One of the great things about having a berth in the Sausalito Yacht Harbor is that you have the opportunity to meet some very interesting people who have some of the most classic, beautiful sailboats ever made. One of those boats is called “Bounty.” She is a 54 foot wooden sloop built in 1950 by the famous yacht designers and architects, Sparkman and Stephens, owned by a charming, articulate and dignified man named Dan. Rick and I had come down on Monday to do some work on the boat, and had the good fortune of being invited to sail with the owner Dan, our dockmate Dan (another one), and another of Dan’s regular crew members, a woman, on their habitual Wednesday sailing day.
I love sailing on these old boats because everything is so classic – it makes me feel like a real sailor, not some fancy dancy modern electronics-dependent pretender of an ancient art. Dan does have a few instruments on board but he doesn’t turn them on! Everything from the essential running back stays to the winches are differently configured compared to more modern ones; the wheel is highly varnished spoked wood like something out of a pirate’s movie, and the sails are huge.
We had great wind, for a change. We sailed almost 16 nm. We maxed out at 8.9 knots! Dan decided not to reef, but for a while there, we almost needed to! What a wonderful day. We were headed back north towards Angel Island when a tanker came around Angel Island heading for the Gate, so we jibed and headed back towards Alcatraz for a while. Eventually we ended up in Raccoon Straits, where the strong ebb current completely cancelled out our forward motion from the wind, keeping us in one place long enough to leisurely eat our lunches. It was so odd to sit in the middle of the bay, sails full, and not move an inch! Afterwards, we headed back out into the bay and then back to Sausalito, where we had some champagne and appetizers in the cabin, and then all departed. Unfortunately, after that, Rick and I then had to drive home. Another great day sailing on the Bay!