The Logans came up on Thursday morning for a sail and “Mega Sleepover.” We left the dock around 12pm and headed straight out. With the wind out of the NNW we took a slightly southerly exit from the channel and then headed up to raise the sails.
I had intended to put a double reef in (the weather called for 20-25 knots) but Vick drew my attention to the complete dearth of wind and I put the whole monstrous sail up. With the main all hoisted and trimmed, and the jib unfurled we made our way West towards the gate at a pretty reliable 1 knot.
After a dozen minutes of this frustration I shocked Vick by turning on the iron jib and motoring us out past Treasure Island where there looked to be more wind.
Before our friends arrived, I had spent some time playing around with the boom brake that came with Convivia. I decided to leave it on for the day and was pleasantly surprised at how well it damped the flogging of the mainsail when the winds went squirrely. It didn’t perform quite as well on the controlled jibe later that day, but I think I didn’t have it properly tensioned for the wind we were dealing with.
By the time we passed Alcatraz (following another brief motor) the wind was beginning to set up. The kids and moms were below and Jon and I took the building wind and 20º heel with giant smiles. Sadly Rayna had a little fall below and we were forced to level out (which was prudent, but not as much fun).
Within 20 minutes we were approaching the Golden Gate Bridge and it was obvious that we needed at least one reef in the main and a little less jib. Vick was occupied below with a screaming toddler and Jon and I opted to shorten the jib and fall off. It was getting late and we were in danger of coming in after dark anyway, so it was (again) the right choice, but as we ran off I looked back over my shoulder at the bridge with longing. It’s always nice to look up at that tremendous feat of engineering from the water.
We deep broad reached all the way back to Emeryville. Just passed Alcatraz we executed the first of the aforementioned controlled jibes. I instructed Vick to stop centering the boom just a little early because I wanted to see how the brake worked under load. It was quite a rough jibe but not nearly what it would have been if it hadn’t been slowed by the brake. After we were safely situated on our starboard tack, I tensioned the brake again and subsequent jibes (though more cleanly executed) were much calmer.
The current off of Treasure Island was the most incredible I’ve ever seen. We approached the shipping channel and watched with awe as the boat sideswiped just shy of the green buoy. With that information impressed on us, we were prepared (we thought) for rounding well north of the tip of Treasure Island. As we approached I slowly tuned our heading until we were close hauled to the NNW. We rounded the tip sideways and then the current and wind seemed to relax a bit.
Jon helped me to flake the main and we headed into the channel. We grounded in the dead center of the channel just shy of the 3-4 markers at mid-tide. The recent sounding in the marina office say there should be 9.5 feet there, but we had approximately +1.5′ from the tide. With a 6.5′ draft this means that the channel depth at that point might be as shallow as 5′.
Back at the dock we quickly tidied up and then headed out to Picante for dinner. We had a great meal and returned to Convivia stuffed and happy. The kids went down easily and we stayed up until midnight chatting about meeting up in the South Pacific.