Beyond the Golden Gate

I had the privilege of sailing on the San Francisco Bay with dear friends, John and Diane and their friend Bob on their 41-foot sailboat, the Giselle, last week.  I grew up in the Bay Area and had never gotten the opportunity before- in fact, I had never been sailing

We departed from the Brisbane Marina on a blistering hot 100-degree day with an audience of pelicans, cormorants, and gulls parked on the break of the marina as we left. The bay with its breezes offered welcome refuge from the heat, especially as we neared the Bay Bridge with its collision of currents and choppy waters. The Giselle tipped side to side from one 40-degree angle to the other as we tacked into the wind.  This requires a lot of coordination and movement from the 3- person crew as the sail needs to be released and winched from side to side.  I was merely ballast and shifted position from port to stern as the situation called.  Oh yes, and I was the wench who held the wrench for the maneuvers.

The city of San Fransisco seemed so miniature as we passed by its skyscrapers, piers, Coit tower, Ghiradelli Square other landmarks on the port side and Alcatraz on the other. We dined on a gourmet lunch of an Asian black rice salad topped with luscious shrimp as we passed by the scenery – prepared by my hosts that morning. Yum!

Since the weather and winds were fine and I was game for more, we continued our sail under the Golden Gate Bridge.  Now there is a view like no other from the water!  I was given the helm after we sailed under the Bay Bridge on the return trip.

I love being on the water, being in a kayak, a whitewater raft, or now, a sailboat.  It offers a feeling of freedom, tranquility, or excitement depending on what is offered up.  Then there are all those great life metaphors one may get from such experiences- but I will leave those for now. 

What a great memory!  Thanks to my hosts, Diane and John.  I’d love to go again (and again).

Sailing on the Bay
by Alanna Pass

On the water
far from shore
the world is 
splashing sea
wind in sails
the backs of sleek dolphins
undulating in unison

On the water 
the city is diminutive
traffic vanishes
worries depart 
on the wings of cormorants

5 thoughts on “Beyond the Golden Gate

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