Wednesday, September 19, 2012

San Francisco, Hello!

For those who want to cut to the chase !! WE'RE HERE !! We made it, pulled in about 3:30 on Tuesday afternoon. The details are below.

After a Monday of totally flat water motoring, with hazy skies and eyes on the radar, we spotted our first land in a week – the dramatic Point Reyes lighthouse – about 4 in the afternoon. Another three hours of motoring brought us to a calm anchorage in beautiful and remote Drake Bay, 25 miles north of the Golden Gate. We dropped anchor at sunset, and celebrated with grilled tuna steaks (thank you, Lanham) and shared a bottle of red (thank you, Julia). Ahhh – to rest peacefully at anchor, such a treat!

The famous Pt. Reyes Lighthouse. Quite a point and structure.

The pretty beach and homestead at Drake's Bay anchorage (about 25 miles north of the Bay).

The beautiful red cliff and Chimney Rock that protect Drake's Bay from the northwest winds.
Check out the dramatic cliffs, picturesque homestead and boathouse on the shore of Drake’s Bay. No humans observed on the peninsula, but deer roaming the hills, hawks soaring above and the raucous sound of elephant seals on shore. We were one of 5 boats anchored in the large shallow (15 feet) bay, with good shelter from the northwest wind -- a definite recommendation as a staging stop when coming or going from San Francisco.

We were constantly commenting on the color of the water -- changing day to day.

Yep, let's change that fuel filter... we have 8 more spares on board. Just hope we won't wish we had the dozen more that we decided to leave in the storage unit in Seattle.  Note Lanham's pristine engine "room".
There's the bridge!!
Tuesday morning, an engine-check turned up a dirty-looking fuel filter. An hour later it was changed. This was done right before leaving, but we figure that whatever sludge might have been in the tanks would surely have been stirred up by the tossing that we took in the crazy seas. The only way to do this trip is to know your boat and do your own work. Or to have a mechanically inclined Lanham aboard.

We sailed in to San Francisco Bay with the Golden Gate on the horizon, under perfect sunny conditions with mild 20 kt wind. Lots of fishing boats and birds but no freighters. We had the bridge passage all to ourselves and the city was really showing off, so it was a great photo opportunity for all the traditional Golden Gate shots and then some.

Getting closer...

and closer...
and we're under!

and within cell phone range... as we report in to our fan club!
As we began to cross the bay, we noticed some incredibly speedy sailboats with black sails ahead. They kept coming on both sides of us and we realized we were a moving buoy for some training sessions for a group of America’s Cup racers. They had chase boats and we yelled to one, asking if it was OK to cross the course… they laughed and shrugged. We were treated to the MOST spectacular close-up viewing of the catamarans as they screamed by us, out and back, to do it again. The sound of the wind in their rigging and the speed of their tacking were amazing to witness. We caught a few with the camera. What a welcome to San Francisco!

Those are some fast boats
and they are getting pretty close.

"ffllthwappppp, flthaappp, fflthwaapp..."  Notice the head gear worn by the crew.

They were good at avoiding us.
We just kept marveling at the weather and the cityscape.
We made our way to the marina at Pier 39 where we have reserved a slip. It’s the heart of the waterfront and the home of the sea lion preserve. We have a constant stream of tourists looking down on the boat and are lulled to sleep by the hundred or so critters barking on the next dock.
Our dock mates....

We toasted our safe arrival, took welcomed showers, and explored a bit of the town, since it was Slim’s only evening here.
Congratulations to us!!

Captain is "off-duty." Looking relaxed.
Alcatraz was showing off in the morning light. 
Another member of our little dock community.
We started at the Clift Hotel (where we had celebrated our 20th anniversary) and ended at the Fog City Diner for delicious salads and burgers. Wednesday morning has us doing laundry, Boudin bakery for lattes, cable car to China Town for dim sum, and seeing Slim head off to the airport. We’ll miss our able crew and amiable friend. Hope he can catch up with us later in the year?!
Cable car to China Town for Dim Sum
Lanham was just asking this guy if he'd keep an eye on the boat.
A couple of "ol salts?"

Fog City Diner's lettuce wedge with Pt. Reyes blue cheese.
We look across to this little touristy restaurant from our slip.
Bye Slim, and THANKS!
Thanks to everyone back home, and here and there, who have been following our first leg. We’ll be in San Francisco until at least Sunday, but may try another part of the bay for a couple of the nights. Second crewmember, Keith, arrives this weekend and will be with us until San Diego. In the meantime, we are feeling pretty relaxed and darn lucky to be here, enjoying our waterfront suite in a great city! Time to go get this posted with some pictures. Thanks for reading.


  1. Amazing!! What a great welcome to SF! And a hearty thank you to Slim from me too! Looks and sounds like this "journey of a life-time" could never have started without you! Safe travels back to land and home.

  2. O wow, sounds just wonderful! Can't wait for thr pix! How exciting. (Bad) were those storms during the voyage? I've been searching for you on the live webcams of SF bay. So far I've only seen sea lions. Have fun! Lots of love Weeze

  3. Awesome! I love that Laura and I were just there. We walked passed the Fog City Diner. :) You might enjoy checking out the Ferry Terminal as there are some interesting tastes inside with lots of eclectic and organic food booths. Laura and I particularly enjoyed the little mexican restaurant on the water-side. They have margaritas and homemade tortillas. Enjoy!

  4. Well, That was pretty awesome. I hope you stay this detailed for all us vicarious sailors! Lanham has more room in his engine 'room' than I do; wish I could curl up in that comfortable fetal position behind my hot smelly engine. Nice fish too!