EIGHT DAYS OUT OF SAN FRANCISCO

Time flies when you’re having fun.  I just realised its eight days since I left san Francisco.  Days at sea run into each other, there is no demarcation or need for holidays or weekends.  When I look at the daily progress on the chart it seems so small but its steady and relentless, day and night until we arrive.

Two years ago, I was not even considering sailing across an ocean by myself.  I didn’t even contemplate going to Alaska on a yacht.  Once you open your mind to opportunities it’s amazing what you can achieve.  One can always find many reasons not to do something – but the fact is you only need one reason to do something.

Today we had the breeze from astern again.  Not much sail trimming to be done, just set it up and sit back for the ride.   It’s not the fastest sailing but it is relaxing – apart from the occasional roiling.  It will be nice if the wind holds steady through the night and not the up and down winds we have been experiencing for the past three nights.

The sun made an appearance after an overcast morning.  I had shorts on for a while until it became too chilly in the wind.  Still a wind chill, even at twenty-six degrees north.

I ran the engine for fifteen minutes.  Just to make sure the batteries are topped off.  Normally the solar panels take care of all the boats electrical loads and I don’t need to run the engine for electricity.  However, the last days have been mainly overcast so I just wanted to make sure I had plenty of electrical juice in the tank.

I just watched ‘A Fish called Wanda’.  An old movie and years since I saw it first.  Still quite funny as you would expect from John Cleese.  Quite a star-studded cast, even a young Stephen Fry has a part in it.

Beer o’clock will be beer this evening.  Last night I had Mount Gay Black Barrel rum.  Excellent rum, but pretty strong if you have to be up and down playing with sails all night.  Voyage distance 1,047 miles.

READY TO SAIL FROM SAN FRANCISCO

The weather forecast guys got it right, the cold front passed through last night with some good winds and rain behind.  I stayed up until three when the wind started dying down. I wasn’t worried about Truce dragging anchor, it was the other boats around, some of them almost wrecks, that I wanted to watch out for.

It’s been rain and drizzle today, not enough to wash off the city grime, just enough to make everything grubby and wet.  I took my final trip ashore in the rubber duck, this time to the Sausalito library for Wi-Fi and a weather update.  The weather looks OK for a Friday departure, not as good as I wanted but if I don’t catch this window the weather turns ugly again for another week.  So, the plan is to sail early Friday morning to catch the ebb tide under the Golden Gate Bridge.

Coming out of the library I found a marine and Ace Hardware store.  Wonderful, I managed to get the items I refused to get yesterday from West Marine – at less than half the West Marine price.

Then I went shopping for a few fresh veggies, fruits, a loaf of bread and a lump of cheese.  I don’t have a fridge on Truce and perishables don’t last long.

I watched a guy drive off in a Tesla car.  There was no noise.  No sound when he started up, no sound when he drove off.  Wow, the car looks good and appeared not to be slow.  This must be the future.

Back on-board Truce I deflated and stowed the rubber duck, got everything squared away and prepared for sailing tomorrow.  It’s amazing how a few days in port causes all the movable items migrate from their secure spots into the open.

SAN FRANCISCO SOJURN

Ngozi and I have had a great time in San Francisco.  We have done a few of the tourist things and as usual ate too much, drank too much and spent too much.

Oakland Marina, Alameda. San Francisco.
Oakland Marina, Alameda. San Francisco.

We had 4 nights in the Marina Village in Alameda.  This a good spot for access to local attractions and has easy access to Oakland and San Francisco, either by ferry or Uber.  West marine is just up the road from the marina and I picked up a few essential items for the boat.

Sailing San Francisco, Photo, Ray Penson
Sailing San Francisco

On the last day we found the bus to Oakland went from outside the Marina, we could have saved a bit of money if we had known earlier.  Oakland turned out to be a pleasant surprise.  A well laid out city with some beautiful buildings.  Also, some great bars and restaurants around Jack London square on the waterfront.

We visited San Francisco around Pier 39, very touristy, lots of souvenir shops selling cheap stuff from China.  Not my thing.  A couple of days later we went to the carnival and had a great time.

After Alameda we motor sailed across, past Alcatraz, to Sausalito and tied up in the Clipper Yacht Harbour.

Alcatraz, San Francisco. Photo Ray, Penson
Alcatraz

Sausilito has population of around eight thousand and an easy pace of life.  It reminded us of Waiheke Island in Auckland, a mixture of Rich and Hippy with an arty side.

From Sausalito we did the Golden Gate trip on an open top bus, sunny with a cold wind.  We really enjoyed our stay in Sausalito – not the cheapest place but worth a visit.

Ngozi returned to New Zealand last night and I stayed a final night at the marina.  It felt quite lonely after having company around.  This morning I topped off the fresh water tanks and then motored around to the fuel dock to top off the diesel tanks.  Now I am stored, watered and fuelled ready to depart.

After taking on fuel I dropped anchor off Sausalito, just outside the channel on the bank.  From here I can see Alcatraz, San Francisco, the Bay Bridge and the top of the Golden Gate.  The weather was warm, almost hot, today and I pottered about doing odd jobs.  This evening its flat calm, the stars are out and the city and bridges are all lit up.  I reckon I have the best seat in the house.

The weather in the Pacific is not favourable for a departure yet.  The Pacific high hasn’t fully established and there is a large area of light winds on my path to Hawaii.  It looks like I may have to wait for a week or ten days for a favourable weather window before departing.  In the morning, if the weather is nice, I will re-inflate the rubber duck for a trip ashore to find a Wi-Fi hotspot and download a weather update.