A day on 'Frisco Bay

Trip Start Sep 25, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, October 7, 2007

Wow, what a day!
Justin suggested we drive to Alameda on the South Bay where they keep their yacht and go for a sail in the bay. Just over an hour later after a mad drive trying to follow Justin and keep him in sight we arrive at the harbor.

We take a leisurely cruise through the shipping channel at Alameda under the huge Bay Bridge into the main Bay area which includes Alcatraz, Angel Island, all the piers of the San Fransisco Waterfront and of course the famous Golden Gate bridge.
We heard there was going to be a bit of a show on over the bay but didn't expect anything like what we found there.
After a invigorating reach through the choppy windswept channel between Alcatraz and Angel island we reach the relative calm that the Northern headland, where the G/G bridge hits land, provides us.
Here we relax and partake in a lovely antipasto lunch, washed down with a couple of cold ones. Our hosts Sharlene and Justin are really turning it on for us. We take down the sails ready for the show to start, Justin strategically places us about 300 meters from the G/G bridge as close to the shores of the city area as we dare because this is the busiest day of the year on the water. We don't risk dropping anchor after the stories we hear about the crossed anchor lines and collisions of last year, I think that is a wise move. Motoring now with our trusty skipper Justin weaving his way through some of the thousands of boats on the bay we hold our prime position waiting for the show to start.
Nine sets of eyes scout the incredible horizon.
 The Golden Gate bridge to our West with the mid afternoon sun's rays throwing shadows, deepening the already famous rich earthy red color. To our South  thousands of  spectators lined the piers and beaches of the city with those streets, made famous by so many movies and TV shows, rising up from the shore line. The hundreds of boats almost hide the stark outline of Alcatraz island a couple of miles to the East. Where are they?
A shout, There they are!Where? and suddenly they were on top of us. The roar of their turbines not audible until they were on top of us. The US Navy's finest, the "Blue Angels" were in town. For over half an hour they thrilled the crowds with their aerobatics and seemingly death defying stunts.  Flying formations, solo runs converging together, vertical climbs and dives, so low seemingly about to touch the tops of the hundreds of masts bobbing around the bay. They had it all.
It was absolutely incredible I had never seen a display like it.

  With all due respect to the Roulettes, you just can't compare them to those F/A-18 Hornets. 56 feet long over 400sq feet of wing area capable of Mach 1.7+ (1200mph)
When the show was over we took a leisurely run back past the city and all the visiting navy vessels moored up for what what we had just experienced.
 The main event of "Fleet Week".
Justin sailed as close as he could to the security patrolled "No Go" zone, only to be met by an inflatable navy boat with 2 machine guns amidships and a big.50 cal gun up front. We were flying the Aussie flag and got a wave from the boys as they shadowed us until we were away from the ships tied up along the waterfront area.
After a nice sail  among the huge tankers and cargo ships anchored in the south bay until just after sundown, we finished all the beer, sampled a "Mojito" rum with lime and coke and headed for home. What a memorable day, and we haven't been here two weeks yet.
Until next time,
The McGregors-5.

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