Sunday, December 21, 2008


Friday afternoon was sunny with clear skies and a moderate wind blowing, so it was irresistable to head out for another sailing outing. We left port around 3 pm and put out full canvas before heading out into the central bay.

We sailed to the north on the northwest breeze for a while, and
off in the east we spotted the zepplin operated by Airship Ventures. They have been around a lot lately.

We soon tacked to the west and began making some slow headway against the flood current that was at its max, and watched as this very large tractor tug steamed eastward.

Off in the north, a small sailboat was heading on a parallel course. You can see from how clear the features of Angel Island show up in this photo that the air was very clear and visibility was at least 25 miles.

We eventually had to tack to the north again and the flood current then pushed us back eastward until we were once again east of the marina. The breeze freshened a bit so we tacked again and mamaged to sail past pier 39 where the flags were fluttering in a breeze of about 5-7 knots.


We sailed into the lee of pier 45 and then tacked away to the west again. It was clear now that we would have to beat our way to the gate, not like our single tack of the day before. Behind us, this small sailboat was sailing eastward with a reefed main which she definitely didn't need.

The city was enjoying brilliant sunshine as we sailed away to the west and were pushed eastward by the flood current..... Alcatraz basked in the brilliant late afternoon sunshine.

Skies over us were fully clear, but clouds hung over the east bay hills.

As we continued on our westward beat, we spotted this sailboat heading toward the gate on starboard tack.

This small sailboat, named Solidare, was also heading westward and looking good!

After several more beats to the west, we were past the Fort Mason piers and they and Russian Hill were enjoying the brilliant slanted rays of the sun.

A while later, a large sailboat flying main only passed to port...

... another boat with a fully enclosed cockpit-- wussy sailors!

Out by the gate, a tanker was steaming into the bay with the sun reflecting off her hull and the base of the north tower of the GGB.

The tanker was one we have seen before where the propulsion is a tractor tugboat that nests in a pocket in the stern.

As we continued beating westward, the north tower was gleaming in the sunshine and the hills of the headlands were mostly in shadow from our vantage point.

Eventually, the windows on one of the factory buildings on Alcatraz began brilliantly reflecting the near-setting sun.

A bit later, a tanker of conventional construction steamed into the bay, her hull also gleaming in the late sunshine.

After several more beats were were finally approaching the gate as the sun began to sink into a thick cloud bank stretching across the horizon.

The top of the cloud bank seemed like it was on fire.

As we sailed out the gate against a still flooding current, this small power boat accompanied us.

We sailed out a short ways on starboard tack and then came about and headed back inside, sailing northward on the westerly breeze.

The skies over Pt. Bonita behind us were colored with pastel purple and yellow-orange.

In the east, the skies were pinkish.

Eventually, a bit of sunset color developed in the west as we sailed toward home port, doing mostly wing and wing to begin with.

The clouds over Richardson Bay were a dark violet in color to go with some orangy and pinky color on the higher cloud layers.

Some marmalade sunset sky developed in the west as we continued toward home port, now gybing back and forth.

We took this video of the city at twilight as we continued toward home port....

...this video of the city at night

... and this video of some of the lighted boats leaving pier 39 as we headed for the lee of pier 35 to douse sail.

After preparing for landing, we motored into the marina and, after landing and tying up, we went to the end of pier 39 to take this video of the lighted boat parade and some of the lighted boats in the marina.

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