After grabbing some sandwiches and bundling up against the cold, I headed out of Loch Lomond Marina in San Rafael and set a source south to Angel Island. Taking advantage of the unusual wind out of the north west, we had a leisurely cruise under the Richmond San Rafael Bridge and down towards the bustle of one of the world's most iconic waterways.
|Our route on the San Francisco Bay.|
|Leaving Loch Lomand Marina - Must make sure to|
make the turn WIDE to stay in deep water!
As you can see in the above picture, there is a small channel out of the marina which feeds into a slightly larger channel at a ninety degree angle (the blue line is the path taken by my vessel through these channels). Both channels are marked poorly, and the areas immediately surrounding this turn are especially shallow. Too wide of a turn will run one aground, as will too narrow of a turn. I have "played in the mud" here on several occasions, and have learned to not even attempt entry at low tide.
|Unusual NW winds allowed us to sail|
under the Richmond Bridge.
|Clearing Raccoon Straights.|
|Squeezed between Angel Island and passing some container ships.|
Rounding Angel Island brought us head to head with a line of oncoming container ships. Luckily I was able to hug the coast and stay out of their way (and their wakes).
|The fun upwind portion of the sail.|
After rounding the southern tip of Angel Island and taking in some great views of San Francisco, we headed back upwind. Sailing against the wind is much rougher and more difficult than sailing with the wind. A sailboat cannot move directly into the wind, so we had to tact back and forth across the wind many times to get back upwind to where we started.
|Going upwind is a lot more work than going downwind.|
|Check out our recorded speed (the blue line).|
We averaged 4.4 mph, which is not bad for the entry-level 27 foot sailboat we were sailing. During some of the heavier gusts, we hit close to 8 mph!
Complete route map - zoomable and scrollable!