21 June 2005

Father's Day

My wife gave me the greatest present on Father's Day*....a very long sail. No, not some crazy yankee cut blade jib, but enough hours to go out and sail around the Bay all day. Bob and I set out very early, after The Commander Debacle, and headed for Angel Island.

The wind was cooperating, so we made it to Raccoon Strait on one tack (with the exception of two quick tacks to stay out of a very fast ferry's way...we were in a shipping channel and I just didn't want to mess with them). Two small noteworthy items: we beat a Hunter 37 out there, not due to our exquisite seamanship, but the darned fool didn't have a headsail; and the Angel Island Lee lasted for only about 2 minutes, but it was smack dab in the middle of a bunch of fishing boats that we had to smell as we drifted through the lee.

We saw a little red speedster that seemed to know where the wind was, so we followed his course through the strait and made it through in only about 4 tacks, not bad compared to some of the days I've had beating through there. One boat with what looked like a retractable daggerboard (a la Maximus) was able to point about 10 degrees higher than us and made it in one tack. I gave him the stink eye for having a better boat and sails and helmsmanship; I hate guys like that.

As we rounded the island, the usual crazy fluky winds that make me not miss out of Sausalito happened. We drifted, picked up wind, watched it back on us, dealt with boiling seas, got becalmed, had a gang of kayakers pass us, and finally picked up the wind again for the long downwind run home.

About this time, we noticed that the boats coming out had reefed mains, but it was too late for us, we were flying, scooting along at 6 knots, hitting 8+ on some of the surfs (for those coming here from Sailing Anarchy, this is fast for a Catalina 22). Took a new way back into the marina by heading a bit north of the Marina then coming in through the North opening on a beam reach...depowered a bit to slow down to the required 5 knots as we passed the breakwater, then dropped the jib. We looked sharp...maybe.

Passed some old-timers as we sailed to the slip because I had no idea how to slow the boat down until we turned the corner for J dock. That accomplished, we sailed into the slip, dropped the main and pulled out the GPS to track our day. 18 nautical miles in about 4 hours and one tired neck muscle from 4 straight hours at the tiller. Maybe, I shouldn't keep asking for all day sailing time.

*actually, I wore my Father's Day present, a very fresh izod shirt and cool hipster sweatsuit jacket with sport stripes

1 comment:

crkmama said...

You can go sailing any old time. I'm no shrew.