Sunday, August 30, 2009

Out of the Gate

We decided to make our move, pretty much on schedule, after a full week in the Bay. It has been great, and we could easily spend more time here, but we feel ready to see something new. In contrast to our arrival, the weather is absolutely clear, and it was glorious to pass under the sunlit Golden Gate bridge. We tacked out through the Gate itself, only to see the wind die as we neared Point Bonita. So we decided to follow some other local sailboats that had passed us, on their way over the San Francisco Bar and on out to the Farallons. Most non-sailors don't know that the Bay has its own Bar, just like the Columbia and other rivers, and just as treacherous in bad conditions. Today the swells are only about 8 feet, and the wind is calm, so we had an easy passage.

On our way out, we were passed by an inbound ship, the Golden Bear, which is the training vessel for the California Maritime Academy. My dad graduated from CMA, and we had gone to one of his reunions about 6 years ago and taken a tour of the Bear, so it was very nice to see this reminder of my now departed dad.

We also saw the San Francisco Pilot boat, which waits out here about 10 miles offshore for inbound ships. The pilots guide the ships in and out of the harbor.

We never saw the Farallons. The wind started getting higher, and we decided it would be a long day if we continued out. So we changed course for Half Moon Bay, 20 miles down the peninsula, where we hoped to anchor for the night. On the way, the wind grew stronger, and the swells grew larger, so near the end of the day we were surfing along under a double-reefed mainsail.
Half Moon proved to be a calm anchorage, and we went to bed early after a full day at sea.

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