San Francisco Bay – June 2022

June 23 2022

  • Started: Jun 23, 2022 11:07 AM PDT
  • Trip Time: 9:42:30
  • Dist. Traveled: 41.17 nm
  • Average Speed: 4.24 kts
  • Max. Speed: 11.22 kts (probably inaccurate)

With mild but sufficient winds until Davenport, I sailed with the genoa. At this point, the northwesterly winds picked up and I switched to the class jib. Fog was also pretty thick such that I relied on my instruments for orientation. Arriving wet from the fog and upwind sailing, I anchored in darkness close to the beach at Año Nuevo, my only company the lights of two fishing vessels nearby. The rocking was less than the last time I visited Año Nuevo. I woke up a few times during the night to check the hold of the anchor, but otherwise slept soundly.

June 24 2022

  • Started: Jun 24, 2022 6:50 AM PDT
  • Trip Time: 9:44:00
  • Dist. Traveled: 28.84 nm
  • Average Speed: 2.96 kts
  • Max. Speed: 5.45 kts

I hoped the fog would lift and the winds would become stronger, but the fog persisted until well into Half Moon Bay. Disoriented from the fog, I tried sailing away from shore and found myself sailing into a thick patch of seaweed. It took a while paddling with an oar to get unstuck. The winds also did not last. I went back and forth between motoring and sailing for the rest of the day (mostly motoring).

There were two run-ins with sea life, perhaps due to the fog and calm weather. First, a sea lion smacked into the side of my boat. A few hours later I heard a hard thud below the boat, originating from somewhere near the keel. Looking aft, I saw fins flapping about wildly behind me. My guess is that it was a sunfish.

Arriving at Half Moon Bay, I pulled into a slip briefly to check in at the harbor master, take a shower, and eat dinner at a local restaurant. Everyone at Half Moon Bay was very friendly. One sailor was returning from Baja California and shared some stories with me. Pelicans were everywhere to be seen. I chose to anchor out in the lagoon behind the sea wall. It was a pleasant anchorage with very still water. I slept great!

June 25 2022

  • Started: Jun 25, 2022 10:58 AM PDT
  • Trip Time: 7:54:30
  • Dist. Traveled: 28.79 nm
  • Average Speed: 3.64 kts
  • Max. Speed: 7.70 kts

My first stop was back to the Half Moon Bay Harbor for gas. I checked out the offerings from local fishermen, and ended up buying live sardines placed on ice inside a trash bag. Returning to my boat, I stowed the bag of sardines in my bilge, with the plan to eat them for dinner later that evening.

The wind had picked up nicely along the coast, so I decided to sail out of the harbor. Around the second set of marker buoys, the wind had died. I started the outboard and motored until roughly the Montara State Marine Reserve. As soon as I felt a breeze, I shut off the outboard and hoisted my genoa. I sailed at a beam to broad reach on one tack all the way to the mouth of the Golden Gate Bridge.

As to be expected, the winds picked up significantly just outside the Golden Gate Bridge. Even though I was sailing downwind, I decided to play it safe and douse the genoa before jibing. A much larger racing sailboat was returning from what seemed the Farallon Islands. It was fun to watch the crew changing spinnakers as they passed alongside me into the Bay.

I anchored in Richardson Bay for the night. Setting up my grill, I gutted and grilled the sardines that I had purchased earlier that day in Half Moon Bay. It was time consuming prep work, but worth it. The evening was peaceful without much wind or movement on the water with a beautiful sunset.

June 26 2022

  • Started: Jun 26, 2022 1:46 PM PDT
  • Trip Time: 2:19:15
  • Dist. Traveled: 8.9 nm
  • Average Speed: 3.83 kts
  • Max. Speed: 7.70 kts

In the morning, I moved Grace to a transient slip at Schoonmaker Point Marina in Sausalito. My longtime friend, John, met up with me for a sail in the San Francisco Bay. It was his first time on a sailboat, and he remained calm and confident despite the strong winds and heeling. We kept the mainsail reefed and did a loop around Alcatraz Island. Near the San Francisco shore front, we sailed alongside a fleet of folkboats who were racing. It was fun to sail alongside them, being that the H-Boat is of the same lineage as the folkboat, although I doubt they noticed our presence.

Rounding Alcatraz Island, I noticed that the upper slides on my mainsail had broken. It wasn’t debilitating; John and I got back to Schoonmaker Point Marina without incident. However, I decided to take a break from sailing until Monday when North Sails would repair the slides. Sunday on land turned out to be a good opportunity. I enjoyed the beauty of Sausalito and met up with my family for dinner.

June 28 2022

  • Started: Jun 28, 2022 1:06 PM PDT
  • Trip Time: 2:17:45
  • Dist. Traveled: 8.87 nm
  • Average Speed: 3.87 kts
  • Max. Speed: 7.70 kts

After getting some patch supplies for the tender from West Marine and picking up my repaired mainsail from North Sails, I made a short downwind trip across the San Francisco Bay to the Berkeley Marina. My neighbors were an older couple from Chile who were very experienced with cruising the California coast. We had some good conversations and they gifted me a bottle of their favorite wine. A group of folks on a nearby dock were playing punk and classic rock music into the evening, which reminded me so much of Berkeley.

June 29 2022

  • Started: Jun 29, 2022 1:49 PM PDT
  • Trip Time: 2:26:15
  • Dist. Traveled: 9.53 nm
  • Average Speed: 3.91 kts
  • Max. Speed: 7.13 kts

I spent most of the day visiting with friends in Berkeley. After lunch, I sailed upwind from Berkeley to Richardson Bay. I chose to pass through Racoon Strait due to the strong wind conditions. There were few sailboats out on the Bay. It was an energizing sail. Navigating among the ferries and cargo ships to the East of Angel Island was particularly exciting. In Racoon Strait, I tacked a few times that don’t show up in the map. At anchor in Richardson Bay, I rested as best I could before my night departure for Santa Cruz early the next day.

June 30 2022

Started: Jun 30, 2022 1:02 AM PDT
Trip Time: 15:29:00
Dist. Traveled: 73.13 nm
Average Speed: 4.72 kts
Max. Speed: 7.70 kts

Sailing at night is my preferred time to be on the water. There is a beauty to the ways light from the moon and stars hit the water. I left Richardson Bay at 1am due to favorable winds and tides. Sailing all the way to Half Moon Bay was a breeze. On my way to Half Moon Bay, I had the opportunity to sail between container ships leaving the San Francisco Bay, I was treated to an unofficial firework show on Ocean Beach, and I passed the faint silhouette of numerous small fishing vessels with no lights to mark them.

Though the winds were just right until Half Moon Bay, they died down around sunrise. I sailed as best I could for a while, though the motion was terrible. I gave up on sailing somewhere in the middle of Half Moon Bay and motored to Pigeon Point. As winds picked up, I switched back to sailing and had a blast sailing downwind in strong winds all the way to Santa Cruz.

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