After sailing in terribly smoky air last Thursday, we declined to do our usual weekend sailing and stayed in port. However, we did watch and photograph some of the skiff and 29er racing just in front of pier 39, and you can check out our photos at this url: http://cbergstedt.myphotoalbum.com/albums.php
Here's a video of some of the racing.
On Monday, the skies cleared of both smoke and fog and the air was magnificently clear and fresh as we left port around 4 pm with a moderate wind blowing over the land. We raised a single-reefed main, put out a small jib, and headed out into the cental bay.
As we headed out, PRIVATEER was heading back into port and here dousing her main.
We headed directly toward the gate, against a strong and waxing flood current, and watched as this smaller sailboat blasted across the sparkling bay waters in front of us. She later tacked to the west and was sailing toward Sausalito-- more off the wind than we were sailing.
Way behind us, this lovely sailboat was heading for the Bay Bridge.
This newish looking U.S. Army vessel was being towed out of the south bay and toward the gate-- I wonder why it wasn't going under it's own power. She looks like one of those troop ships for landing troops on a beach.
The flags on the end of pier 39 were fluttering in a breeze of about 15 knots.
Off to starboard, a container ship from China was steaming slowing toward the Port of Oakland with the least amount of containers that I've ever seen on such a vessel. Perhaps our economic downturn is affecting the volume of goods being ordered from China.
The city was basking in the brilliant sunshine and clear air-- it felt so great to be able to drink deeply of the clean sea air!
Alcatraz was also enjoying the brilliant sunshine, but few visitors seemed to be outside on the side yard.
As we continued southwestward toward Yellow Bluff, that same smaller sailboat that was heading toward Sausalito, had tacked and was now crossing the bay again-- looking good!
Way out in front of us, this larger sailboat was sailing across the gate.
As we approached Yellow Bluff, the Golden Gater Bridge was standing as its usual dramatic self over the Golden Gate.
We sailed on that single tack from leaving port until we approached Yellow Bluff and then began beating toward the gate, watching these kiteboarders as we sailed across the gate.
A large sailboat was heading our way accompanied by some kiteboarders blasting across the gate....
... and passed astern of us, looking good!
This sailboat had been heading for the gate, but then fell off to head back north, passing Horseshoe Cove.
This kiteboarder was having a great time blasting across the bay toward Crissy Field and this was the last that we saw of the kiteboarders as the winds near the gate began to soften.
We eventually pulled out the jib to full for more power, and continued beating against the wind and strong flood current toward the gate, calling the Coast Guard traffic channel to find out if this tanker entering the gate here would be using the deep water channel-- and she wasn't, so we had no concern about staying out of her way.
We finally tacked out the gate just inside the north tower, haivng been beaten in shooting the gate by this small saiboat also being sailed solo.
We just ducked out the gate and then came about and headed back inside, assisted by the flood current, and continuing to enjoy views of our magnificent bridge.
As we headed toward home port in moderate winds, this smaller Ericson sailboat was headed for the gate and looking good!
This Hunter sailboat was headed for the gate also and sailing past Horseshoe Cove.
As we headed home, the fog was gathering over the Marin Headlands from the fog bank that was sitting outside on the ocean.
The city-- here Russian Hill-- was enjoying the brilliant late afternoon sunshine as we picked up stronger winds further inside the bay and were blasting toward home port.
We spotted this lone sailboatder heading for the beach at Crissy Field, probably his last run of the afternoon.
As we sailed past Aquatic Park, we spotted this sailboat heading toward us...
... and then passing astern, looking good!
We saw several flocks of pelicans while we were out, and here a couple of them in a small flock were flying just a few feet off the water.
The city looked brilliantly vivid in the clear air and early evening sunshine.
The wind increased in intensity between Aquatic Park and pier 39, blowing at about 20 knots and seeming to be still freshening.
We sailed past pier 35 where a cruise ship was still tied up, pulled in the jib and then headed up to douse the main. We then motored around pier 35 while tying on fenders and getting ready for landing-- so happy to have spent three fantastic hours in clear air on our beautiful bay.