Last night I was having a lovely run down the coast being pushed by a fresh wind directly from astern. I just had the staysail up, sailing at between five and six knots without any fuss. At midnight the fog closed in, a cold wet fog. An hour later the wind had died and I started the motor.
Through the night we motored, with the radar on. I saw nothing, apart from the occasional crab pot buoy floating by. Daybreak didn’t bring any relief. It wasn’t until I anchored in Drakes Bay just before eleven that fog cleared. Feeling tired after the all-night marathon, I cracked a beer and then had a sleep.
The last few days coming down from Washington has delivered just about all the weather in the book, calms, gale force winds, rain, fog and hail. It’s not been an easy trip down – but everyone said it would be difficult so no surprises there. What has surprised me is the amount of calms and light unusable wind days.
Drakes Bay is named after Sir Francis Drake who is alleged to have stayed here in 1579 to repair his ship. He should have asked one of the locals ‘Is there one of the world’s best natural harbours near here?’ The answer ‘yep, just around the corner’ may have surprised him and changed history. Fortunately, for Drake he never learned what he had missed. It was almost 200 years later in 1769 that the Spanish discovered San Francisco harbour.
This evening I will stay in Drakes bay before entering under the Golden Gate Bridge to San Francisco on the morning flood tide. I hope it’s a clear day.
I have never been to San Francisco before. There are over forty large marinas in the bay area, I just don’t know where to go. I think I will try Sausalito first, friends have given it good reviews. Then try and pick up some local knowledge before trying other places.
Wednesday is the big day when Ngozi, my beautiful wife fly in from New Zealand to join me. I am really looking forward to having company again and exploring San Francisco together. Voyage Distance 936.3.