Thursday, January 1, 2009


Mother Nature has been quite unkind the last few days-- giving us no wind for sailing. I guess she really exhausted her breath last Thursday when she was blowing at 30-50 knots most of the day. Friday, we managed to sail with the current to the fuel dock, but had to motor most of the way back. Saturday, we had a light breeze for a while but it died out and we had to motor back. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday-- virtually no breeze at all Tuesday started with a dense fog over the whole area, but the sun blasted it away by around noon. Today the fog lifted only slightly by noonand and a 4-5 knot westerly came up in the mid-afternoon and so we decided to go out for a couple of hours of sailing.

As we motored out of port, we passed this large Beneteau visiting the marina and tied up at the end of D dock-- a 47.7 footer named VERONESE.

I put out full canvas outside the marina and headed out into the central bay. As we headed out, the wind started to shift into the northeast so we were sailing down the shore on beam reach port tack as fog covered the top of Telegraph Hill, obscuring Coit Tower.

The breeze started to soften almost as soon as we arrived out there, but we were ghosting eastward as this ferry blasted past in the fog.

We had sailed past pier 33, and behind us the Alcatraz ferry was heading for its home port between piers 31 and 33.

Tied up at pier 29 was a large vessel named PACIFIC STAR. She seems likely to be a research vessel of some kind.

The Bay Bridge was barely visible through the fog.

We crawled past the Pier 23 cafe, pleading with Mother Nature for a fresher breeze.

A log was floating in the water in the area between pier 23 and pier 27.

Another ferry blasted past us toward the Ferry Building as we crawled southeastward, barely stemming the waxing ebb current.

A power yacht steamed past us.

Gradually the fog began to lift off of Telegraph Hill.

We watched as a COSCO freighter steamed through the D-E span of the Bay Bridge-- bringing up a memory of the COSCO BUSAN striking the base of the D tower a bit over a year ago..

The SF Police patrol boat steamed past, heading south.

Now the breeze died away to less than a knot and we were at the mercy of the ebb current, sailing backwards. Now the holiday lights were on at the Pier 2

We turned around and headed back toward home port, being mostly dragged westward by the ebb current as the fog continued to lift off the top of Telegraph Hill so that the base of Coit Tower was now visible.

A tanker escorted by a tug steamed past, blasting her fog horn from time to time-- so loudly that it echoed off the buildings on shore.

Here's a brief video of the sight and sound.

The bases of the financial district buildings were barely visible through the fog.

As the skies darkened, we began to see the lights of the financial district buildings.

We motored into the lee of pier 35 to douse sails and get ready for landing. We could barely see the red-lighted base of Coit Tower from this vantage point.

We motored into port and landed fine in a quite strong ebb current. It was nice to be out there for a while after being stuck in port for days, but I felt a bit like the breeze that came up was a sucker breeze that sucked us out there only to die away in a half hour or so. I hope Mother Nature will do better for us the first few days of the new year.

HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!

No comments: