Date: Father's Day: Sunday June 17, 2005 (10:00 AM to 6:30 PM, 7.5 hrs on the water.)
Event: Jennifer as crew
Winds: N/A
Weather: Beautiful! Sunshine all the way.
 

On the road early to sail out of Emeryville Marina by 10:00 AM. The plan, conditions permitting, to introduce Jen to San Francisco Bay.

As we motor beyond the protection of the marina jetty we find the forecast brisk morning blow of 8-12 knots. we set sails as soon as we clear the Emeryville channel and sail first Northwest, toward the ruins of the old Berkeley Ferry pier, then back Southwest under the Bay Bridge, East of Yerba Buena Island, and on to the entrance of the Oakland Estuary. Past experience on this part of the bay has taught me to expect virtually any conditions. Emeryville winds are often light in the morning, only to blow you off the water in the afternoon. But today the morning winds are great.

I am finding that as become more experienced, and with a little planning, I am able to make a destination on the bay with a minimum number of changes in tack.

No sooner have I shut down the outboard motor, than I discover water entering the cockpit through the scupper. Somehow, during set-up, either Jen or I had knocked the externally mounted plug out of place. It is likely sitting on the ground back at the parking lot where it is of little use for its intended purpose. A little quick thinking on my part forces a 1-gallon zip-lock bag into the cockpit side of the scupper as a makeshift plug that serves me well the rest of the day.

As we sail further South into the shelter of Treasure Island, under the Bay Bridge, and East of Yerba Buena Island, we find ourselves receiving ever diminishing winds. Trying to sail into the estuary proved futile, so the outboard was deployed on to Jack London square.

Following a relaxing lunch at the Pasta Pelican on the Alameda Island side, we were back on the water to light winds. Away from the guest dock we spotted an unfamiliar P-15 coming our way from a short distance up the estuary. As we sailed by I recognized long-time Potter Yachter Dory Taylor whom I'd met a couple of times over the past couple of years, but never seen with his Potter.

We tried sailing down the estuary, for a short time, into a light headwinds, but returned to the outboard once more, motoring out to the mouth of the estuary on the hope of finding more favorable winds. Near buoy #6 we doused the outboard once more, only to bob around for the next 30 minutes watching traffic come and go around us.

Under outboard power again, we finally found good winds in the gulf between Oakland's Outer Harbor and Yerba Buena Island. The outboard was stowed once more, and we retraced our earlier course back under the Bay Bridge and into the Emeryville Channel. Just inside the channel the winds died again. So it was back to the motor for the remaining mile or so back to the ramp.

On approaching the finger-dock at the Emeryville ramp, the winds picked up one last time. Just in time to impede my landing at the dock. As I would reduce power to slow my approach to the dock, the wind across the dock would blow Lazy Ka away from the dock requiring me to circle to port for another approach. I had to repeat the maneuver four times before making a safe landing--the most difficult I've made to date.

All-in-all it was a wonderful day with Jen. We listened to her choices of music all day, had an exquisite father's day lunch, and lots of quality daddy-daughter time. Jen was as disappointed as I with the sporadic winds of the day, and the lack of quality sailing that resulted.