What a day this turned out to be! With my impending visit to Maine followed by my shoulder surgery, I knew I wouldn’t be out sailing on Cool Change again for a while, so Rick promised me we would find a way to get out and have a good sail. And a good sail we had! It was a gorgeous, sunny day, of course. We were out 8 hours, and all but the last hour or so were spent with the sails up and the motor off. We got up to 9 knots, which is pretty darn fast for Cool Change! We started out with our usual course across the slot, recognizing early that it was a good idea to reef the main, which we kept reefed all day. Then we prepared our preventer to sail downwind along the SF shoreline, past the Palace of Fine Arts, Pier 39, etc. Then we returned to a beam reach to cross behind Alcatraz and over behind Angel Island. We probably had at most wind in that section – I betcha that is where we reached 9 knots boat speed, with probably 20 knots of wind or so. The wind died down as it is apt to do, behind the lee of Angel Island. We weren’t ready to return home yet, so we sailed over to Paradise Cay on the East side of Tiburon, for a little lunch and relaxation. We anchored, stripped down to sunning clothes, had a beer, and relaxed.
We started noticing that even in the lee of Tiburon, the wind was picking up a little, making itself heard in our shrouds. The skies darkened a bit. We decided it was time to head back home. WELL, as soon as we rounded the corner into Racoon Straits, we hit it: 30 knot winds gusting to 35, spray whipping off the tops of the waves, wind waves hitting us abeam while the flood tide kept us back even more. Had we had anything less than our 27 hp motor, I am not sure we would have made any progress at all! We considered back-tracking to Paradise Cay or over to Ayala Cove, but we decided to stick it out. By the time we got back to our harbor, it was still over 20 knots in the marina; I had to keep the engine in gear almost all the way into the slip.
What a great way to have our last Cool Change sail for a while!