Berkeley – October 2023

September 30

  • Started: Sep 30, 2023 10:07 AM
  • Trip Time: 12:34:45
  • Dist. Traveled: 55.82 nm
  • Average Speed: 4.44 kts

I sublet my slip in Santa Cruz to do winter sailing in the San Francisco Bay. This needed to be a two-day trip over the weekend as I did not take time off from work. Starting out around 10 am from Santa Cruz, I immediately encountered favorable northwesterly winds for several hours. A small craft advisory was in effect, but the conditions were manageable. The waves and swell were intense, but the wind only required me to put in one reef.

I spotted whales, pelicans, and other abundant sea life along the way. Nearing El Jaro Point and Scotts Beach, the winds calmed, and I decided to motor the rest of the way to Half Moon Bay rather than sail to my normal anchorage at Año Nuevo. In one particularly surreal moment during the night, a pelican collided with my mast. It flapped its way into the water and seemed to have survived the incident. I set anchor around 11 pm in Half Moon Bay’s outer harbor.

October 1

  • Started: Oct 1, 2023 10:32 PM
  • Trip Time: 7:23:15
  • Dist. Traveled: 32.95 nm
  • Average Speed: 4.46 kts
  • Max. Speed: 6.57 kts

The next morning, I motored for a good while due to the mild wind conditions. It was a beautiful day with many sitings of sea life. Around Ocean Beach, I was able to start sailing. Around that time, I crossed paths with the Hōkūleʻa, which was getting towed out to sea on her way to Half Moon Bay. The traditional Hawaiian sailing vessel was leaving the San Francisco Bay after what was reported to be a festive welcome ceremony.

I approached the Golden Gate at ebb tide. Several other sailors had the same idea as me, hugging the south side of the channel and entering below the bay through the narrow section of the Golden Gate. A slight miscalculation of my entry and I found myself between a large marker buoy and the pillar of the Golden Gate. The surge had me worried for a minute that I would hit either the buoy or the pillar, but in the end, it was just a turbulent ride. Kite surfers were out in numbers, enjoying the strong winds. I entered the bay at the same time as the John P. Murtha, a U.S. Navy amphibious transport ship, accompanied by a fan of waterworks from accompanying tug boats.

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