It is , er, was fleet week this week here in the Bay area. Hmmm maybe it starts this week, whatever…Meaning it is crowded with boats watching the Blue Angels and others and bunches of Military Ships come under the Golden Gate Bridge. I’m not sure what all goes on. I usually avoid things that have large crowds. I figured on doing something different and going to hang out with the islander 36 club on Treasure island and watch the spectacle. Also something different rather than sail my boat down, and all weekend endeavor I borrowed a classic Folk boat from the Oakland P& R sailing Dept.
I had heard good things about these boats so since I do have that perk as an instructor for Lake Merritt. I figured I’d go for it. I good reason to get out of the house and get some sailing in on a nice Autumn day. LZ would have enjoyed it the mini adventure but since she is still in Nihon, it was another solo sail.
I had considered being at the dock about 10:00am, that did not work out. Being border line depressed these days It is hard to get motivated and out of bed. However I did, and after some morning things around the house and a stop at my marina to pickup my hand radio, I finally got down to the docks around 2:00pm.
Yeah 4 hours later than planned, but oh well. It took me 1 hour to rig the boat. Whewww, figuring out lines and the main sail was a big hassle. Getting the outboard going,.. well at least I now know what the problem is when others I have seen try to run it. Turn on the fuel knob.!! Finally I cast off, it is now 3:00pm. I’m thinking it is too late to go to TI (Treasure Island) but I’ll see. At least out on the Bay around the mouth of the Estuary. So off I go. OMG!! I had a terrible time, getting the hang of things. I had consider just turning around and calling it a day. I could not get a feel for the boat. I was not happy or comfortable. The layout was weird, the cockpit was uncomfortable.
The boom basically a 2 x4 was always a worry about boking me. Jheez. Anyway I stuck it out about 30 min into it I started finding some harmony. It is like a new girlfriend, it take time to figure out what make her tick and finding the good spots. By the time I had sailed ( tack tack tack tack tack) up to Jack London Sq which is about 3o min or less I had gotten into a goove. The boat handle well, and responded nicely, being light it was pretty fast even with a full keel ( I think it has) The thing I mostly did not like was the seat it was so low you could not see much. So I stood most of the time. Also there was no cam cleat for the jib lines so rather than cleat and uncleat I started just holding on to active line while tack & tack & tack & tacking out fo the Estuary.
I had a couple of encounters while out. The first; I had been sailing awhile and had gotten into a flow with the boat. There wee several boats also heading in the same direction. Two were close, close enough to be a hassle when tacking. One of the boats I sort of noticed was full a women checking me out. They were also in the way of my tack, so I held course and finally they tack so I could as I was running out of sea room. I did not want to cut them off. So I held course and watched them to see if they would tack. They did, and I did. As I was about to tack again to get out of there way fro the next tack, some of them yells my name and waves. I wave back, no idea who it is. I thought maybe someone from Capt Mary’s school, I see her a lot while out, but it did not look like her. Oh well. So I watch out for the other boat and tack again, this time coming up on the first boat’s stern. Then I se who it was that hailed me. It was my Supervisor from the Oakland school. I say, hey I know you. we laugh. She says she is giving a women’s sailing seminar, and they were admiring how I handled the boat. I said thanks, smiled and tacked and was off. After a few more tacks they turned around as the the other boat, I continued onward to the Bay.
I am fairly near the mouth of the estuary now and I can see a lot fo sails boats in the distance. I also see one heading in the entrance and down the Estuary. It looks familiar, It is an Islander 36, oneof the club boats. As the boat gets closer I wave. They do the standard boaters wave back. I reach down and pull out my I-36 member burgee, Now they really wave, say hey !!, I smile and ask if they are coming from T-I as they pass. Yes they say as they sail off and I continue in the other direction.
About this time I notice planes, flying low and fast and think oh yeah The planes the planes. I forgot they were going to be out today. A couple of times they went right over the boat. I did not have my good camera with me to catch some of the thing they were doing from a distance.
Every time I saw them doing something for a good shot. By the time I got the camera out they were someplace else, or I had to tack grrrrr. I did get a couple or poor after shots just for the memory.
Finally around 4:00 I am out on the Bay, I think,it is too late to bother going over to T-I so I just sailed around a bit in the open water, enjoying not having to tack,
marveling at all the sail boats I saw off in the distance.
Finally I start back, as I notice a bunch of other boats heading back down the Estuary. I figure I should go before it got too crowded. The trip back in someways was the worse. so many big powerboats all in a hurry to get back with their huge wakes, tossed me around like a rag doll. I said bad thing about them in my mind as they gave no care about their effect on me. I was also passed by ferries, Police ( armed with machine guns ) boats,
President Roosevelt’s old Yacht , I think it is the Potomac and tugs, all rocking my world with their wakes. (*&&%^&%&*)Y$$%
Finally I arrived in the no wake zone and life calmed down. It was smooth sailing the rest of the way. I did not have to gybe at all it was all down wind back to the Oakland docks. I fired up the outboard, but did not use it. I sailed right into the slip. The sails would have been a hassle to deal with alone. It was simpler that way. It took me another hour to things away for the night. The OCSC brilliant way of putting away the Jib was a big help. I watched another group when I was casting off earlier do it the slow old way with two people, I did not say anything. I did it alone in half less than half the time. Sweet. Which was good, because main sail was a pain!!
Finally it was all done. It was a good sail. I’ll plan in another one sometime when I can take LZ. I decided to treat myself to Thai Food for dinner, to keep my spirits up for a good ending to a so so week, but a good sail day.