Hmm, let's see what's going on in the sailblogs today.
Tillerman reports it's too frosty for even the frostbiters, so he will probably be having his frosties indoors.
Adam Turinas is likewise complaining it's too cold to even contemplate frostbiting, so he's posted frostbite photos from someone else's blog.
JP is getting cabin fever over the meager sailing offerings from the BBC.
I thought the English were made of sterner stuff.
So what did O Docker do today? Would frigid weather confine him to quarters, huddled around the fire like his east coast and English blogging cousins? Heck no! Today, I went frostbiting on San Francisco Bay. That's right, in this post, for the first time ever, there will be actual current, same day, first person, genuine here-and-now sailing content on O Dock.
For four months I've been noodling around the bush without a single such post. Well, no more! Today, my wife and I actually left the slip and transported our butts, under sail, across the Bay from Berkeley to San Francisco, in brutal, frostbite conditions.
Temperatures plummeted into the mid-50's and winds howled out of the north at nearly 10 knots, whipping up waves of almost 18 inches in some places. While I toughed it out in a wool sweater, my wife, who complains of the cold as soon as she leaves the BVI's, had to resort to a nylon windbreaker and gloves. Oh, the humanity!
With that buildup, I must admit I have no idea how to write a blog post about actual sailing, so please bear with me. This will be a little rough.
I think you're supposed to start with a description of the sailing conditions, but I'm not sure why. Would this be a more interesting post if the wind were out of the south? Does anyone really care what tack I was on leaving the marina? Or at what point I turned off the engine?
I will confess that this was a wimpy sail by any standards. We didn't even hoist the main. Like most Catalina 30's, ours has a 130 roller furling genoa, and the boat sails beautifully under it on any point of sail, even in pretty light air. I know, I know, all of the books and experts say if you attempt sailing under jib alone, you will have a horribly unbalanced sailplan, with awful lee helm, and that you will develop jaundice and lose all of your teeth.
But none of those experts have ever been on my boat. Sure, it's fun to tweak all of the strings to get the boat going at its max, to have the belly of the sail 46.2 per cent back from the luff, and all twelve jib telltales streaming back exactly horizontal. But my wife and I have discovered that it's also a lot of fun to forget about all of that, to slow the boat down, drink tea, eat bagels, watch the other anal retentive sailors, and generally take as long as we like sailing over to the city.
Especially when we're out in brutal frostbite conditions like we had today.
Okay, this post is getting entirely too long and I havent even started with the obligatory photos that prove the blog writer was out there sailing, having a grand old time, while you weren't. So, here are the obligatory photos:
Obligatory bow wave photo, showing monstrous waves and brutal January frostbite conditions.
Obligatory San Francisco skyline photo, showing famous pyramidal building artfully framed in rigging, with bonus ferry boat also artfully framed in rigging.
Obligatory photo of happy spouse waving, showing what a great time we were having, and, by implication, what a genuinely considerate and caring person I am not to be hogging the helm the whole time.
Obligatory backlit photo of bridge. Any post about sailing on San Francisco Bay must include at least one photo of a bridge and one backlit photo of sunlight glistening off the water. For economy's sake, I have combined both elements in one photo.