Friday, December 19, 2008


Sunday and Monday were stormy days and Tuesday was cold and threatening. Today started out sunny but gradually started clouding over with forecasted rain on the way. Bob joined us for an afternoon outing and we headed out of port around 2:30 pm. We pulled up full main just outside the marina, pointing nito the southerly breeze. Then we headed for the central bay, pulling the jib out to full.

Out on the bay, only a few patches of blue were showing in the sky above and a herring boat was steaming east in the distance.
It was now 2:45 pm.

As we headed westward on the south breeze, the flags on the end of pier 39 were fluttering slightly, being in the lee of the pier buildings.

As we were ghosting westward against a slight flood current, another herring boat steamed past.

We continued ghosting westward until we passed the pier and then started to pick up some decent breeze and make good progress toward the gate.

A Coast Guard fast boat steamed out of the west marina and blasted eastward along the cityfront.

Further out on the bay, a moderately loaded container ship was steaming toward the Port of Oakland, and we soon had to ride her wake.

The city was now enjoying some partial sunshine.

After we sailed past Fort Mason, now in a good breeze out of the south-southwest, another container ship steamed past-- one very lightly loaded and sending out a big wake for us to ride over.

A rower in a rowboat, navigated the big wake okay and then continued on his way eastward.

It was around 3:30 pm when we reached the gate and sailed out between midspan and the south tower, so it had taken us about 45 minutes to reach the gate.

The breeze outside the gate remained good, so we continued sailing out toward Point Bonita, leaving the gate behind us.

We fell off the wind to make sure we passed in front of an outbound tanker approaching the gate, before heading up again to sail parallel to the shore of the headlands.

It was 3:40 pm as we sailed past Pt. Diable in freshening winds. so we were making great headway to the west....

... and we were enjoying views of the cliffs and hills of the headlands lining the shore of Bonita Cove.

We were about half way across Bonita Cove when the wind increased and the seas built to the point that we were overpowered and putting the starboard rail quite deep in the water at times. So we had to give up on reaching Pt. Bonita and came about and headed back toward the gate, now sailing off the wind on broad reach starboard tack.

We were blasting back toward the gate, now sailing with the current, and noticed a few pelicans riding the updrafts over the headlands.

It was 3:53 pm as we sailed past Pt. Diablo again.

Ahead of us, the bridge was framing the picture of the city behind.

At 4 pm, we were again sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge.

Winds inside the bay had also freshened and we were blasting toward home port as clouds in the west thickened.

Overhead a few patches of blue were still showing through some popcorn-type high clouds.

In the north, some interesting cloud patterns at various levels met our eyes as we sailed towad home port, having to harden in the sails as the wind direction shiften more toward the south-southeast.

In the west, Mt. Tam was hidden in clouds and rain showers.

The city was overcast and darkening as we approached home port.

The pier 39 flags were still in a lee spot and barely fluttering as we passed. It was 4:30 pm as we sailed past the eats marina, so it had taken us about 30 minutes to sail back from the gate in a breeze that gradually softened after passing Ft. Mason.

We sailed into the lee of pier 35 to furl the jib and then headed into the wind to douse the main and tie it up. We then motored around the pier while preparing for landing and headed into port, eventually landing fine in a mostly slack current. We managed to tie up before the southerly breeze pushed ANTICIPATION too far into the slip. It was another invigorating outing in good winds and it felt great to be out there again after a hiatus of 4 days.

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