Thursday, October 2, 2008


We headed out of port about noon, with light winds blowing, but we raised a single-reefed main and put out a medium sized jib before heading out into the central bay where a waxing flood current was flowing.

As we headed west on the southwest breeze, the flags on the end of pier 39 were fluttering in a breeze of about 5 knots. Eventually we pulled the jib out to full for more power and began making better headway to the west.

Ahead of us, this J-boat was sailing toward Alcatraz under full canvas and moderately heeled over.

Further to the north, another sailboat with heavily reefed mail was heading west and barely heeled over.

Behind us a race boat was sailing westward under full sail and was moderately heeled over.

The sky over the bay was full of a thin high clouds cutting down on the intensity of the sunlight.

Wind remained light as we approached Alcatraz, so we decided to shake the reef out of the main and go with full canvas, then tacked away from Alcatraz before tacking to the west again to sail past Alcatraz as it enjoyed the cloud-modulated sunshine.

Winds were consistent in the 5-7 knot range as we sailed toward the gate, locking down the helm and eating some fruit salad and eventually watched as this nice sailboat named Zoraida approached from the north and passed astern of us.

We sailed past this sand dredge working south of Harding Rock.

Winds started to freshen as we approached Yellow Bluff and enjoyed views of the GGB, and we were then on the verge of being overpowered.

We began then to beat toward the gate and sailed into Horseshoe Cove where we struggled a bit to reef the jib before continuing to beat out the gate, sailing out on port tack between midspan and the north tower. The GGB and the headlands were grayed out by the cloud overcast.

We tacked to sail parallel to the gate for a while and then came about to head back inside on port tack broad reach, pulling the jib out to full again for more downwind power, eventually spotting this sailboat motoring toward the gate.

As we sailed northward, we saw some sailboats heading for the central bay, like Moonlight Lady sailing well-reefed with a solo skipper apparently.

A lovely Catalina named CAMELOT was also headed for the central bay, and using jib only.

The crew of CAMELOT was looking relaxed as they sailed along.

Another lovely and perhpas newer Catalina named Googled was following the other one, but sailing with reefed main and jib. The skipper seemed to be sailing solo.

Winds were mostly light in the lee of the headlands, so it took us a while to approach the MALTESE FALCON at anchor at the mouth of Richardson Bay, about halfway between Sausalito and Belvedere. On the starboard side of the ship, one of the launches was tied up and fended off by some large fenders, while a set of boarding steps extended over the rail behind that launch.

We sailed past the stern of the ship and noted that the ship is home ported in George Town, the Capital of the Cayman Islands on Grand Cayman Island, where the super rich park their money and their assets to avoid paying U.S. taxes on them.

As we passed the stern, we could see someone standing on the boarding steps-- probably a crew member-- and wearing a Falcon sweatship. In this photo you can see that the hull of the ship has a mirror like finish that highly reflects the boarding steps.

We took closeup shots of some of the rigging, like this spar with what are probably motorized winches for raising and lowering sails. Would love to see the sails going up or down.

As we sailed past the bow, we spotted a crew member doing something around what looks like a bell on the bow.

The anchor pocket on the bow is a different color from the rest of the hull.

We took many photos and some video of the ship as we sailed around her, and you can see the photos at this url:

Here's the video clip.

and then we said adios to the ship as we headed toward home port.

A sailboat named Lorien was sailing parallel with us and looking good.

This cutter was heading west and looking good.

The crew of this Beneteau off our starboard was enjoying the mild weather.

As we continued along toward home port, this sailboat was heading west under main only and not looking good with fenders dragging.

We continued on toward home port and spotted this harbor seal poking his head out and looking around.

As we headed east toward home port, the ALMA was heading west toward Sausalito.

Leter we spotted the schooner SEAWARD heading west toward Alcatraz.

The city was enjoying thinned sunshine ...

.. as was Telegraph Hill.

Flags on the end of pier 39 were fluttering in a breeze of about 10 knots as we sailed past under main only, having doused the jib already.

We sailed past the marina and toward pier 35 and then headed into the wind to douse the main, get ready for landing and then motor into the marina. It was great to be out on the bay under mostly full canvas!

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