|What a terrific weekend! A record 18 boats were represented as we filled the harbor and enjoyed a fast sail up and an easy (but very early!) ride back down San Pablo Bay. Saturday morning we had a full 4.7 knot flood which we picked up at Southampton Shoal at 1100 and rode right into Benicia. After light air through the San Rafael Bridge to Point San Pablo, the breeze filled in and gusted between 20 - 30 around Point Pinole, before backing down as we got into Carquinez Strait. Harry Farrell romped away from the fleet with his clean bottom and MaxProp!|
Saturday evening's cocktails were enjoyed dockside before moving to the packed dining room at Benicia Yacht Club. In addition to our 44 people, they were hosting a wedding downstairs and another fleet at the far end of the dining room. The food was wonderful, the beverages plentiful and well priced so everyone had a good time. What with all the sun and wind, we all slept in easily on Sunday morning.
Sunday was made for being lazy. Bill Higdon set to work with a mechanic to get his engine running - it ran fine to the starting line, but wouldn't do the job at Benicia. His former crew, Jack Thompson, towed him in. Everyone had a theory, but the mechanic got the fuel line and filters cleared and she was running again by mid afternoon. Lots of walks to town to window shop and "antique" - though no evidence of large pieces being stowed below. Sunday evening was pot luck up at the clubhouse, and what a great spread - no one went hungry.
Monday morning it was up early - very early! With the Benicia channel silted in to about 5 feet at low tide we had to get out before the -1.5 foot low or we'd be there til noon. So alarms went off before 0530 and the first boats cast off by 0600. The tide was with us again, and the wind had thankfully slept in too, so we made the 15 mile run to point San Pablo in 1 hour and 40 minutes, or an average of 9 knots over the bottom. I think everyone was safe home well before the forecast 30 knots winds arrived in the afternoon.
Click on images to enlarge, click "Back" to return. Photos by Rick Van Mell.