SAN FRANCISCO BAY - The first official San Francisco Bay cruise for Sabbatical (back after our five-year hiatus to San Diego and Mexico) was just what you would expect from San Francisco in November.
Cold, rain, fog and flukey winds.
Happy Veteran's Day, y'all.
Even so, we had a great sail across the Bay and into the Alameda Channel where we spent Friday night at Marina Village, where an earlier Sabbatical was berthed for eight years before Sylvia (shown freezing at the helm), spotted the current ship and said: I want this one.
The highlight of trip (besides hitting 7.9 knots sailing by Angel Island) was an all-too-brief reunion with Don Tiffin, the fellow who built Sabbatical and who still has a tremendous fondness for his creation. Don looked over the boat and gave me some advice on how to fix the bow - crunched slightly from when I managed to bash a fuel dock at Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard. You don't get that much docking practice in Mexico. Anchoring, yes. Docking, not very often.
Don and his friend Thomas were waiting in the harbor in Alameda for a good weather window to start their trek to Hawaii aboard his new boat, Aquavit. Don eventually will be sailing to Fiji where he spent years aboard Sabbatical, then called Ocean Girl. The seas outside San Francisco Bay were in the 12-15 foot range - too big for any sailboat to take comfortably - even Sabbatical.
Saturday we had to go home, though the weather cleared off and it was about as nice a day as you ever get on the Bay. By the time we got back to our present home port of Richmond, the temperature was in the 70s and it was hard to tie the dock lines.
But in a few weeks we will be heading out for adventure again, this time a three-day foray to San Francisco's South Beach Harbor with granddaughter Samantha Allen aboard, all our rain gear and a good supply of hot chocolate to complement the rum the captain keeps handy for those cold days.