The Galen Diana

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Monthly Archives: April 2018

Sailing the Farralons March 2018

Sailing out 30nm from San Francisco can be a very rough ride or simply beautiful. Planning the right weather window is hard to do but there are times during certain seasons a break in the weather and fog will give way to a beautiful sailing experience off shore and a reward to see the Farralons up close. It was on a Thursday morning I set sail from Oakland at 0600. The winds were north easterly I was able to sail out of the estuary as the commuters were having their morning coffee on the ferry so was I aboard The Galen Diana. It was a slow ride out to the slot but once out there the winds shifted northwest  blowing 10-15kn allowing for a steady reach on starboard tack out and under the Golden Gate Bridge. Mild rolling swells made for a comfortable ride out as if the boat was floating on air. By mid afternoon the winds picked up to 18kn with full sails The Galen Diana was moving at a swift speed of 9-10kn. The sun was shining and the weather was warm. Shorts and T-shirt weather. Days like this it is hard to turn around but there came that time after a few passes across the main portion of the islands where the scientists are on station. No shark sightings this time of year. Perhaps in the fall when the Great Whites migrate to feed and make little shark babies… I decided to stay the night at sea watching for the big ships on AIS and staying clear of the inbound and outbound lanes. I was on the radio with the coast guard VTS standing by on ch 12 and in radio contact with the ship’s pilot to let them know I would stay clear of their heading. I was keeping a friend company for the night. She is training in her “row boat” on the SF Bay and near the coast of San Francisco regularly to row the Pacific Ocean from Japan to San Francisco in the near future. A journey that will most likely take her six(6) months to complete. The link below is to her web page and her story of her Farralons row today in which I caught up with her within sight of the islands. I didn’t feel right leaving her out there alone given her proximity to the shipping lanes so I stayed close by and kept a sharp eye out and regular communications with the coast guard VTS and passing ships to insure her safety during the dark hours. It was a tiresome night sneaking in a quick nap between ships and the 30 minute broadcast from the coast guard vessel traffic service. However the reward was one more beautiful sunrise at sea. Until next time Farralons, Capt. Rod.

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The Farrralons


Scientist outposts



Weather buoy 20nm off shore


AIS to identify and track commercial traffic


Sunrise at sea


Calm morning sunrise