Friday, June 27, 2008


Brian joined us again about 1 pm and we headed out of port about 1:30 pm for our afternoon sail. Winds were moderate but likely to increase so we raised single reefed main, put out double reefed jib and headed out into the central bay.

We sailed out to the west for a while, against a strong flood current, and noted that the flags on the end of pier 39 were fluttering moderately in a breeze of 8-10 knots.

We tacked toward the city again after a bit, approaching the shore near the entrance to the west marina of pier 39, then tacked away to the west again, watching as the PRIVATEER headed out to the west on a charter sail.

Off to port, ADVENTURE CAT was heading back toward home port.

We continued beating toward the west along the cityfront, encountering a flock of pelicans along the way, like this beauty flying overhead....

.... and this one resting on the bay with something in its mouth.

On one of our beats away from the cityfront, we spotted this small sailboat tacking around inside Aquatic Park, and then heading out into the bay here.

She passed astern of us, looking good!

As we continued beating toward the gate, we passed these Optimist dingy racers in front of the San Francisco marina, spotting sails that indicated both Canada and Venezuela, so perhaps there are international dingy races happening this weekend.

This dingy was blasting westward off our starboard side.

Ahead of us, we had spotted a lone skiff tacking around, and now she was headed for us under spinnaker with the crew hiked out.

She approached us, blasting downwind on starboard tack....

....gybed as shown here onto port tack....

.... and blasted past with crew hiked way out! -- a thrilling sight to watch.
Hope there will be skiff racing this weekend.

Winds were flukey as we approached the gate, being moremoderate than further inside the gate, so we were tempted to pull out the jib to full, but then we encountered stronger winds on our beat toward the cityfront about an eighth of a mile inside the gate. We then tacked toward the gate in strong winds sailing through washboard seas.

As we approached the gate in winds that started to soften, our old pal ADVENTURE CAT was headed across the gate behind us.

Against the strong flood current, we finally sailed out the gate with Brian at the helm and enjoying his first trip out the gate.

ADVENTURE CAT followed us toward the gate, and eventually motorsailed out near the north tower...

... before tacking to sail parallel to the gate and then falling off to head back inside after a large container ship passed, the ship steaming toward the deep water channel north of Harding Rock instead of taking the usual inbound lane south of Alcatraz.

We continued beating out to the south and west, after pulling the jib out to full for more power in the lighter winds outside the gate, the Golden Gate Bridge receding behind us as we headed toward Baker Beach.

We tacked toward Pt. Bonita and sailed westward for a while in growing ocean swells hoping for freshening winds, but finding none, so we fall off and headed back inside the gate as the cruise ship earlier tied up at pier 35 steamed toward the gate.

We sailed northward on port tack, watching as this dark-hulled sailboat blasted across the bay on starboard tack close reach.

Here is a brief video clip of her passing us and looking good!

Notice how she suddenly hit stronger winds, heeled way over with the port rail in the water!!!

Off to port, this ketch was sailing past Yellow Bluff with full main and reefed jib.

We eventually encountered some lighter winds and so gybed to the east to head for home port, eventually passing this Santana heading west under full canvas.

Off to port, this sailboat was crossing the bay, passing Alcatraz and
looking good!

The city was locked in smazy sunshine as we approached home port.

Winds were still soft in front of pier 39 as we passed-- probably around 10 knots.

We sailed into the lee of pier 35 to douse sails and ready for landing, before motoring into the marina and landing fine in the still flooding current. The outing was enjoyable, but breathing the smoke in the air was painful and it also irritated out windblown eyes as we beat to the west. Hope the windfires are put out soon so we don't have to keep breathing this terribly unhealthy air.

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