Tuesday, October 28, 2008


The weeklong indian summer weather disappeared Sunday night with fog moving in over the city, turning the city gray and chilly. Some clearing started in the midafternoon and almost summer-strong winds came up.

We headed out of the marina about 3:15 pm, motored past the Maltese Falcon still tied up at pier 35 and raised a full main before heading out into the central bay, where a nice looking folkboat passed in front of us and headed toward the lee side of pier 35.

We headed north toward the lee side of Angel Island, leaving behind the city grayed out by the overcast, and eventually pulled out a small jib to help balance the boat as we sailed on a beam reach with good speed across the ebb current that was waning.

After passing well to the east of Alcatraz, we spotted this sailboat sailing downwind with heavily reefed sails.

This small Ericson sailboat passed in front of us, leaivng Raccoon Straits and heading toward Berkeley under main only, but with the lone skipper on the foredeck, preparing to raise the hanked-on jib.

Soon she was heading toward Berkeley with full canvas flying and looking good!

The strong winds of the cental bay gave way to light winds in the lee of Angel Island and we pulled out the jib to full but still were only ghosting northward, but managing to sail past the stationary navigation platform at Southhamption Shoal.

We found a bit of freshening breeze and headed up toward Raccoon Straits, sailing past the buoy located northeast of Angel Island.

A small flock of pelicans, like this one, flew past low over the water.

We ran out of breeze as we approached Raccoon Straits so headed back south along the lee shore of the island, turning on the engine for a while until we arrived back into some breeze as the sun went down behind the hill on the island.

The sun was shining rhrough some lovely cloud patterns that extended from the south to the north with a clearing spot further to the west, suggesting that we might have a beautiful sundown and a colorful sunset following the sundown.

We sailed out into the central bay and then tacked to head west on the southwest breeze, having reefed the jib again to reduce power, and eventually sailing past the southern shore of Angel Island as she was illuminated by the setting sun. The light wasn't strong enough to discern areas of the island that were blackened by the fire that burned there a few weeks ago.

The setting sun was reflecting off the buildings in the east bay and, as here, on the buildings in the financiall district of the city.

Adventure Cat was already at the gate as the sky began to take on some sunset glow.

We eventually tacked to the south to be in position to see the sundown through the gate and we managed to sail far enough along to watch the sun begin to sink behind the thick fog bank above the horizon.

The sun was huge as it sank into the fog bank...

... and soon disappeared.

We were soon treated to a 360 degree sunset with dramatic pink colors on clouds over and behind the city....

... dramatic sunset colors on the clouds over the central bay and from southwest to northwest....

... as well as pink sunset color in the north over Alcatraz.

The sunset color over the bay deepened and grew in brilliance as we headed toward home port.

A brief video of the lovely sunset color all around us.

After passing Alcatraz, we headed off the wind and pulled the jib out to full again to sail downwind as the sunset color faded behind us.

City lights were brightening-- magic time on the bay!

We sailed to a point just at the end of pier 35 and then came about and headed back to the west to watch the final sunset color and to wait for the flood current to fill in the marina so we wouldn't drag the keel in the mud while approaching our slip.

A deep marmalade sky developed beyond the gate and some brilliant sunset colors re-emerged over the bay as dusk turned to twilight and we were sailing westward on close reach in a perfect full canvas breeze of about 8-10 knots.

We eventually tacked to sail into the lee of pier 45 to give a photo op to the people on the end of the pier and then fell off to head downwind again, eventually sailing into the lee of pier 35 to douse sails as bright city lights shone over us at full darkness.

After dousing sails, we readied fenders and lines for docking and then motored around the pier and into the marina. We made a nice landing in the flood current. It was great to be back out on the bay, especially with the pleasure of some full canvas sailing with beautiful conditions and the brilliant sunset that mother nature gave to us!

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