Monday, July 28, 2008


Vincent joined us for an afternoon outing and we headed out of port about
1:30 pm.

Winds were moderate at the time that we left port, and we could see some race boats passing downwind, so we quickly raised a single-reefed main and headed out into the central bay, main only, to watch the race boats passing.

PHANTOM MIST was already past us and heading for the Bay Bridge and eventually down the Oakland-Alameda estuary for the race finish line in front of the Encinal Yacht Club-- the regatta host.

The CALL OF THE SEA organization's schooner was heading downwind and looking good.

We stayed around in front of Pier 35, just tacking around and watching the race boats passing, like INFINITY coming toward us here. Note that she is flying a symmetrical kite with the spinnaker pole pointing directly forward with the boat on a beam reach point of sail.

The race boat JEANETTE passed us looking good.

INFINITY followed, also looking good!

The crew of INFINITY were enjoying the sunshine and moderate winds.

This small sailboat was heading north sailing across the race course, as we tacked back and forth, keeping out of the way of the racers heading our way and getting pushed eastward by the waxing flood current.

BODACIOUS was charging downwind toward the Bay Bridge-- I hear that the owner/driver is not a well-liked or respected racer.

Here a couple of small race boats are headed our way, both flying symmetrical kites, and sailing on parallel courses.

The crew on this small race boat flying an asymmetrical kite on beam reach were mostly on the starboard rail to balance the boat.

This small race boat was flying a symmetrical kite and sailing a bit more off the wind.

The race boat 'elan' was looking good, flying downwind on beam reach with spinnaker pole pointing forward.

STEWBALL was shooting past that smaller race boat flying an asymmetrical kite, perhaps stealing some of the other boat's wind as she passed her to starboard and slowing her down.

While these race boats were all flying downwind well off the shore of the cityfront, some of the other boats in the regatta were sailing closer to the cityfront, all sailing on beam reach.

As the two boats in the front of this group passed into the lee of the large cruise ship they lost the breeze and their spinnaker were backwinded by the boat speed and collapsed completely. Can't figure out why they were hugging the cityfront when the current was flooding and stronger further out and lee shore effects are sure to be encountered with a breeze out of the SSW.

The spinnaker collapses continued for several hundred yards, and the boat speed must have dropped to near zero with the boat that was far behind going to school on the two lead boats and heading out away from the shore to stay in the breeze and starting to pass the other two boats.

Further to the east, this race boat was caught by a gust of wind and was pulled to weather, risking a rounding up, but they seemed to recover okay.

We sailed to the north to avoid getting in the way of this race boat flying a large red kite and headed our way.

She passed astern of us, and I later discovered, while reviewing my photos, that this race boat was a J109 named Zephyr -- the boat that my friend Michael crews on. That's him in the cockpit with red hat-- doing main trim.

This race boat along the cityfront was flying a massive asymmetrical kite and soon to loose the breeze in the lee of that huge cruise ship.

We stayed around until most of the race boats had passed us and then we pulled out the jib to its double reefed size and headed west, planning to shoot the gate and perhaps sail out to Point Bonita if wind and tide allowed. You will find many more photos of the race boats at my photo album website at this url:

PRIVATEER, the charter ketch out of pier 39, passed in front of us, heading out with a good number of passengers aboard.

The wind started to freshen dramatically and soon we were slightly overpowered and had to bear off the wind a bit until we got into the lee of Alcatraz where we could reef the jib down to a small hankie size to match the wind velocity before continuing to head west against the current and the wind.

As we passed Alcatraz, we noticed that the two tallships CALIFORNIAN and LYNX were sailing westward to the south of Alcatraz and we decided to tack and head over there to watch their manoeuvers, hoping to see them engaging in some mock sea battles.

Here, the CALIFORNIAN was sailing westward under full canvas except for the square tops'l.

The LYNX was ahead of the CALIFORNIAN, and so further to the southwest as we sailed past Alcatraz, aand she soon tacked to head back to the east again.

The CALIFORNIAN was unfurling her tops'l as the two tallships started to pass each other, and we expected to see some mock canon blasts at this time, but didn't see or hear any.

We sailed southeastward to pass well astern of the CALIFORNIAN as she fell off the wind to sail northward with full sailpower now.

Soon after we heard the canon blasts starting the mock sea battle.

We began tacking back and forth to the west, tacking away as the damn patrol boats approached to chase us away, and watching the tallships as well as some other sailboats passing, like this one with a colorful kite and interesting design on it.

We were not to the southwest of the tallships, and we continued to watch the tall ships manoeuvering around in their mock sea battle-- the LYNX here heading eastward on starboard tack.

A short time later, the LYNX is passing the CALIFORNIAN and BOOM!!!
the canon blasts came again-- one here....

... and another here, as the ships started to separate.

You can see more photos of the CALIFORNIAN and the LYNX sailing on the bay during the Festival of Sail on my photo website at this url:

We now continued beating westward against wind and current in the beautiful sunshine and strong winds, here watching as this J105 crossed in front of us, heading for the cityfront on starboard tack close reach, rail alomst in the water and taking spray over the bow.

A bit later, this cruising boat passed in front of us, looking good.

We continued westward with the flood current pushing us northward, and we eventually arrived in some softening wind as ADVENTURE CAT passed us to starboard.

Suddenly we were in a large windhole with a slight westerly breeze -- a very warm thermal breeze off the Marin Headlands-- killing the southwesterly coming through the gate.

We pulled out the jib to full and sailed on the weak westerly breeze directly toward the gate, watching as this sailboat named Xpression headed for the gate off our starboard side.

Her large crew was enjoying the warm breeze and brilliant sunshine.

We continued to beat toward the gate, but eventually reefed the jib again and sailed into the strong southwesterly breeze in the south half of the gate, sailing all the way across the gate and pushed well to the east by the flood current, while watching this dark-hulled sailboat heading back back inside the bay from the ocean.

We also spotted some sailboarders like this one blasting across the bay....

... and some kitesurfers like this one.

As we approached the cityfront, the wind shifted more into the SSW, so we tacked toward the gate, watching as a couple of other sailboats, like this Hunter, also headed for the gate on port tack close reach.

The strong flood current resisted our progress and, unfortunately, the wind shifted more westerly so we were not able to sail out the gate on this tack but had to tack a few more times to sail out just inside the north tower of the GGB.

We just ducked out and then came about and headed back inside, pulling the jib out to full for more downwind power.

This kiteboarder flashed past us as we blasted toward home port with flood current assist.

The cruise ship that was tied up at pier 39 left port and steamed out the gate as a kiteboarder blalsted toward her.

With the wind out of the SSW, we were blasting homeward on a beam reach, watching as this small Hunter sailboat headed toward the cityfront under full canvas--

This cute little yellow sailboat passed to port as we sailed past Alcatraz-- she's looking good!

The city was enjoying the brilliant sunshine as we approached home port.

The flags on the end of pier 39 were pegged out in the strong winds.

As we headed for the lee of pier 35 to douse sails, we passed this kayaker out in front of the marina.

We doused sails in the lee of pier 35 and then readied for landing while motoring around pier 35 and into the marina where we docked okay in the flood current.

After tying up, covering sails and helm, and visiting the marina restrooms, we went below to share some wine and cheese and crackers, followed by
a dinner of parmesian chicken, rice and steamed carrots. After dinner, we walked over to N. Beach for coffee and then headed for Bart. It was great to be out in the city in the warm evening air, walking to Bart and then back to the marina. Another great day in San Francisco!

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