Thursday, February 26, 2009

San Francisco (vaguely boaty)

I didn't really plan on using this blog in order to show off my holiday snaps, but I thought these were a little more relevant than normal.

I was here for a short business trip and found I had an afternoon to spare. The weather had been dark and drizzly, but miraculously the sun came out and I grabbed a one-hour harbour cruise while I had the opportunity. The pictures don't show how cold the wind was...

Above: These ships come piling in a lot faster than they do in Southampton Water, and generate not inconsiderable wash.

Above: Obligatory gratuitous Alcatraz shot. The red launch is the Harbour Pilot.

Above: The white caps near the yacht are standing waves. The current was gushing out through the bridge and the yacht was moving more laterally than forward - even with a stiff breeze creating leeway in the opposite direction. Later, in Borders Books, I checked out the local cruising guides: the ebb current reaches 6 knots at springs and there is a huge eddy round the Marin Headland (the high ground in the background).

Above: The sea lions took over some disused marina pontoons near the Embacadero some years ago, and became a tourist fixture. So they have been allowed to remain ever since. Not that you'd want to argue with one of them to get your pontoon back...

Above: One way of getting your board out beyond the surfline...

Above and below: Just a few yards from the sea lions, in the lee of Pier 39, and in a very sorry and abandoned caught my eye because it reminded me of Teignmouth Electron, Donald Crowhurst's ill-fated trimaran.