Thursday, July 31, 2008


The morning fog was heavy overcast, but started to clear early and then came back, but by early afternoon, skies were totally clear and the sunshine was brilliant! John, Millie, Eve and Sandra joined us about 1 pm for our afternoon outing, and we left port about 1:15 pm, raised single-reefed main just outside the marina, put out a postage stamp jib and headed out into the central bay \where the strong winds coupled with ebbing current had already folded up some substantial wind waves.

We sailed westward for a while on close reach port tack, taking spray over the bow and some into the cockpit, then tacked back to the south to sail toward the Fisherman's Wharf marina before tacking again to sail westward, but this time more off the wind so as not to crash through the wind waves on Alcatraz shoal.

As we sailed westward, this smaller sailboat passed us to starboard, heading downwind and looking good.

This single tack took us well to the west of Harding Rock and eventually we ended up near Yellow Bluff, watching as this small Catalina blastred toward the gate along the shore....

.. and PRIVATEER blasted across the gate.

Approaching Yellow Bluff and arriving in lighter winds, we tacked back toward the central bay, enjoying views of the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge presiding over the golden gate.

We sailed parallel to the gate until we were in position to tack into Horseshoe Cove-- which we did-- and then tacked to sail parallel to the gate but closer until we were in a position to tack out the gate in the strong and building winds and substantial seas-- wind waves plus ocean swells.

We sailed out just a short ways and then came about and headed back inside with the 'girls' enjoying the brilliant sunshine and the views as we headed back inside the bay.

Once inside the bay, we encoutered this lone kitesurfer....

.... and this lone sailboarder, both blasting across the ruffled surface of the sea.

Way over by the shore, some Lasers were playing in the wind and waves.

We made great headway back toward home port as the city wsa bathed in brilliant sunshine.

Flags on the end of pier 39 were pegged out in the breeze of between 20 and 25 knots as we passed.

The trip to the gate and back had taken so little time that we still had time to head for the Bay Bridge to complete a two bridge kiss, enjoying views of the Financial District buildings as we sailed toward the A-B span of the Bay Bridge.

The sun on the stair-stepped architecture of the Hyatt Regency Hotel created an interesting light and shadow display at this time of day.

The afternoon sun was just beginning to illuminate the north side of the Ferry Buidling tower as we sailed past.

Winds were more moderate in the lee of the city but we did encounter some strong gust alleys as we sailed along, while this sailboat was playing around in light winds closer to the shore of the city, sailing main only.

As we approached the A-B span in light winds, this sailboat, dragging her fenders, was heading northeast under full canvas with the Bay Bridge behind her gleaming in the strong afternoon sun.

We ghosted under the A-B span and then pulled in the jib so we could sail main only back to home port, and then came about to head home with a bit of ebb current assist.

We eventually arrived in very strong winds-- perhaps 30 knots or more, and eventually this sailboat blasted past us, heading east on a broad reach port tack.

That sailboat we saw earlier just north of the Bay Bridge was now retreating out of the strong winds and we could see that she still had fenders dragging and her jib luff was wrinkley-- not an example of good seamanship.

A bit later, we spotted this J-World boat heading back toward her home port at our marina and struggling a bit in the very strong and gusty winds.

We beat a few times before we were able to sail into the lee of pier 35 to douse the main and then motor around the pier while preparing fenders and dock lines for landing. We accomplished the 2 bridge kiss in about 2.5 hours-- hours filled with both pleasure and the excitement of dealing with some nasty conditions at times.

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