Daysailing with new crew

With the weather getting nicer it was time to start getting Sonrisa back out on the bay. With the temperature in the mid-seventies and the forcast for 10-12 knot winds in the afternoon it looked like a great day for sailing.

Kristin had too many papers to grade this weekend, so the call went out to the crew list. I was pretty late with the notice, but fortunately Marc and Julia were up for a day sail. I had met Julia at the Latitude 38 Crew List party and she and her husband Marc were eager to get out on a variety of boats for daysails.

I was finishing up some projects from the day before, so I wasn’t in too much of a hurry to leave. I had kept an eye on the winds all day Saturday to try to get an idea of the possible daily pattern that we might find on Sunday. In San Francisco Bay, especially in summer, the winds are fairly reliable. The mornings are cool and calm and as the inland heats up the wind picks up on the bay, usually starting around 2 PM or so. The winds were very light in the morning, but it looked like the summer pattern was starting to take shape as it picked up somewhat in the afternoon. I figured if we left late-morning with enough time to make it out of the slough before low tide we’d have a couple of hours of light-wind sailing before the afternoon winds built.

Kristin was gracious enough to stop by on her way back from her Sunday clients in Mountain View to drop off some Mi Rancho grilled chicken and chips and salsa. Mi Rancho is a little Mexican grocery in our neighborhood and I really love their charcoal-grilled chicken and deli-made salsas. She happed upon Julia and Marc in the parking lot and delivered them to the boat as I was finishing removing the dodger covers.

I gave Marc and Julia a crew’s tour of Sonrisa, showing them the safety gear, engine access, through hull placement, fire extinguishers, electronics, etc.

We left Westpoint Harbor at 11:00 with the tide chart  showing a 0.5 low tide at 12:55. The channel was already getting pretty shallow as we left. Once we left the slough we would be committed to staying out until at 3 PM when the tide would start coming back in. I’ve been able to get Sonrisa with her 6.5′ draft into Westpoint slough on a 0.6 low tide, but it was not easy. The most difficult part was finding the deepest part of the channel where Westpoint slough meets Redwood Creek.

As we motored our way out of the creek Julia and Marc pulled the covers off the main and staysail and readied the lines. We hoisted sails at marker 8 as we turned North and had a beautifully gentle ride northward toward the San Mateo bridge.

We made several lazy tacks toward the bridge until the tide changed and started impeding our progress northward. We very nearly reached the bridge, but decided to turn back rather than trying to find a favorable angle against the wind and the tide to try to sail under.

It was a nice day on the bay and great to meet two new crew members.

Watch the video clip

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