Monday, September 22, 2008


The last day of summer started with overcast skies, but by midday skies had turned mostly sunny. We headed out about 3 pm, hoping to rendezvous with Olivier on Corto Maltese for a bit of a race to the gate.

We raised single-reefed main and put out a small jib before heading out into the central bay and the small canal ferry boat passed us as it headed out with some passengers.

Out on the bay, this lovely ketch passed in front of us, sailing with jib and mizzen sails only.

Winds were pretty strong-- 15-20 knots or so, and soon we were blasting wesstward against the flood current, and this lovely Catalina passed to port, sailing on the sparkling waters of the bay.

Off to starboard, this large sailboat was heading our way on starboard tack....

... and passed astern of us, looking good, and heading for pier 35 where a large Norwegian Cruise Line ship was tied up. In the background you can see the tops of a couple of military ships tied up at pier 27.

As we continued west, waiting for Olivier to rendezvous with us, this Hunter sailboat was blasting downwind with the city in the background and partly cloudy skies overhead.

Olivier sailed to near where we were, but soon was 10 or more boat-lengths ahead of us again-- having a larger jib out giving him greater boat speed-- and a lovely schooner crossed in front of us.

Olivier then came back and went behind us and I put out some more jib for more power, and as long as the wind was strong-- 20 knots of so-- ANTICIPATION's speed matched that of CORTO MALTESE, and we were both blasting westward on the southwest breeze.

CORTO MALTESE was looking great and sending up some spray as she slowly gained on us again.

The wind softened a bit again and soon CORTO MALTESE was pulling ahead of us again, especially as the wind shifted more into the west and softened, so we tacked and headed toward the gate on the westerly breeze, but soon the wind shifted more into the southwest again and we were blasting across the bay to where the windsurfers were playing, like this sailboarder with ADVENTURE CAT in the background.

As we blasted southeastward across the bay, we saw several dozen windsurfers playing on the bay, like this sailboarder...

....this kiteboarder...

...this sailboarding woman looking like she was enjoying herself!....

....this kiteboarder with some contraption on the back of his harness???...

...something this kiteboarder didn't have on his.

Stronger winds along the cityfront forced us to fall off to dead downwind and reef the jib again before coming about and heading for the gate, and still we were seeing some windsurfers like this sailboarder.

We passed this sailboat headed west after we tacked toward the cityfront again and someone on the boat yelled: 'Hey Charlie!' -- but I didn't recognize the boat or the people aboard.

We tacked toward the gate after we sailed to a point inside the south tower, of the GGB and then we were blasting through large wind waves created by the counter-ebb-current in that location, and eventually we had to tack again to sail out the gate near midspan, enjoying the great views of the Marin Headlands and our beautiful bridge.

We sailed out a short ways and then came about and back inside on port tack broad reach, and we were accompanied by SEAWARD, a lovely schooner operated by the organization called "CALLOFTHESEA.ORG".

We sailed into softer winds near Horseshoe Cove, enjoying views of the light and shadow on the Marin Headlands above Ft. Baker, and then we gybed toward home port....

... sailing out of the way of this outbound container ship with a different bow design that squares off the front of the deck of the ship to hold more containers. Guess they are not at all worried about aerodynamics.

As we headed for home port on starboard tack broad reach, the cruise ship was steaming toward the gate and headed right for us and we had to head up a bit to move out of her way.

She passsed to port, heading for the gate and creating quite a large wake.

The city was enjoying hazy late afternoon sunshine as we approached pier 39....

... and we passed PRIVATEER, the charter ketch out of pier 39, as we continued eastward, intending to continue on toward the Bay Bridge if the wind strength held in the lee of the city.

Passing pier 27, we saw that those two military ships tied up there are Canadian Navy ships rafted together.

The clock on the Ferry Building clock tower read 6:37 pm as we approached.

We experienced some quite strong wind gusts as we sailed toward the A-B span of the Bay Bridge-- gusts that gave us great acceleration for a time, almost like surfing on a wind wave, and soon we were approaching the A-B span of the Bay Bridge as it gleamed in the evening sunshine.

We sailed under the A-B span and then fell off to reef the jib down to a small size for our return trip, then headed up before tacking to sail back to home port, eventually watching as the Rocket Boat out of Pier 39 blasted toward the Bay Bridge with a light load of passengers.

We eventually tacked into the lee of pier 35 to douse sails and ready for landing, before motoring into the marina. What a great outing! What a great life!

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