Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Sunday and Monday-- not enough wind in the afternoon for any sailing so we were stuck in port. This morning a light northeasterly was blowing early, and we decided to head out about 9:30 am, hoping that a fresher breeze would materialize eventually.

With full canvas flying, we headed northeast on a beam reach port tack and were just ghosting along for a while with the ebb current dragging us northward, and this Coast Guard fast boat flashed past us, heading east in a blast of spray.

This catamaran ferry shot past us, heading for pier 39 ferry landing after leaving the Ferry Building.

After five or ten minutes, the breeze started to freshen and was soon blowing about 10-12 knots, and we were blasting toward the D-E span of the Bay Bridge and enjoying the brilliantly sunny views of the city, like this one of Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower.

Coit Tower was basking in the mid-morning sunshine and was looking good against the clear blue sky.

We eventually fell off to a broad reach to head for the A-B span of the Bay Bridge to avoid being overpowered as the breeze had now freshened more and was blowing over 15 knots, with stronger gusts from time to time, The pyramid looked beautiful in the strong morning sunshine!

We were soon well past the Ferry Building and enjoying views of the Financial District buildings.

The clock on the Ferry Building tower showed 10:05 as we continued toward the Bay Bridge.

The bow and arrow sculpture on shore was brilliantly illuminated by the mid-morning sunshine.

The Bay Bridge was gleaming in its silver coating.

All the financial district buildings stood out vividly in the clear air as we approached the A-B span.

We sailed past the A-B span and then fell off to reef the jib down to a small size and then sailed parallel to the bridge for a while before tacking to head back. The city was now frameed by the bridge tower and deck.

it was about 10:20 am when we sailed under the A-B span of the Bay Bridge again, and with waxing ebb current assist and good winds, we were soon passing the end of pier 39-- at 10:30 -- quite the speedy trip.

After turning the courner around the end of pier 27, we had let out the jib to full since we were sailing on a broad reach and could use full canvas despite the strong winds. Sausalito and Mt. Tam were enjoying the brilliant morning sunshine as we sailed directly toward the gate.

I watched as this Coast Guard motor life boat steamed into the bay at high speed and headed for the base in Horseshoe Cove. This boat seems to have a different design than the ones I've seen previouisly.

A short while later, another motor life boat steamed in the gate and headed for home base.

A charter boat had been hanging out just outside the gate-- perhaps scattering ashes--- and was now steaming back inside the gate.

We sailed out the gate about midspan of our beautiful bridge-- so vivid in the morning sunshine. It was now 10:55 am. So we made the trip from pier 39 in 25 minutes.

I started reefing the jib while approaching the bridge, but by the time I had come about, the strong ebb had carried us about 300 yards outside the gate. and were struggling to sail back inside. Meanwhile a Coast Guard cutter was steaming out the gate. It took us 20 minutes to sail back inside the gate, but we finally made it. Whew! It was a relief not to have to turn on the engine and motor against that strong ebb current. Been therre-- done that!

As we were sailing toward home port, another sailboat was heading toward the gate from the north.

She sailed out the gate as we continued sailing toward home port against the ebb current-- now sailing on close reach port tack.

We gad good winds all the way back to home port and the flags were still fluttering in the strong breeze out of the northeast It was now 12:10 pm. so it had taken us about 50 minutes to sail home from the gate, double the time to sail to the gate. But we had completed the two bridge kiss in about 2 hours and 45 minutes. This includes the time we spent south of the Bay Bridge-- probably 10 minutes and the time we spent outside the gate trying to get back inside, at least 15 minutes. So we were really moving fast out there.

We sailed past pier 35 and then headed off the wind to furl the jib. we then sailed over to the west side of pier 35 to douse the main and tie it up sloppily before motoring into port. We landed fine and quickly tied up the starboard stern line to make sure the strong northerly didn't push ANTICIPATION back out of the slip. It was great to be out there in exciting conditions.

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