Saturday started out warm and sunny and windless, but a nice breeze came up in the late morning, a breeze that seemed like a fall wind that might stay moderate all afternoon. So it was tempting to put up full main when we left port about 2:30, but we decided to stick with a single reef main and plan to shake it out if the wind stayed moderate.
After entering the central bay, we put out a small jib, less than double reef and headed west, soon being passed by SEAWITCH heading east with reduced canvas.
Current was a light flood and winds were WSW, so we were heading for Alcatraz on port tack as the KATHLEEN ANN blased eastward, passing well to port.
Not many boats were out on the central bay, despite the warm, sunny conditions, but we spotted this 1D35 heading west, well off to starboard--- probably practicing for the coming Big Boat Series but having only 3 crew aboard, well below the usual crew complement for this boat while racing.
Much closer to the cityfront, this large ketch was sailing downwind on starboard tack broad reach and flying full canvas....
... but eventually gybed and headed north, passing astern of us.
That 1D35 race boat eventually tacked onto starboard tack, and sailed past the east shore of Alcatraz, but had very poor jib trim for quite a while, and her port rail was in the water because the winds had now freshed to at least 20 knots.
She was in a bit better trim as she passed in front of us and headed toward the cityfront-- more crew on the starboard rail would have given her much better balance so I hope she has the usual crew number for the Big Boat Series.
We tacked after approaching the shore of Alcatraz and a bit later DESIDERATA passed us, heading east.
In the distance we spotted this large race boat heading downwind under spinnker, and remembered her as the boat from Mexico, so we tacked back to the west for a closer look, and RAINCLOUD soon blasted past us. That's PRIVATEER in the background, heading home after a charter outing.
RAINCLOUD was probably sailing twice as fast as that small boat several boat lengths ahead in this photo....
...but was soon passing her.
Our old pal, ADVENTURE CAT was heading north with a large number of passengers on deck and inside, and we thought she would go around Alcatraz and then head toward the gate, but she continued on toward the lee side of Angel Island so this clearly was not a typical outing, but a special charter.
As we continued blasting westward with just the right canvas for the 20 knot winds, DAYNA MARIE passed to starboard heading east past the southern shore of Alcatraz.
A short time later, we spotted LOLA heading home to the P39 marina with some charter passengers aboard.
As we continued sailing westward on a breeze that had shifted into the SSW, we spotted this large saiboat coming our way with full canvas flying and very poor jib trim-- possibly on purpose to reduce power in the strong winds.
She passed astern and we took this video of her as she approached us and passed.
We soon spotted ADVENTURE CAT 2 heading west on an outing to the gate with a relatiely small number of passengers on deck.
ARCTURUS, flying full main and reefed jib, passed in front of us, looking good with plenty of bottom showing as she navigated the strong winds.
ADVENTURE CAT 2 tacked and crossed behind us as we continued westward.
While very few sailboats were in the central bay, we could see that Raccoon Straits was full of boats.
The view of the GGB as we approached the shore near Yellow Bluff was as spectacular as it always is!
We reefed the jib to a smaller size as we arrived in a soft wind spot near the shore and then tacked toward the gate, passing this nice sailboat heading home from the gate, sailing downwind under full canvas and looking good!
The crew of SEA REINE was enjoying the warm sunshine as they blasted along.
A bit later, we spotted this Coast Guard fast boat blasting toward Richardson Bay.
We sailed part way across the gate, and then tacked into Horseshoe Cove in winds that now seemed more in the 25-30 knot range, wishing we had reefed the jib down to an even smaller size, and after tacking again, we decided to forego trying to shoot the gate in these strong winds nad fell off toward home port, eventually spotting GALDALF blasting across the bay under full canvas and looking good!
About halfway to home port, the wind softened so we pulled the jib out to full for more downwind power and soon were approaching home port with the city enjoying the brilliant afternoon sunshine.
A large sailboat, a Beneteau, I think, came blasting past us with reduced canvas.
We sailed into the lee of pier 35 to douse sails and prepare for landing and saw the yacht POTOMAC steaming past as we motored around the end of the pier.
We followed a neighbor boat into port-- unusual to have any traffic nearby leaving or entering port-- and landed fine, again happy to have spent a few nice and sometimes challenging hours on our beautiful bay!