half hour, so we continued beating toward the gate along the cityfront, planning to shoot the gate first and then come back to watch the next kiteboarding race.
A while later, we spotted the large race boat SORCERY blasting downwind behind her colorful kite. The gate is hazy in the mist and the skies are overcast with the marine layer.
A kiteboarder was blasting across the bay as SORCERY came closer to us.
SORCERY was carrying a large crew, perhaps practicing for her next race on the bay or the ocean.
The beach at Crissy Field was littered with the colorful kites of the racing kiteboarders.
Out in the middle of the central bay, these two sailboats were blasting downwind.
This small blue-hulled sailboat was blasting across the bay under full jib and reefed main.
We eventually passed one of the race committee boats preparing to set up the the windward marks for the next race.
Way behind us, the schooner operated by CALL OF THE SEA was sailing eastward.
We watched as this large blue-hulled sailboat headed our way and blasted across the bay taking spray from the wind waves.
Ahead of us, a large cruising catamaran was entering the bay.
Skies were beginning to clear over the gate as we approached.
We sailed out the gate about midspan, enjoying views of our spectacular bridge and the dreamatic Marin Headlands.
The fog was hanging over the headlands as we sailed out past the gate a ways and then came about and headed back inside the gate.
That dark-hulled sailboat, the ARGONAUT, was now blasting toward the gate looking great with good sail trim.
In contrast, JUBILEE was struggling with full canvas in the strong winds and her main sail was flogging as she passed us.
Normally there would be a number of sailboarders out on the bay on a windy weekend day, but we only spotted a couple like this one. Perhaps they were staying in port in deference to the kiteboarders racing, though the race course occupied only a small part of the windswept bay.
We approached the windward mark for the kiteboard racers and began hanging around that mark as the leading kiters approached the mark....
....and rounded it.
Here the lead kiter was blasting downwind after rounding the mark.
Here, another group of kiters were rounding the mark.
No. 11 was blasting downwind on what we would call a starboard tack and looking good!
Here's a close up of one of the kiteboarders as he blasts downwind.
We stayed around the windward mark, awaiting the kiters coming back for their upwind finish and spotted the leaders here approaching the finish line.
Here, a group of kiters are blasting toward the finish line.
Here a couple of kiters are passing the finish line.
I spotted this kiter heading for shore after finishing the race-- board out of the water like he's got a hydrofoil under the board giving it lift. He also seems to have some kind of boots on, so has a different look all the way around.
After the last kiter finished the race, I sailed over to the race committee boat to ask if there would be another race and they said there was one more with a downwind finish, so I headed downwind to be near the start and watched as the kiters, like this one, heading for the start of the next race.
A short time later, we were treated again to the spectacular sight of several dozen kiters heading for the start line.
We stayed around the leeward mark and watched the kiters rounding the mark, like these two heading back upwind after rounding the buoy.
Here a group of kiters were approaching the mark or heading upwind after rounding it.
Here a large group of kiters were heading upwind after rounding the mark within seconds of each other.
We continued tacking around near the finish line to watch some of the race finish, and here some of the leaders are finishing the race.
This kiter is relaxing after finishing the race.....
... and this one blasted past us after finishing the race.
After watching some of the kiters finishing, we headed toward home port, passing the TERRAPIN ISLAND, a boat that has been hanging around on Alcatraz Shoal for most of the week-- perhaps an Army Corps of Engineers boat engaged in some activity.
The city was enjoying somewhat hazy sunshine as we sailed toward home port.
The RED DRESS RACING sailboat was heading toward the cityfront under main only. She had the number 51 on the helm so perhaps is also a boat involved in the Pac Cup race.
Strong winds were still pegging out the flags on the end of pier 39 as we sailed past.
We sailed into the lee of pier 35 to douse sails and then motored around and into the marina, feeling great after spending some exciting sailing and race-watching hours on our wonderful bay!