On Father's Day,
last Sunday, I had wanted to sail, but Jen's desire to sleep in
prevailed; when we finally hit the road, it was to escape the valley
heat and skip over the hills to the Estuary
and have a late lunch-early dinner in the vicinity, to look at the
boats on the water. We ended up up with
an outside table at Chevy's restaurant with a great view;
conditions seemed near perfect. On my outing this day, I hoped to
capture a replay of what I witnessed last weekend . . . I think I did!
As I rigged Lazy Ka
there was little or no wind, typical of the estuary in the early
morning; by 10:30 Lazy Ka
was afloat, and winds were blowing at a comfortable 4-5 knots. I
simply pushed away from the dock. raised jib and main, and went under
sail immediately. Winds for the day came up the estuary from the bay
making for slow but steady progress as I tacked against the wind and a
My first real challenge of
the day came a couple of hours later as I was approaching Middle Harbor
and the container terminals; I encountered a fleet of twenty-some powerboats, all in excess of 25 feet, making their way
up the estuary. It was a 20 minute ballet of my 15' Potter tacking
into their wakes causing others to yield to my new course, only to
tack again as the next boat passed. Most other sailboats, gave up, and
went to motor while I took advantage of the challenge as a training
opportunity. I stuck it out and with a little planning was able to
attack the wakes of two or three boats at a time. All passed with
smiles and without mishap.
I sailed on to the
mouth of the estuary, only to turn back as it was getting toward time
to find a place to stop for a late lunch/early dinner.
Sailing back up the
estuary, I found myself in the midst of Inner Harbor at high tide. On
this day there was considerable shipping traffic coming and going on
the tide, not to mention the associated tugboat traffic as well. There
were two outgoing container ships, with one incoming, all jockeying
for position in the restricted confines of the Inner Harbor narrows.
The turbulence generated to the stern of tugboats as the pushed the
container ship into the terminal berth. The eddies generated pushed me
around a bit in the light air.
With the wind at my
back, I sailed on to the Chevy's guest dock for a late lunch and Lots
other boat traffic to watch with my meal.
I returned to the
estuary for another couple of hours of sailing before pulling Lazy Ka
out a bit after 7:30 PM.