Saturday, September 27, 2008


We left port around 4:30 pm with the sun and wind presenting us with ideal full canvas sailing conditions-- yea!!! So we raised full main just outside the marina and then headed out into the central bay.

Behind us, the flags on Telegraph Hill and the shore of the Embarcadero were fluttering in a breeze of less than 10 knots.

We sailed out to the north a ways, then gybed the main and eased it out for a broad reach starboard tack, then pulled out the jib to full and headed eastward down the cityfront, passing this lovely ketch motoring westward with the financial district buildings in the background.

The Ferry Building clock showed 4:40 pm as we sailed past pier 23...

... and then sailed past this barge with large crane on it that has been anchored out southeast of the Ferry Building for several days. Can't figure out what it is doing there.

A lovely Catalina passed us to starboard as we ghosted toward the A-B span of the Bay Bridge in light winds....

... followed a bit later by this lovely dark-blue-hulled Beneteau, named Blue Coup-- as we saw on a photo of her transom as she passed.

We managed to ghost our way to within about 500 yards of the Bay Bridge and then ran out of breeze.... came about and headed back northward and catching a wind shift into the east so now ghosting northward on starboard tack broad reach until we picked up a southwesterly again. As we ghosted along, we watched as this other Catalina sailing northward closer to Yerba Buena was making good headway-- much faster headway than we. She had motored out of the south bay and raised sailed after motoring away from the lee of the city so had a decent breeze over where she was sailing.

That damn Rocket Boat was screaming around the bay and heading back toward pier 39 at high speed.

We spotted head the noise of fighter jets and looked up to see four military jets escorting a C130 carge plane and heading northeast. I wonder what that was all about????

We eventually arrived in a stronger southwesterly breeze of about 10-12 knots and then we were sailing right at the edge of being overpowered with full canvas and wondering if we'd have to reef the jib, but kept sailing past pier 39 where the flags were fluttering moderately.

The city was enjoying the brilliant afternoon sunshine and mostly clear and clean air.

A series of puffy white clouds was hanging over the bay north of us, looking like puffs of smoke from an old coal fired train engine.

As we closed on Yellow Bluff, we could see the schooner Seaward operated by CALLOFTHESEA.ORG heading back toward Sausalito from the gate.

The Golden Gate Bridge was proudly standing sentinel over the gate as we approached the shore at Yellow Bluff.

We then tacked to the south and now the setting sun was illuminating the cloud patterns over the Marin Headlands that gave some promise of a nice sunset color display eventually.

We were tempted to tack into Horseshoe Cove and beat toward the gate that way, but decided instead to let the light flood current push us away from the gate a bit as we sailed all the way across so we could see the sunddown, like here as she began to set behind the headlands and reflected off some of the swirling flood eddies that propagate inside the gate during flood tides.

A Coast Guard patrol boat blasted toward her home port in Horseshoe Cove as we continued southeastward across the gate in the light of the setting sun.

When we were about 3/4ths of the way across the gate, the sun was just about to disappear behind Point Bonita.

Our old pal, ADVENTURE CAT, had motorsailed to the gate flying main only earlier and was now heading back to home port and crossing ahead of us.

Winds near the gate were starting to soften, so we tacked toward the gate and sailed against the waxing flood current, finally crawling out the gate just inside the north tower.

We ducked out a short ways and then came about and headed back inside, sailing on starboard tack broad reach as some remaining sunset color-- some purplishness-- colored the clouds over the headlands and a marmalade sky begain to develop near the horizon behind us.

We sailed northeastward on broad reach until we passed a tug and barge and this escort tug steaming toward the gate, and then we headed up a bit to sail toward home port on more of a beam reach.

As we sailed past Aquatic Park the light of the city were brightening and the GHIRADELLI sign was glowing brightly.

Lights of the buildings on shore were getting brighter and brighter as darkness intensified.

Eventually, the sky in the west turned a brilliant marmalade color.

We pulled in the jib as we were sailing past pier 39 and then came into the wind after approaching the west side of pier 35 to douse the main. The cruise ship was still tied up on the east side of pier 35 so we couldn't go there to douse the main, but winds were now light where we were, so had no problems. We readied for landing and then motored into the mairna, landing okay under the more difficult flood current conditions in the marina. We felt absolutely great after spending another delightful four hours on the bay in the usual varying conditions of wind and light on a later afternoon and sunset/evening sail!

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