Sunday, November 30, 2008


Wayne and Dusan-- a friend of a friend from Serbia-- joined us about 1:30 pm for our afternoon outing and we headed out of port about 1:45 pm. We raised full main just outside the marina and then headed toward the central bay, pulling out the jib to full as we motored northward. We sailed out northeastward in a breeze that kept freshening out of the north and eventually gybed to head for the bay bridge on a broad reach port tack.

This dark-hulled Hunter passed us to port as she was heading west on close reach starboard tack and looking as good as a Hunter sailboat can look.

Off to starboard, this cutter seemed to be motorsailing directly into the wind for some unknown reason.

Ahead of us, another Hunter dragging a dingy and named MURMUR was heading for the Bay Bridge also.

A J105 named FRISKY was blasting westward and looking good!

This lovely sailboat out of the south bay passed in front of us, heading north and really looking good. The wind had now freshened to 8-10 knots-- perfect sailing breeze for full canvas.

As we approached the Echo tower of the Bay Bridge, we gybed and sailed under the D-E span on starbaord tack broad reach as this nice sailboat out of Alameda approached on starboard tack close reach.

Another sailboat that we later saw was named GLOBAL ONE also approached us on starboard tack close reach.

The Bay Bridge was gleaming in the early afternoon sun. It was now about 1:35 so it had taken us about 40 minutes to reach the Bay Bridge against some waxing ebb current from the time we reached the central bay after putting out sails.

That first sailboat out of Alameda passed astern of us....

... as did GLOBAL ONE a short time later, with a solo skipper apparently.

We came about hardening in sails and sailed back under the D-E span, heaidng north on port tack close reach, planning to sail past Treasure Island and to keep going northward so we could ride the ebb current back toward home port should the breeze die out as it sometimes does this time of year.

We sailed to near the northwest point of Treasure Island and then a wind shift forced us to tack to the wast away from the island and this sailboat passed us to port. We were now on starboard tack heading toward Sausalito.

The wind freshed to about 10-12 knots and we were blasting westward with the current adding to our speed as this lovely center cockpit sloop passed us to starboard.

A bit later, this blue-hulled Hunter passed us to starboard-- perhaps the same one that had passed us earlier heading west.

A while later, I looked behind us and that same Hunter was following us for a while before falling off the wind and heading across the bay.

I was planning to sail to the west of Angel Island and then possibly sail down Raccoon Straits and back up before heading for home port, but decided to risk heading for the gate so fell off to beam reach and blasted directly toward the gate.

Eventually this small sailboat passed us, heading north.

A 29er dingy racer was sailing across the bay in front of us, followed by a coaching boat.

As we continued on toward the gate, we were hailed by our neighbors, Mike and Sarah, as they passed astern of us, heading north toward Angel Island-- first time we have encountered them out on the bay.

The breeze was now blowing at about 15 knots or so-- FABULOUS! so with the ebb current and our boat speed we were probably doing 10+ knots over the bottom, but this small sailboat was returning from the gate with reefed main and small jub, sailing against the current.

Dusan and Wayne were enjoying the ride as we approached the gate.

As always, the bridge and the Marin Headlands were their spectacular selves as we approached the gate to sail out near midspan.

As we sailed out the gate, this sailboat was heading inside the bay, looking good! It was now about 2:35 pm, so it had taken us about an hour to travel the 10+ miles from the Bay Bridge to the Golden Gate Bridge via a roundabout path. WOW! we were averaging 8-10 knots over the bottom-- great sailing!

We sailed out past the gate a ways, enjoying views of the bridge and the headlands before coming about and heading back inside.

As we sailed under the bridge, VAGRANT was off starboard and a bit ahead of us, also returning to the bay.

We eventually passed behind her and she headed northward while we continued eastward.

We eventually caught and passed this sailboat that had re-entered the bay a quarter mile or so ahead of us.

On our eastward trip to home port we passed some other sailboats, like this small one....

....and this one.

The city was enjoying brilliant sunshine as we approached pier 39.

We had good strong wind all the way from the gate to this point, but now they began to soften rapidly as we passed the end of pier 39 where the flags were fluttering now in a breeze of just a few knots, not the 15+ we were flying home on earlier. It was now 3:25 pm so it had taken us about 45 minutes to sail back from the gate after we had re-entered the bay.

We pulled in the jib as we were ghosting past the marina and then after approaching a bit closer to the dredging barge off pier 35, we headed up inot the wind to douse the main. We then motored slowly toward the marina entrance while tying up the main and getting lines and fenders ready. The surge built as we approached our slip but we made an okay landing. The breeze had now died away completely so our timing was perfect and the outing was a magnificent one!

After tying up, we all headed to the restrooms and then enjoyed wine and cheese and crackers and conversation in the sunny and warm cockpit until the sun went down.

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