Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Alameda, San Francisco Bay
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Re: SF Bay Sailors - Transiting the Bonita Channel?
If the winds hold as predicted, you will be able to run up the channel on a Stb reach. You can even fly a kite if you go out to the light bucket. I’m not sure how good your crab production will be if you are only doing a couple hour soak (We drop off the pots on the way to Drakes and recover the next morning.) If the forecasts hold, your biggest problem will be keeping your sails full and the boat not stalling as you pitch and roll up and down in the swell. Think about rigging a preventer to keep the main from slating. You will be able to tell from a distance if Bonita (or the ship channel for that matter) is a bit much for you (listen to that inner voice). The shallow part of the patch is only 24-28’ deep and you will see the waves build (and possibly break) on the shoal way before they break in either channel. The Bonita mid channel buoy guards a 36’ submerged rock and expect to see the waves build up in that area before the rest of the channel. All of this is easily seen as you round Pt. Bonita. The tides are also in your favor.
The trip to the light bucket is another classic SF sail. Just sail 253* (or so) for 10nm and look for it. The bar pilot boat will be in the vicinity.
Not all days are challenging outside the gate. This shot is from one of them (2009 BAMA DHF). Sometimes the hardest thing is to keep your boat moving. On the other hand, twelve hours after this shot was taken, the winds were in the 20’s-30’s and the boat Heatwave, turtled and her crew were struggling for their lives. Be safe.
Last edited by GeorgeB; 12-18-2012 at 07:09 PM.