Saturday, June 21, 2008


Edward, a young, enthusiastic sailor from the UK, and Katie, his girlfriend from Sacramento joined us for our afternoon sailing outing about 1 pm. Edward has his yachtmaster ticket from the Royal Yacth Academy in the UK and is in the process of building his miles and sailing resume. He contacted me through and asked if he could sail with us while visiting here in the area. Katie is a student, studying interior design and this was her first time on a sailboat.

We had another afternoon of unusually warm temperatures-- in the 80s-
and the winds were beginning to pick up, so we put up a single-reefed main and let out full jib just outside the marina before we headed north toward the lee side of Angel Island, hoping to find the J120s and Express 37s that were supposed to be racing somewhere in the northeast part of the bay-- but we never spotted them.

As we headed across the central bay in freshening winds that came up to about 20 knots or more, this lovely cruising J105 passed astern of us, heading west and looking good!

Edward was at the helm as we blasted north across the bay in the warm sunshine and shirtsleeve temperatures, and as you can tell, he was enjoying the sailing immensely.

This lovely center cockpit sloop pased to port, looking good except she had a wrinkly jib on the luff from a too-loose halyard, but you can't see that in this photo.

This large sloop with highly reefed main passed us heading toward Treasure Island. As you can see in the sky above, we not only had unusually warm temperatures, we also had uncommon puffy clouds in the sky as well as brilliantly clear air-- none of the smaze or haze that we've been experiencing most often lately-- great conditions for sailing and for photography!

As we sailed up the lee side of Angel Island this lovely J105 race boat blasted past, flying full canvas with her port rail in the water- looking great!

Closer to Angel Island, this nice ketch was trying to sail southeast against the flood current and in light air, so not making much headway.

We were in much lighter breezes in the lee of Angel and the wind actually shifted into the north east for a while-- a thermal off the shore of the east bay-- but the flood current helped us continue to make progress northward on starboard tack with Katie now at the helm with Edward assisting her in learning the tricks of good helmspersonship.

We eventually picked up a westerly breeze again as we arrived at a point just east of the mouth of Raccoon Straits and we began to make fast headway again, watching as this lovely Ericson sistership was blasting southward at the mouth of the straits under full canvas.

This lovely sailboat was off starboard as we approached the mouth of the straits.

Check out this fabulous yawl named JOLANI-- isn't she a beaut! She was sailing spectacularly in the straits!

We entered entered the straits in the north half and then tacked across the straits to the south, following this lovely sailboat, a Farr I think, named CHANCE-- isn't she looking good flying full canvas perfectly trimmed!

After approaching the shore of Angel, east of Ayala Cove, we tacked in the light winds there and headed west through the straits, passing by the cove where the small marina was full of boats.... was the buoy field-- all no doubt enjoying the spectacular weather!

As we sailed westward this Express raceboat named MAIN SQUEEZE passed us, also looking great! They were probably racing in the regatta that we were looking for but didn't see and were now heading home. We had earlier spotted the J120 Mr. MAGOO motoring home through the straits.

We picked up a strong breeze about halfway through the straits and were blasting westward with this nice sailboat following us.

Ahead of us, this lovely Ericson sistership, named SEA QUEST, was sailing westward with well reefed sails.

We fell off approaching Belevedere and then reefed the jib in light winds before tacking to begin beating to the south toward the gate, and watching the beauty of a sailboat named PRINCESS passing astern of us.

We eventually were sailing toward Sausalito across the mouth of Richardson Bay when we were suddenly and without much warning engulfed in an expanding wind hole caused by a collision of the sea breeze from the southwest and a thermal breeze from the west. We kept hoping to drift and sail out of the hole and hoping the sea breeze would win out over the land breeze, but it took a long time before we were able finally to sail out into good winds, after we pulled the jib out to full. Then we were soon in winds too strong for full jib and we fell off to reef the jib again before tacking westward again, hoping to be able to sail out the gate eventually,

We soon found ourselves on the edge of the windhole again so quickly tacked back into the strong winds-- winds of about 25 knots-- still too strong for close-hauled sailing without reefing the jib to a postage stamp, so we fell off the wind and headed for home port, blasting across the bay on beam reach initially and then falling off to broad reach after passing Alcatraz.

Pier 39 flags were pegged out as we sailed past.

We passed a couple of sailboats heading east under main only as we sailed toward the lee of pier 35.

The marina and city were enjoying the brilliant late afternoon sunshine as we passed.

We sailed into the lee of pier 35 to douse sails and then we motored around pier35 with Edward at the helm as I finished readying ANTICIPATION for landing-- tying on fenders, etc. We motored into the marina, landed nicely in the light ebb current, tied up, and then went below to share the bottle of wine that Edward and Katie brought along with some cheese and crackers. Afterwards, they took off to find a small inexpensive hotel nearby -- I gave them a couple of suggestions-- in which to spend the night, and I eventually made a rendezvous with my daughter to head over to North Beach for a cappucino -- enjoying a nice walk in the warm evening air, and sitting outside on the sidewalk while sipping our caffe and sharing a Brasilian chocolate cake-- all in all an afternoon and evening filled to overflowing we various pleasures-- all part of the good life that I lead while on 'permanent vacation'!!!