Saturday, August 9, 2008


Bob joined us about 1:15 pm for our afternoon outing on the bay. We left port about 1:45 pm.

Winds over the land were moderate as we left port, but expected to blow up stronger as the afternoon wore on, so we raised single-reefed main before heading out and also put out a well-reefed jib.

Out on the bay the current was flooding, but we headed west against the flood current and passed this sailboat heading east.

Behind us, a beautiful gaff-rigged cutter sailboat was initially heading northwest, but tacked toward the cityfront to avoid an inbound container ship. She appears to be one of the well-maintained old wooden vessels on the bay. I wish we would see more of them out there more often.

Off to starboard, a fully loaded sand harvester barge was heading back to port with her load.

The city was enjoying mostly sunshine, but a finger of fog was still extending over the land.

Pier 39 flags were fluttering in a breeze of about 15 knots as we passed.

The flood current was waxing as we sailed west and tending to push us northward, but we managed to sail past the southern shore of Alcatraz, passing several fishing boats along the way, like CODZILLA here....

...this small boat....

....and the HUCK FINN.

The wind driven flood current was stronger than predicted in the tide lod, but we easily passed to the west of the buoy guarding the rocks on the west side of Alcatraz and also just managed to sail past the west side of the Harding Rock buoy. The wind then softened so we pulled out the jib to single-reefed size and continued westward with a wind gradually increasing and shifting into the west, forcing us to fall off toward Richardson Bay and ease out the sails to avoid being overpowered.

We eventually approached the shore of Sausalito just southeast of the downtown area, the residential area south of downtown enjoying the midafternoon sunshine with the fog bank restrained by the hills above.

The restaurants on the shore were enjoying the brilliant afternoon sunshine.

We reefed the jib down to a much smaller size once we found a light wind lee area before heading back up the shore toward the gate, reefing it even more as winds were strong in the hurrican gulch region, and eventually passing Yellow Bluff in variable winds, finally watching as this sailboat under main only was returning from the gate and heading north.

After passing Yellow Bluff, we began short tacking toward Horseshoe Cove to take advantage of the lighter current along the shore, eventually sailing into the cove and encountering this fishing trawler there. Not at all sure what she was doing out there or what was the function of that mechanism she was dragging behind her. Those two ducks in the lower part of the photo were just some of the dozens of ducks that were chattering at us, or scolding us, as we passed through their waters.

The Golden Gate Bridge was grayed out by the overcast skies as we approached.

We continued short-tacking along the west shore of Horseshoe Cove and after we passed the lighthouse inside the north tower of the bridge, finally sailing out the gate just inside the north tower. The winds at the gate were lighter than those we encountered on the way there, so we could have used a bit more jib for power against the flood current, but we managed to make it out the gate without increasing sail.

We just sailed out a short ways and then came about and headed back toward home port, pulling the jib out to full for more power since the winds were much lighter than the 25+ knots that we encountered the day before on our return trip. The flood eddies were also much less powerful.

As we sailed for home port, our old pal, ADVENTURE CAT 2, was heading for the gate with a relatively small number of passengers on deck.

About half way to home port, the winds freshened dramatically and we were then blasting toward home port with much greater speed and soon passing between pier 45 and pier 39 and enjoying the views of the city in the afternoon sunshine.

Off to port, a large sailboat was heading west with a full jib and a double-reefed main and looking good.

The flags on the end of pier 39 were blasted by the strong winds. The return trip from the gate was also very fast, l like yesterday, but took about 25 minutes this time.

We sailed into the lee of pier 35 to douse sails and then motored around the pier while preparing the boat for landing. It was about 4:30 pm, so we were out on the bay for about three delightful hours. We followed this with a nice dinner at Bob's house in Kentfield. More of the good life while on 'permanent vacation'!

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