Tuesday, October 7, 2008


We went out for a brief outing on Sunday, but after motoring out into the
central bay with single-reefed main, the shift control locked up and we were locked into forward gear. We had no choice but to return to port, douse sail as we approached the marina entrance and land ANTICIPATION by killing the engine as we approached the slip and coast into the slip. It's time to get rid of the the horribly engineered shift and speed controls on the Edson helm and install a better engineered system in the cockpit-- one that is also easier to maintain, change cables, etc.

On Monday afternoon, Olivier invited me to go out sailing with him on his boat, Corto Maltese, and we left port about 2:30 pm, raised full main and put out double reefed jib before heading out into the central bay.

The fog had been oscillating in and out of the bay and a finger of fog was now invading the bay near the gate but the rest of the bay was clear.

We had some company out there as this sailboat was heading west way in the northwest ...

...this one was behind us and also heading west...

.. and down by the Bay Bridge a lovely schooner was heading north.

We tacked around between Alcatraz and the cityfront for a while as Olivier was tuning some of the standing rigging, and as we did this, we spotted our old pal ADVENTURE CAT heading out for a mid-afternoon sail.

In the southwest, the fog was pouring over the Presidio Hills, like it often pours over the Marin Headlands-- something that I don't recall ever seeing before in this location.

As we headed west on the southwest breeze, this lovely cutter-rigged sailboat was sailing east past the southern shore of Alcatraz.

A single port tack took us to a point near Yellow Buff and as we sailed along we spotted the MALTESE FALCON at anchor just outside Richardson Bay and oriented in the direction of the prevailing wind.

We tacked to the southeast to sail past Horseshoe Cove and then tacked into Horseshoe Cove as ADVENTURE CAT was about to start sailing across the gate.

Relatively few passengers were on deck as the CAT approached the gate.

The north tower of the gate was in the clear but a large fog bank was extending from the ocean over the western part of the city.

This lovely Beneteau named Oxygen passed us as they returned from outside the gate-- seemed like there were more sailboats out than one would usually find on a Monday afternoon.

After sailing into Horseshoe Cove, we tacked to sail across the gate and sailed far enough to be able to tack out the gate inside the north tower with the fog finger partially obscurring the south tower of the bridge.

After tacking out the gate, we tacked to sail across the gate and behind us a sailboat was motoring out the gate in clear air, but later raised the main and sailed back inside.

As we sailed parallel to the gate, we spotted the ADVENTURE CAT heading back inside on port tack....

... and eventually gybed onto starboard tack to head for home port.

The flood current and a shift in the wind direction caused us to sail back inside the gate again and we sailed to near the south tower where the sun and fog were fighting with each other and creating some interesting luminosity around the deck of the bridge.

We then tacked out the gate again on the southwest breeze and hoped to head out to Point Bonita....

We then tacked out the gate again on the southwest breeze and hoped to head out to Point Bonita as this Santana 22 was sailing back inside the gate.

We had hoped to sail out to Point Bonita which had been in the clear, but now the fog was charging toward the gate and obscurring the point.

As we sailed westward, the wind shifted more into the west and we had to change course toward the shore of the Marin Headlands, loving the views of the cliffs of the headlands in sun and shadow.

As we tacked and sailed away from the shore to the southeast, the fog was beginning to pour over the southern cliff faces of the headlands.

Soon we were enveloped in fog but it was thin and we still had good visibility most of the time, and we could see some sailboats like this one near the gate through the mist.

We fell off the wind toward the coast outside the gate and eventually gybed to head toward the gate again with the fog obscurring Fort Point...

...while the north tower was in the clear as we viewed it from the mist.

As we sailed inside the gate, we were in clear air and the north tower was in the clear as we sailed to the north on port tack broad reach.

Ahead of us, the Maltese Falcon was still anchored and oriented in the same direction, lined up with the wind.

We sailed past the stern of the Falcon and noted that a crane is mounted in the stern, but didn't seem to be in use as we passed.

We sailed past the ship and then came about and headed back past the stern again, but noting that the shore boat was heading for the boat and there were people on deck that we didn't see when we were approaching.

We sailed south on starboard tack close reach and then tacked to sail past the bow of the Falcon, watching the people on the foredeck, here it seems that a photo was being tacken.

The ebb current was now reorienting the Falcon and she was lined up with the current on a north-south line, and we got this great shot with the city in the background-- the fog having disappeared from the bay again.

We sailed into Righardson Bay, eventually just ghosting along in a breeze out of the southeast, and approaching this large sailboat at anchor-- probably a motorsailor-- with the home port of Gibraltar on the transom.

The couple that was in the cockpit as we passed initially, was now on the foredeck with some drinks as we sailed back to the south again.

The couple that was in the cockpit as we passed initially, was now on the foredeck with some drinks as we sailed back to the south again.

Off in the east, a lovely Beneteau was becalmed, but the noisy crew was enjoying the warm sunshine.

We sailed past the Falcon again with the city in partial fog in the background.

The finger of fog was now invading the bay through the gate again.

The sun was glinting off the majestic masts of the Falcon as we bid her 'au revoir' and headed for home port.

The fog finger extending into the bay was off the water now and we could see the city in sunshine under the fog layer.

The sun was eventually mostly swallowed by the fog, but just after we got this shot of the sun streaming through the edge of the fog.

The city looked hazed out while we were under the fog finger.

Some gaps in the fog in the west allowed the sun to stream through.

As we approached closer to the shore of the city, the air cleared and the city was vivid in the early evening sun.

Some sunset color developed on the thin edge of the fog bank-- a rather beautiful sight!

As we approached home port, PRIVATEER was heading out for a sunset sail with a few passengers aboard.

This lovely sailboat was sailing past the end of pier 39 where the flags were fluttering in breeze of about 10 knots.

As we sailed past the marina, a small flock of pelicans passed, flying low over the water.

As we sailed into the lee of pier 35 to douse sails, that lovely sailboat was still heading east and taking on some sundown color.

After dousing sails, we motored around the pier and into the marina-- the sun starting to set as we headed into the entrance of the marina....

...Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill was taking on some sunset color. WHAT A GEAT OUTING WITH SO MANY VARIATIONS IN WIND AND WEATHER!!!

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