Saturday, August 7, 2010

Charity.... sometimes comes at 30 knots....

To tell you the truth I can't really remember when it was that I got an email from Linda Brune, Tam Valley teacher, to say she had won our donation of a sail on the bay on Hazardous Waste. I imagine it was a warm and calm day. A day when the sun was shining and the breeze barely stirred the willow trees that line the fields of Tam Valley. Yes, I imagine she when she and her family bought this item and high fived each other that they had "won" they didn't envision a blustery day on San Francisco day with winds topping 32 knots. No I don't suppose they had that in mind....
But that is what we got.
Linda came with her husband Gustav and their nine year old son Elias.
I knew after walking yesterday and taking the ferry back, we would certainly find some chop on the way home. So as we headed out from Clipper Yacht Harbor out onto Richardson Bay, Elias took the wheel, I smiled and commented on the grey skies and the cooler than most summers we have had in Mill Valley.

They asked why we didn't put up the mainsail.
We knew... But we said oh, we think there will be enough breeze that it might be better with just the jib. (Oh yeah we knew... we expected 20+ knots of breeze and for a "first time sailing boy" you don't want to scare them out of sailing in the future.

They knew enough about being on the water to have brought layers and even in the early part of our sail, we all had a couple of layers on. It was cool enough with that fog.


We always make at least one pass under the Golden Gate Bridge for our charity sail passengers... And we did to day as well. What was remarkable was the many little dolphins who were swimming and playing just on the inside of the bridge. We each took turns pointing out one after the other. This is where I have seen them in the past when I walk over the bridge and look down onto the water below. There must be something good right there under the bridge....


As hard as I tried to catch one in the act of surfacing, I couldn't, so here Glenn is instead.

As we got over to the city front the skies began to clear. We pulled out the sandwiches and had lunch. It was the warmest and calmest we would be all day!

And it was definitely calm enough to give Elias the wheel. He had a natural touch and for a 9 year old steered a pretty straight course.

In the far side of Yerba Buena Island he took us skillfully under the bridge construction.

Elias finally decided to relinquish the helm and went to cuddle up with his folks. Maybe he knew what was coming???

Then finally we were in it... Boat heeled over the knot meter rising... 20, 25, 28, 30, 32
OK that's enough!


Dana who had been napping through all of this woke up... I think one too many waves crashed over him!

Gustav did an excellent job at the helm and was there through most of the worse of it!


Linda and I covered up...

Dana didn't

With just a jib we flew by other larger boast with jibs and mainsail up. There was more than one skipper on other boast who stared at us pass in disappointment and amazement.


We tired to find relief on the lee side of Angel Island where usually you can hand out and dry out on days like this...and the winds did drop... to 20+

When we made it back home....
We said goodbye to our guests. I certainly hope they had a good time. Even if it wasn't what they expected. I think their son enjoyed his time on the helm and Gustav seemed to too. I so enjoyed talking with a great Tam Valley teacher like Linda. I may not have told her this, but I so appreciate everything she does for our kids down at "my school." I know teachers are never thanked enough... That's a shame. It was a honor to take her and her family out on the bay.
I invited them to Wine Wars....
(You're right it is constantly on my mind seeing as it is less than a week away!)
SO RSVP if you haven't....
IT WILL BE MORE THAN YOU EXPECTED
Not unlike sailing in 30+ knot wind.