Thursday, June 19, 2008


Somerset, a young college student studying organic farming, joined us at 2 pm for our afternoon outing.

We headed out and raised a single-reefed main, anticipating stronger winds though at that time the breeze was less than 10 knots.

We headed out into the central bay with main only on port tack, then gybed onto starboard tack to head down the cityfront, pulled out the jib to full and sailed toward the A-B span of the Bay Bridge, passing this K41 sailboat motorsailing up the cityfront, perhaps heading for Angel Island with their dingy dragging behind the boat.

The skipper was out in the warm sunshine while the female crew was in the shade of the dodger.

We continued toward the A-B span until we could see that there was insufficient wind ahead to stem the ebb current and then we gybed to the east to stay in the wind, watching as this small Ericson sailboat headed north past Yerba Buena Island.

A tug and barge were approaching from the north, so we gybed toward the D-E span of the Bay Bridge which was enjoying the warm sunshine.

A couple of J24 saiboats were heading north under main only, like this one....

... and this one named FORTUNATA. Couldn't figure out whether these boats are part of J-World sailing school or some J24 owners out on a leisurely pleasure cruise.

That tug and barge that prompted our gybe steamed under the D-E span and then turned to port to head for Oakland, so we gybed again to head around the south shore of Yerba Buena.

The lighthouse on the south point of the island was cute as always as we sailed past.

We reefed the jib down to a postage stamp size while in the lee of Yerba Buena in anticipation of strong winds on the central bay after passing Treasure Island, and then continued to sail past the island, passing the same J-24s heading the opposite direction, like this one....

... and this one.

An Islander 30 was following the J24s, either sailing main only or motorsailing.

That small Ericson that was headed north past Yerba Buena earlier was now headed down the shore of the island with her jib flapping in the wind...

... and one of the crew was on the bow, apparently trying to furl the jib using the roller furling, but without any success.

A SURVEY VESSEL motored up close to the shore of the island as we sailed past.

Out in the central bay, the winds were strong as expected and the wind waves were whitecapped, so we were blasting north with just the right amount of reefed canvas, while this sailboat headed for the lee side of Treasure Island where we had just left, and she was also well-reefed with a postage stamp jib.

This Hunter was also headed for the lee shore of Treasure Island with double reefed main and postage stamp jib.

After arriving in the lee of Angel Island, way east of the shore to stay in wind and out of the stronger ebb current, we headed up toward the mouth of Raccoon Straits, eventually pulling the jib out to full in the lighter winds. Eventually, we encountered much stronger winds coming through the straits and were on the verge of being overpowered, so we tacked to the south toward Angel Island and then fell off to reef the jib, then came about to harden in the main and then tacked toward Angel Island again.

As we sailed toward the shore of Angel Island, this nice sailboat was sailing past Ayala Cove in apparently light winds.

Approaching the shore of the island, we tacked to the west to head up the straits, pulling out the jib to full again in the light winds, passing 'stray cat' headed down the straits.

As we sailed past Ayala Cove, we noted that only a few boats were at the buoy field and only one boat was at the docks of the small marina in the cove.

Eventually we encountered strong winds in the north half of the straits but were only at the edge of being overpowered, so kept going with full jib, tacking to the southeast after approaching the shore of Belvedere, then tacking toward Sausalito after it was clear that we could clear the point of Belvedere and sailed across the mouth of Richardson Bay, passing just north of the easternmost Sausalito channel marker.

We reefed the jib in the lighter winds near the Sausalito shore and then began beating toward the gate, watching as this sailboat headed for Sausalito under main only...

.... and this one with reefed sails.

Winds softened so we pulled the jib out to full again and continued beating toward the gate, watching as a group of pelicans like this one flew past us.

Approaching the central bay, we encountered stronger winds again so tacked toward the shore and reefed the jib down to a postage stamp again before heading toward the gate again. As we sailed past Horseshoe Cove, we spotted some sailboarders blasting across

... and this one.

We tacked into Horseshoe Cove in the strong winds and big swells from the ocean, and then tacked to sail parallel to the gate and finally tacked out the gate between center span and the north tower-- Somerset enjoying his first trip out the gate on a sailboat.

We sailed out a short ways and then came about to head back inside the gate, eventually encountering this lone kiteboarder heading our way....

..the kiteboarder enjoying the strong winds as he blasted over the water.

The winds gradually softened as we sailed toward home port on broad reach starboard tack, eventually seeing this sailboat heading toward the cityfront with the city in sunshine behind.

Some sailboats headed west were sailing past Alcatraz, like this one flying full canvas and not very heavily heeled over because of the softer winds.

The city was enjoying clear air and brilliant early evening sunshine as we approached home port.

This beautiful pelican flew past.

Two small sailboats in front of us seemed to be racing each other.

A large ketch flying jib and mizzen sails was heading for the cityfront.

The flags on the end of pier 39 were lightly fluttering in the breeze of only 5 knots or so. This now unusual softening of the breeze was a welcome change from the blustery winds that usually last well into the night.

A flock of pelicans flew overhead as we sailed past the east marina of pier 39.

We pulled in the jib approaching the end of pier 35, and then headed up to douse the main before motoring toward the marina entrance while preparing for landing. Our five hours on the bay sailing through four or five different microclimes left us filled with pleasure and gratitude for the great sailing life that we have here.

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