While I’m finishing up with getting my captain’s license, I am volunteering at Modern Sailing in Sausalito with the classes and races in their racing clinics. I enjoy them a lot, and it’s great practice for my career teaching. I fill in when they are a person short, and I help coach in the classes and races. Last Sunday (Father’s Day) I helped out with a symmetrical spinnaker clinic. We had 3 students, so we rotated them through working the foredeck, trimmer, and pit positions. That left the helmsman position uncovered, so I took that for the day as well as helping with the main sail on the jibes. Regretfully, that killed my ability to take pictures with the spinnaker up, but I did manage to sneak one in while sailing back to weather.
It was a tricky day on the bay. The wind was very strong in the slot, but incredibly patchy everywhere else. It would look like we had good wind, and we would get the spinnaker up and driving, and then a hole would develop again, and we’d be drifting. I ended up having to keep the engine idling so I could kick it into forward gear to keep steerage when the wind completely died and try to slowly creep out of the hole without having to douse. It was a beautiful day on the bay, leading to a large crowd of boats everywhere we went. Our first run was down Raccoon Strait, which had decent winds, but a lot of traffic. We then tried behind Angel, but it was too patchy, so we went back over to Yellow Bluff hoping for better conditions and a run down Raccoon again. We ended up dousing before we even got into the strait and were done for the day. While it would seem like bad conditions for the class, it actually worked out well. Everyone got to run through a set, jibing, and a douse in easy conditions. Next time they will be ready to do it in the normally strong SF winds.
After proof reading this. I realized that I need to mark up a chart with all the locations/areas normally sailed in the San Francisco bay. I tried to find links to share, but none of them seem good enough. I’ll try to do that soon and make up a post about it, and link to it in the future.