Date: Saturday June 24, 2006
Event: Estuary sail out of Grand Street, Alameda, CA. (10:30 AM to 7:30 PM (7.5 hrs on the water.)
w/ All alone . . . solo!
Winds: Winds 3-8 knots all day. 
Weather: Clear; Temperatures in the mid 60's with fog over San Francisco going out in the morning and returning in the afternoon.
 

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 rising tide.

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.