Saturday, August 22, 2009

Through the Gate to Sausalito

Had a nice sail yesterday from Bodega Bay back to Drake's Bay, except for a slight (ahem) broach as we rounded Pt. Reyes. Wind went from 4 kts apparent to nearly 30 before I could react. One minute we were surfing down 7' swells, dodging a whale on one wave, and the next thing I knew we had rounded up. Kinda nice to know the boat will self-correct, even if it is a bit nerve-wracking at the moment it happens. We doused the jib, dusted ourselves off, and continued on under mainsail. Never saw apparent wind over 16 again, so it was just a fluke that we got pushed over. Still, a lesson to be learned!

Coming in to Drake's right ahead of us was s/v Verdia, from Vancouver, with Geoff and Fiona aboard. We talked awhile on VHF after both boats had anchored. They had experienced a bit of an epic, with 35 kt winds and big waves, farther offshore than we had been. They were awaiting word from their buddy boat, Mariposa, 60 miles further back. It was a clear evening, with a sky full of stars, except for the dull glow of city lights to our south.

Today, we set off about 7, anxious to catch the flood tide through the Golden Gate. Mariposa was just coming into Drake's as we were leaving. Although it was overcast, visibility gradually increased from 2 miles to more than 5 miles by the time we neared the Gate. Still nervous from yesterday's broach, we sailed under genoa alone, as wind observations on the weather radio showed 18 kts at the Golden Gate and over 30 at Angel Island. With a 3 kt tide, we were making over 10 knots under the Golden Gate bridge. Yahoo!
Instead of heading straight in to Sausalito, we enjoyed the heady feeling of sailing the Bay for the first time, mixing it up with race fleets, tour boats, and a few ships. We rode the tide in as far as Fisherman's Wharf, then caught the eddy close inshore and tacked back toward the Gate, then reached north across the Bay, out of the fog and into the sun. Even with only the genoa hoisted, we were sailing well over 7 knots and got laid on our ears a few times. With no swell and hardly any wind chop, it was fun and not worrisome.

We'll be here in Sausalito for at least 3 days, enjoying a respite from the dismal fog outside the Gate and seeing a few of the local sights.

1 comment:

C. E. Chaffin said...

Love that term, "broach." You also taught me "genoa." Amazing you can obtain 10 knts with just that little thing.

Enjoy Sausalito. Charming place, especially if you have $!