Murray's report from the Three Bridge Fiasco Race on January 31, 04 As for the race, well it lived up to its name (fiasco).
There was good wind for about the first hour, which got us half way from GGYC to red rock/Richmond/San Rafael bridge (we were
between Angel Island and Richmond), but then the wind died, and we spent the next 3.5 hours alternately drifting forward when
there was a breeze, then drifting backwards with the current (over and over...). Some boats snuck through the Raccoon straits
and seemed to do better by that route. Others got stuck in the mud near Richmond and had to motor/quit.
The wind finally filled in by three o'clock and we got around red rock and made it to TI about 5, but the wind was dying again
and it was getting cold, so we bailed-out as we were close to home (and didn't feel like going all the way back up to GG bridge
to finish by the 7PM deadline, then motoring back in dark). But we lasted much longer than most; about half the fleet of
200 dropped-out before 3 PM! In our division, the last finishing yacht (that we were right behind) got a 12th, and we got
a 13th by quitting, so not much difference between finishing and quitting at that point, and we were home much sooner! All
in all, it was fun and frustrating. Wait until next year!
We started the spring in our new marina in Emeryville. It takes us ten minutes to get to sailable waters. Not like the
old days of the estuary which took 40 minutes if the tide was in our favor. I have been busy with work this spring so my
sailing time has deminished from years past. But the times I did make it out were with great friends on day sails.
The first sail was near the end of February. I invited Geoff, Dan, Maddie, Byron and Mel to join. We meet at 10:30 at
the boat and we had the sails up in no time. About 15 minutes past the channel the wind filled in. We were sailing!
We got past Angel and it really started cranking. Much more than the forecast. I had even considered canceling the trip.
First sailing rule: Take the forecast with a grain of salt and think positive. We were looking for a lunch spot and decided
on Aquatic Park. I had always wanted to drop an anchor there! We set the hook and went down below for some chow. As we
went below, Byron mentioned that Mel was a little seasick. She stayed up above and tried to stay calm. We finished lunch
and Byron said we needed to get him to shore. We had a kayak on board but decided to drop them on Pier 39. We motored over
and dropped them in hopes that it would help Mel out.
We motored past the seals and headed out for a very windy afternoon. We chatted about sailing and dug some great tunes.
Then it was back in for some rapping at the docks. A great first sail with friends from our new home.
Our next time out was in March with Laurie, Wayne, Carla and her boyfriend. We had a ball. The wind was a bit light
but we made the best of it and sailed out towards Angel. Lunch was taken under sail and the wine was great. Wayne is an
instructor for Spinnaker Sailing and I thought it might be a good time to brush up on our man overboard drills. We reviewed
the details and then threw a fender overboard. We used the figure 8 maneuver and it worked like a charm. The second time
was even smoother. The key is to come in from downwind of the subject. We flew the kite on the way home and really got cooking.
Another great day on the bay!
End of April brings Opening Day on the Bay. I invited Rich and Colleen, Yvonne and Micheal P to join. We put in some
diesel and motored to Angel on this windless day. Lunch was taken with apps in the bow. It was almost 80 on deck. After
lunch I took a spin on the kayak to visit some of the other boats. Meet a lady with an I36 and talked to her about her boat.
Then it was over to cause some trouble on a big cruiser. They waterballooned me! Back on board I lost the kayak and had
to swim to retrieve it. No worries as I needed to get wet. At 2:30 we finally started to see some wind. Got the sails up
and sure enough we hit it perfect. The $100 sail! Colleen took the wheel and began to appreciate the light touch needed
to steer a boat. Time to head back, so we poled out the jib and I moved the vang down to the toe rail. That works great
as a preventer!
We found the channel back to the marina and headed over to good old Chevys for a family meal.
I have started to head to the boat on weekend mornings and going out for an hour or two. We finally got the a-pilot set
up and it is a treat to be sailing with the sun rising over my shoulder and Tilly taking the helm. The other day I was geting
oberpowered by the wind at 7 in the morning! I am really looking forward to a great summer of sailing out of our new home.
We are even talking about roller furling!
First summer sail - May 10 - Kendell and I hit the dock at 10:30. We were bound for Gas Light Cove to pick up Arnie.
Put on the working jib and raised the sails as we hit the last channel marker. The wind was moderate and on the nose so
we tacked up towards Alcatraz. As we got closer to the island, it really picked up. Now we were flying high! We got over
to the city front near Pier 39 and realized it was going to be difficult to get to the cove because of all the wind. We tacked
several times and made it. The entrance was very hard to see but finally we saw it. Several more tacks and we were lined
up and the sails we down. Arnie was at the dock waiting. We pulled in and I ordered a double reef in the main. It was howling
out there. We raised the sails again as we headed out and it was 25 or more on the water. Arnie took the helm and Kendell
and I relaxed for a bit. The double reef helped as we headed towards the Gate. Under the shadow of the bridge we saw some
windsurfers ripping it up. We were the only ones out there and it was a beautiful thing. After a short time past the Gate,
we turned and headed back to the cove to drop Arnie. He had been on the boat for 1.5 hours but it was a great time. We dropped
him back at the dock and shook out the reef. Heading home was easy downwind sailing and fast. We timed it perfect and got
home safely. What a great day on the bay!!
Summer begins and we have been having some sweet times on board. Had a nice sail with Kendall and Arnie in mid May. We met
up with Arnie over at Fort Mason for a lunch sail out the gate. It was rocking out there and we loved it. Then took my reggae
friend Ralph out for his first sail at 55. He loved it and we had fun talking and listening to the beat of the music. The
Arnie and I did a sail on June 22 and enjoyed the first summer sail of 2004. The roller reefing we installed in the beginning
of June is awesome and provides lot of flexibility out there.In the middle of July I left the house about 6am on a Wednesday
7-14 and headed to Angel with my bike. Got there at 11am after an awesome sail thru the fog. Did the loop around the island
and even stopped to do some jogging in the hills. Then read in the cockpit for a while and took a nap. Then I headed back
to the marina. As I got close I started the engine and there was a terrible vibration at high rpms. Thats weird. I nursed
her home and wondered what was up. Checked the prop and there was nothing caught there. Went back a few days later to look
closer. When I started the engine and engaged it we stood still. I looked down into the engine room and could see that the
prop shaft had uncoupled from the transmission. Wow, was I lucky to get in the other day. I contacted our mechanic and he
said this was something that required a haulout to fix. Well how am I going to get the boat over to Berkeley to do that?
Without a prop? So I called Tow Boat US and they said since it was a non-emergency they were too busy. Now what? Well
seeing as I did have a sailboat... I jammed the prop shaft into the coupler and said a prayer. I babied it out the channel
and made it to the bay for a sail over to Berkeley Marine Center for a 2pm haulout. I made it in time and they said they
could fix it right now. Thats great! The coupler was very corroded and it took a blowtorch to loosen up the bolts. They
pushed the shaft back in and put a new nut in the coupler and we were back in the water in no time! I was ecstatic! Started
the boat up and put her in gear and we had that vibrating thing again. Turns out the vibrating broke a motor mount. Back
to the boat yard. Boat ownership has its highs and lows. Guess where I was now? They were very nice and assured me it was
no big deal. Called back a few days later and they had pulled off the old coupler and put a new one on. Also added some
new engine mounts. We are now back in biz.
Sailed with my friends from Tahoe, Andy and Vicky over to the Giants game. We were late getting there and they were sold
out. I got in but A & V didnt. Ended up leaving after one beer and spent the afternoon in North Beach. They had a great
attitude about it and they had fun. Had a fast sail home then over to Trader Vics.
David came out for a two-week visit and after we finished work on Sunday we headed to the boat for a sunset sail. Got out
there and had some fog. We sailed out and soon lost sight of land due to the fog. Thats scary! Retraced our steps and we
could see the marina again. Stayed a little closer as darkness fell then headed in to the slip.The next day we did a bike
ride to the Cal Campus for a little tour. It was a nice ride and David was very impressed with Bridgets alma mater. Then
off to the BMC to see if they could diagnose a problem with an alarm on the engine. Turns out one of the heat sensor connections
was loose and it was reconnected and fixed. Great folks at the Berkeley Marine Center.Then over for a great sail to Sausalito.
We stopped over in the headlands of Tiburon and anchored for a great lunch and swim with Sierra. On our way to Sausalito
the fog was awesome as it thundered down the hills and then evaporated. What a cool sight. Then some more sailing and then
over to Schoonmaker Marina for the night. We found our slip and then had a nap. Dave fell asleep for 4 hours so I read got
dinner and then we hit the bay for a night sail. The wind was about 20 or so and we were cranking across the bay. Passed
a few well lit boats and then had the bay to ourselves. It was foggy night for the most part and then the moon peeked out
for a beautiful moon sail!!! We had a blast.In the morning we had a quick breakfast and then it was out to Tennessee valley
for a mountain bike ride. Had a nice ride and picked up some supplies on the way back. Took off shortly after and headed
out the Gate for a nice sail in some big wave and about 25 knots. It was wild out there. We headed back in and had lunch
at Aquatic Park. It was windy but the anchor held well for the meal. We sailed a bit more then about 4pm we pulled up to
a mooring buoy at Angel Island. Took it easy and then prepared a feast of corn, chicken, salad and some other leftovers.
We hit the hay early and had a good night sleep. Woke up early to get Sierra over for a morning romp on the beach. He was
very happy to run around and have some fun. He had swum over as he slipped getting into the kayak. We had a quick breakfast
and then headed back to the marina to get ready for some more fun events.
Sailing in August Met up with my old friend Chris who I met in Monterey in 1981 and took him and his son for a sail on the
Addiction. We hit the water and it was looking to be a great sailing day. We headed for Angel and talked about old friends
and yesterdays. Anchored of a beach at Angel and had a nice lunch and conversation. Went thru Raccoon after and thought
we might head out the gate. Too much wind so we had a nice downwind sail back to the harbor.
Took out Daffy Dave for a sail on a Wednesday and had a great day. Dave has really taken to sailing since our first two day
trip three years ago. We headed out and the winds were very strong so we reefed after a few tacks and that really helped.
Headed over to Clipper Cove for lunch and Dave wanted to know why they called it Clipper Cove? Some think its because of
the clipper ships that used to run the gold back to NY. Actually its where they used to anchor the old clipper airplanes when
they first started flying to Hawaii. At least thats what I read somewhere. Anywho we sailed out the cove and Dave took the
helm. We were flying in the breeze and he was loving it and sailed it for more than an hour as we pounded across the bay
with lots of water coming over the bow. It settled down at Angel and we went up Racoon for a while checking out the cool
houses. Then we headed back as I had to get back for a concert with Frank at the MW with David Byrne. Great show as we had
3rd row seats. He played alot of Heads stuff as well as others and the crowd loved every minute. One of the best shows I
have seen there in 20 years of concert going at the winery.
Took a morning spin out for sunrise on this Sunday morn and what a memorable sail. The moon was full as it set in the west
and the wind was howling at 5:30am. Had to reef the head sail! Had some great runs and had to watch out for all the fishing
boats going out on dawn patrol. Got to Angel just as the sun was coming up and the fog was blanketing the hills. Very pink
and red and sun spotlights hitting the water. I hoave to for breakfast and with the light winds in the lee of Angel and the
tide ebbing, the boat just stayed in one spot as I made coffee below along with a killer batch of pancakes. What a great
morning. Headed of the south side and caught some more wind with views of Oakland in the fog. Had a very nice morning sail!!!
SeptemberOver Labor Day took out Sue, John, Ted and the kids. It was another beautiful day on the bay but with no wind to
start with. We motored quite a while and it was getting hot. Who wants to go for a swim? Me, Ted and Sue are in the water
in no time. Very refreshing and Sues first swim in the bay. We get back aboard and Ted starts singing old sea songs. What
a kick. The wind fills in after lunch and we are off. Lots of racing going on and we do our best to stay out of the way.
We end up between Angel and Sausalito and decide to throw up the kite! The winds were about 18 at the time and we had a
wild, fast ride home. I asked Ted to loosen up the port side sheet and it caught in his hand and got a very nice rope burn.
He knows better than that! Got home and then headed to Chevys for dinner. That Labor Day weekend I got together with Scumby,
Wes, and Frank and Les as well!
Next up was a nice September sail with Tex to celebrate my birthday. We got out the channel and the big boat series was going
on. We tacked a bunch into a very strong headwind. Made it over to Clipper Cove for lunch and kicked back for some food.
Headed out under the Bay bridge and the wind was picking up quick. Reefed the main and made a dash south. Still too much
sail. Got back into the lee of Yerba Buena and double reefed. This is a restriced area as the Coasties have a base there.
They let us know as I put in the last reef and we sailed off. Much better! We did another couple runs to the south and
we were screeming! Then set in to South Beach Harbor for a tailgate and the game. We finished up dinner and headed over.
Got some great seats behind home plate. Just got comfy and they are pitching to Barry. Next pitch is outta there and its
# 700!! How cool is that for my birthday. Had a real good time watching the Giants win against Houston. Back to the boat
for some Floyd and sleep. Up at 4am to head back. Got under the bridge and it was BLASTING. Reefed the jib and set up for
a great run home. Got thru the barges safely and the headed for home. A great way to celebrate my birthday!
October (closing day on the bay and Fleet Week)Rounded up the usual suspects for a sail during the Fleet Week festivities.
Wayne, Laurie and Big Dave joined the fun. The wind started picking up after a short motor. Tacked out towards Hurricane
Gulch and decided to take a run under the Gate. Laurie had never been under so here we go! It started really blowing and
the waves were very big. No one was out there as they were inside getting ready for the air show. We had a great run! Turned
around and headed down towards a mass of boats. The show started and we just sailed slowly down the edge of the boats and
no go zone for front row seats. The Snowbirds from Canada were doing the show and it was awesome. I was afraid they were
going to hit our mast!! We timed it perfect and had a most excellent time! Got back to the harbor and took a nap and then
over to Arnies for a party. Another great year of sailing with friends on the bay!! And a safe one too!
My friend Tex, Sierra and I had a great 4 days on the boat last week. A little Christmas vacation on the water! We motored
over to Jack London Square on Sunday night and got the last two tickets to see Gato Barbieri at Yoshi's. Spent the night
in our old slip at Fortman Marina in Alameda. Next morning we had some wind to get us over to Sausalito. There was a huge
ebb and as we crossed the gate the ebb grabbed us and tried to pull us out. With the motor and the sails we were able to
claw away and make it to Sausalito (got to watch those tides!) Had a slip at Schoonmaker Marina on the lagoon. Sierra had
a great time at the beach. Had a nice meal on board that night. Next morning we went for a very nice mountain bike ride
thru Tennesse Valley. Had a quick lunch and caught the wind out to Angel for a nice sail. On Wednesday we had a beautiful
day with some the best winds of the week. We were hitting 6 as we came down Raccoon Straits near Angel Island. Headed back
tried, yet refreshed. Another great time on the water and the boat performed flawlessly!
Finished up 2004 by adding a new partner, Paul Smith from San Jose. Randy left after two years to pursue some other interests.
We look forward to showing Paul the ropes and getting him out on the bay on his "new" boat! Please come back for
more adventuers from our 2005 log!