Sam Sails the Bay

Sam and I went sailing on SF Bay recently.

Captain Sam

This was Sam's first outing on a big boat (Santa Cruz 40). She drove the boat while we put up (and later took down) the sails, but most activities on a boat like this require a bit too much muscle.

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Still it was an enjoyable day.

Beating to windward

30 degrees

We had almost no wind until we got past the Bay Bridge, then it started to pick up. By the time we got to around Angel Island, dodging the racing fleets, we had some decent wind and as we approached the Golden Gate it was about 18 knots.

Golden Gate

As soon as we went under the bridge, the wind dropped considerably and we had a quiet time, a little too quiet on the way back.

The tide was still ebbing at at least 2 knots, and with only a few knots wind it took us quite a while to get back into the Bay.

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Homeward

As soon as we entered under the bridge again the wind picked up to 15-18 knots and we were off like a rocket.

A 40 ft displacment hull is good for just over 8 knots (hull speed). The SC40 was designed with speed in mind, rather than cruising comfort. With 15 knots just aft of our beam we were doing well over that, hitting 10 knots several times. Good fun.

I was driving at the time, so didn't get any pics of the AC 45's (America's Cup Challenge Series) we saw out practicing. They were fast.

Tide

We got from the Golden Gate to almost the Bay Bridge at an average of about 8 knots, and then we came to a standstill. The wind dropped to 5 knots and the tide was running against us at 2-3 knots so we like many other boats pretty much sat still for about half an hour, slowly inching our way in.

Eventually the wind picked up a little and we quickly reached the channel into Alameda, and time for the engine. Sam took us in and did a fine job.


Author:sjg@crufty.net /* imagine something very witty here */