Wayne joined us again for our outing and we left port around 10:45 am since we had to be back in port before 1:30 pm to avoid the negative low tide that would have us dragging the keel of ANTICIPATION in the mud.
We put out all the canvas and headed out into the central bay, hoping for freshening winds that would encourage us to head for the gate with the waxing ebb current, but no such luck so we headed downwind, making very slow headway against the current as the charter yacht POTOMAC steamed past heading west.
We were still ghosting eastward, sometimes doing a broad reach and sometimes doing wing and wing, when the POTOMAC passed again, headed in the opposite direction. In the background, a puffy white cloud stood out against the general grayness of the sky.
We had some company out there, like this sailboat over by Treasure Island that was sailing with the current.
We managed to ghost-sail past pier 21, but then the breeze died away and we were soon being driven back toward the west by the ebb current-- sailing backwards in effect. We wondered if that was it and the sailing was over, but eventually a freshening westerly breeze asserted again and we started making headway to the east and south again as we gybed back and forth while the financial district buildings were grayed out by the overcast skies.
Behind us there were a couple of sailboats sailing with the current and making good headway, like this one...
... and this one about to pass Alcatraz.
Wayne spotted a dirigible in the southwest and eventually it came flying overhead with the logo AIRSHIP ADVENTURES on her side. The airship had propellers on each of the small wings on each side of the craft, and also seemed to have a group of propellers on the tail of the craft. A first time sighting of this craft over the bay. We usually see them only when sports events are happeneing and mostly in fall and winter when winds are not so extreme.
Eventually a westerly breeze of about 4 knots reasserted and we again were making some progress to the east and south, and we watched as this small trimaran passed us, sailing with the current and making good headway to the west with the current.
The cockpit of the tri was full of crew.
We eventually gybed toward the shore of the city again and sailed past the pedestrian pier.
Out on the bay, a small sailboat was heading west with the current.
We sailed to near the shore around pier 9 and then we came about and headed back north on the westerly breeze, sailing with the current and making good headway while watching this sailboat heading north out of the south bay.
We had a good breeze now and with current assist we were making great headway, heeled over on port tack close reach-- great sailing. I would have loved to stay out on the bay for another few hours, but we had to get back to port, so we tacked toward pier 35, while that other sailboat passed astern of us.
Another great tack toward pier 35 on close reach starboard tack.. fun sailing, but it had to end in the lee of pier 35 where we doused sail and prepared for landing, then motored into the marina eased into the slip, playing the ebb current. We didn't get far, but it was still great to be out there for a few hours.