This weekend we took our first family joy ride on Convivia. Saturday morning started out slower than I had hoped, but no slower than I had anticipated. We left the dock around noon and motored out on a slight SW heading past the final markers before setting sail. We tacked three or four times to avoid a small boat race and then picked our way through the barges until we had a straight long tack to the lee of Angel Island. Once behind the island the substantial wind (Force 5) died down and we flattened out just in time to douse the sails for the approach to Ayala Cove.
Ayala Cove is the most difficult moorage I’ve ever encountered. You are asked to pick up two “balls” (they are in fact tires with handles and no lines) and then tie with your stern to the wind. Its entirely counter intuitive and, though I’m sure it get easier with practice, it taxed my nacent understanding of Convivia’s under-power behavior almost to the breaking point. After way too long we had tied ourselves up tightly and were free to explore Angel Island… right after a little impromptu nap.
We visited the beach and played in the sand and water until the kids started turning blue, and then we headed back to the boat for a fantastic dinner of Red Quinoa and Kidney Bean Salad. The kids fell asleep soon after and Victoria and I closed out the night with margaritas and cribbage by lamplight.
In the middle of the night I awoke to Vick nudging me, asking “Tuck, do you hear that? Are we drifting?” I popped my head out of our hatch and looked around. Everything looked good, though it sounded as if we were under way. Then I remembered reading that the reason for the counter-intuitive, down wind mooring was that the currents whipped up to a froth at times. I assured Victoria that everything was as it should be and then fought the overwhelming urge to visit the head until I finally fell back into a sound sleep.
Sunday morning Miles and I awoke with the sun and watched it break over the hillside as the coffee brewed. After a gluten free,rice free, peanut free, dairy free, corn free pancake breakfast (which Ruby claims was the fastest breakfast ever, and Vick claims was the slowest) we made the boat ship shape and got ready to sail. Ruby was keen on seeing the Golden Gate Bridge up close, and so we had little trouble convincing the kids to leave without the hike we had discussed.
Once on the water Victoria took command at the mast where she raised and reefed the sail with aplomb. Back in the cockpit she took her turn at the helm and guided us out of Racoon Straights and into the Bay proper. We raced out to the fog line and then reached eastward towards Emeryville. The sailing day ended way too soon (Convivia is fleet 😉 ) and before we knew it we were flaking the sail and motoring in.
We had saved ourselves enough energy and daylight to take the boat to the pumpout, wash her topsides and bottom, and fill the water tanks before we ran out of steam. Dinner was had at Picante; a most appropriate end to a delightful weekend.