Sunday, October 5, 2008


After a previous evening of rain, Saturday started out mostly cloudy with a forecast of intermitent showers throughtout the day, but skies started to clear nicely in the late morning. Jule and her friend Tina, and Tina's mother, Renata-- newly arrived from Germany for her first visit to our fair city-- joined us for brunch. After clearing up the dishes, Jule had to leave us to travel to Berkeley for an appointment, and Tina and Renata joined us on our afternoon sailing outing. We left port around 2 pm with some summer weight winds blowing on the bay, so we raised a single reefed main and headed out into the central bay.

OMG! What do we see as soon as we get out there???

HERE COMES THE MASSIVE MALTESE FALCON CHARGING DOWN THE BAY ON A BROAD REACH AND HEADING OUR WAY!!!!! WHAT A GLORIOUS SIGHT!!!! Those are people standing on the foredeck-- that gives you an idea of how massive she is.

She flashed past us in a hurry in the 20 knot winds, sending out quite a bow wake.

She charged past a chinese junk replica that was motoring around on the bay...

...and from this closeup view, you can see that she is carrying quite a number of passengers

Here's a brief video clip of her blasting toward the Bay Bridge.

She was followed by a much slower, much smaller sailboat namec PAR AVION....

... and I'm betting that the crew of PAR AVION was having just as much fun on the bay as the crew and passengers on the MALTESE FALCON-- perhaps more. I'd rather be on my sailboat than on the FALCON.

We put out a small jib after the Falcon passed, and headed west on the strong southwest breeze that strongly fluttered the flags on the end of pier 39 as a lovely sailboat flying a kite passed the end of the pier.

Behind us, PRIVATEER was heading out for a charter sail with a nice load of passengers aboard.

We sailed past the southern shore of Alcatraz as she basked in the sunlight of a partly cloudy day with big puffs of clouds scudding over the bay and the city.


Just a bit southwest of the island, a couple of fishing vessels, like the "New Easy Rider" here, were trying to chatch some fish on the waning flood current.

As we continued westward, this large charter ketch crossed in front of us with a nice load of passengers.

Way in the north, passing the shore of Angel Island, another sailboat was charging downwind behind a asymmetrical colorful kite.

We arrived in some lighter winds north and west of Alcatraz and so tacked back into the stronger winds on the south half of the central bay and soon spotted a small fleet of J105s charging down the cityfront as part of a small regatta that was not on any calendar that I had looked at-- the lead boat ALCHEMY having several boat lengths of lead.

The two following boats seemed to be having a gybing duel

... and both seemed to be broaching a bit after gybing onto starboard tack.

The J105 named WONDER was several boat lengths behind those two boats.

A short time later, the boat flying the red kite seemed to have caught up with the one flying the yellow kite.

We crossed in front of this 36 foot sailboat that was blasting westward under more canvas than we were carrying

A couple of kids were out playing around on Lasers in the strong winds along the cityfront, like the young man here.

Before long, the lead J105 ALCHEMY was charging past us, heading for the windward mark on the short cityfront course.

We tacked onto port tack and she then tacked onto starboard tack and so we fell off to make sure that we stayed well out of her way.

We tacked onto port tack and she then tacked onto starboard tack and so we fell off to make sure that we stayed well out of her way.

A bit later we spotted WONDER and another J105 charging upwind toward the mark...

... as was this J105 with no discernable name on her.

WHALLOPING SWEDE was far behind the other boats as she charged upwind toward the mark.

We watched as the boats rounded the mark and set spinnakers to charge downwind again like WONDER is doing here....

... and Larikin here.

This boat was approaching the gate on port tack and was forced to tack away by another boat approaching on starboard and so lost a couple of boat lengths in the process of tacking back toward the mark again and getting ready to set her kite.

We then headed for the gate, soon passing this sailboat blasting across the bay on starboard tack and crossing in front of us.

A couple of kite surferes were out playing on the bay waters, like this one.

This beautiful dark-hulled J160 was carrying heavy canvas and heading northwest across the bay sailing a bit off the wind and going very fast, looking great! That's a 16 meter boat or about 50 feet if I do the conversion correctly.

This megayacht was cruising around the bay all afternoon and, at this point, was heading for Sausalito after ducking out the gate.

We sailed into Horseshoe Cove for this view of our magnificent bridge...

... and then tacked to head out the gate on starboard tack, shooting the gate at about midspan.

We sailed out a short ways, encountering some ocean swells generated by the previous evening's storm, and then we came about and headed back inside. Tina and Renata were having a great time on their first trip on a sailboat on S.F.. Bay.

While outside the gate, we had spotted a sailboat in the distance heading our way with a kite flying, and she was charging down the cityfront as we headed north toward Richardson Bay where we expected to rendezvous with the Falcon.

The J120 race boat named Chance was heading for the gate under full canvas, sailing in light air as she passed Horseshoe Cove, but soon being hit by much stronger winds as she approached the gate.

Our old pal, ADVENTURE CAT, was heading for the gate along the shore of the Marin Headlands as we continued northward, looking for the Falcan in her usual anchorage, but not spotting her.

We passed astern of this cruising cat after we spotted the Falcon anchored off the shore of Tiburon east of Belvedere and headed that way.

The Falcon had one of her sails on the central mast partially deployed as we approached...

...but it soon disappeared and we could see a crewman standing on the spar where that sail had been deployed, perhaps fixing some mechanism that had gone wrong.

A couple of crewmen were standing around the base of that mast....

... and I wondered if that white-haired gentleman looking up at the proceedings was Tom Perkins himself in suit and tie.

The activity continued as we began to pull away from the Falcon...

... and our place was taken up by a lovely schooner that we had earlier seen sailing down the shore of Angel Island.

She was looking good as she ghosted past the Falcon in the light air in the lee of Belvedere.

We had pulled the jib out to full for our downwind sail toward a rendezvous with the Falcon, but now reefed for our trip back across the bay, and soon we were sailing past the PRIVATEER as she sailed outbound on another charter.

As we sailed on beam reach across the bay, this lovely boat passed us, heading toward Tiburon and making good headway.

The city was enjoying the late afternoon sunshine as we approached.

A well reefed Islander was heading north away from the city as we approached home port.

We sailed into the lee of pier 35 to douse sails and ready for landing as we motored back around the pier and into the marina, landing nicely in the light ebb flowing rhrough the marina. Another delightful outing completed with some interesting new crewmembers aboard. After a trip to the restrooms, we settled into the salon of ANTICIPATION for some tummy warming tea and crackers and cheese, before heading over to Pompei's Grotto on the wharf for a light dinner including good clam chowder and more good conversation. Thus passed another day in my life of marvellous suffering on San Francisco Bay!

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