Raccoon Straits

Raccoon Straits, with Angel Island and the Golden Gate.

We finally, finally, finally went sailing yesterday, and we did my favorite, favorite, favorite sail around Angel Island. The conditions were good, if a bit foggy at times. We had steady, 10 knot winds gusting at 15, and temperatures that didn't fall below 65. We left Alameda around noon and cruised north toward Sausalito, turning to starboard to sail through Raccoon Straits. Cruising Raccoon Straits offers some of the most scenic views in San Francisco Bay: the city skyline, Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, Tiburon, and Ayala Cove comprise a tour de force of scenic delight.  We were lucky enough to have Dimitri, Dominic's brother, onboard Helios for the weekend. With three people, we had enough hands on deck to take some pictures.

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We found many reasons to smile over the course of the six hour sail. We were visited by dolphin and a few sea lions along the way. Plus, it had been a while. We were shocked to look at our log book and see that this was our first sail since early May due to the upgrade projects we've been working on. But seeing our mast in action, using the dodger and bimini, and admiring the glinting varnish made this a much needed, rejuvenating afternoon.

Dimitri took the helm as we left the estuary.

Dimitri took the helm as we left the estuary.

Dominic finishing the rigging installation.

The former Bay Bridge under deconstruction.

The former Bay Bridge under deconstruction.

Mt. Tamalpais in hiding.

Mt. Tamalpais in hiding.

Dimitri proved himself an invaluable crew member throughout—he hauled the lines, stripped the brightwork, swabbed the decks, installed the winches, broke in the aft cabin, took our picture on command, napped with abandon, and even taught us how to cook eggs. Dimitri Dolci, Archduke of Varnish, I salute you.