Yesterday I went sailing with M_, D_, and M_ on his Olson 40. It kinda looked like this video (same type of boat, same area, not as fast, different people).

We sailed into the SF bay passing through a race with sailboats coming on our port (left) side with spinnakers (big balloon like sails) set. M_ had spotted a $50e6 ~120′ carbon sailboat that he wanted to take a closer look at, so we tried to chase it and passed pretty close to it on a tack. Apparently “small — far away” needs to have a corollary: “close up — huge, small — really far away”. We then sailed past Alcatraz, listening to the music coming out of the city from the local bands and barking seals that would occasionally pop up a few meters of the boat and look around.

As we passed under the Golden Gate—so named because it’s red?!—we were been followed by a big cargo ship. We passed almost under its stern although I’m sure that “really huge — not that close” kept us at a safe distance.

Having passed the Golden Gate we found ourself being followed by 2-5 dolphins at pretty much all times. But enough about my tourism.

A 40′ boat is somewhat complicated so I did not get to do much other than observe. I did get to drive for a few minutes at one point (actually while going under the Gate). Each operation required the cooperation of 3 people, alternatively 2 people working really fast, so I was limited by my ignorance (what is a Cunningham again?) to providing a bit of muscle when pulling (trailing) a clearly identified line and weight. M_—or was it M_?—suggested that I start sailing dinghies. Suggested a cheap place too. I was surprised how little it costs ($69 a quarter or $200 a year): Most of my expenses would be in transportation if I join that club. However, it may be cheaper just to get my own dinghy and sail in the local reservoir.