Olivier called me in the late afternoon to invite me to go out with him on his Ericson 34 'CORTO MALTESE' and we headed out of port around 6 pm, raised single reef main and put out reefed jib before heading out into the central bay where the winds were still blowing 20+ knots and the current was a waning but still strong ebb. With strong wind and ebb current, we were soon blasting westward on the southwest breeze and bucking through the substantial wind waves, taking blasts of spray.
We eventually fell off the wind a bit to sail past the lee side of Alcatraz.
We continued ou to the northwest until we were southwest of Angel Island, where we fell off and reefed the jib to a smaller side and then came about and headed back across the bay, where we eventually approached the shore of the city where some windsurfers were still playing around in the strong winds.
After approaching the shore, we tacked toward the gate and watched as this sailboarder headed for shore, hoping that he's have enough breeze to get all the way there.
This kitesboarder was heading for shore...
... as was this sailboarder.
We initially headed for the gate but then spotted the Maltese Falcon in the north and possibly under sail, so we headed off the wind to sail that way until we could see that she was anchored with no sails up. Then we headed up toward the gate and watched as this Hunter sailboat passed after returnign to the bay from outside.
Our old pal, ADVENTURE CAT, was also headed back from the gate and passed to port.
We approached the gate inside the north tower, and then tacked to head out the gate on starboard tack close reach, enjoying the great views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands in the evening sunlight that makes the colors more vivid and the shadows more pronounced.
The GGB takes on a dark orange color as the sun drops low toward the horizon and the city behind takes on sundown color as well.
Olivier turned the helm over to me again as we headed back inside the gate on port tack broad reach.
We sailed into horseshoe cove where the wind was lighter and then gybed to head toward home port with the sun dropping toward a massive fog bank on the horizon.
As we continued toward home port, the sun was starting to disappear into the fog bank.
Eventually some brilliant sunset color developed in some whisps of fog that drifted off the fog bank.
City lights were beginning to come up as we continued on toward home port as sunset turned to dusk.
The GHIRADELLI sign was a bright beacon above the Maritime Museum and Aquatic Park.
Sunset color persisted above the fog bank in the west as we approached home port...
...but then began to wane as Olivier took over the helm to continue toward home port.
At twilight, the city lights continued to brighten on shore-- magic time on the bay!
Some bright sunset color continued in the west as we neared home port.
As we passed pier 39, it was nearly dark and city lights on shore were bright and beautiful.
The remaining light in the west was brilliantly reflected in the glass wall of the 101 California building.
We sailed into the lee of pier 35 to douse sails and ready for landing and we enjoyed the view of Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill and the financial district buildings.
We motored into port at last light and landed fine, full of the pleasure of an exciting outing on the bay with all the beauty surrounding us while out there. Later Olivier joined me on Anticipation for dinner and a few more hours of good companionship and conversation.