Yesterday on a daysail I am running almost downwind (wind was from NNE) just past the Sandy Point shoal light west of the ship channel, going south towards the Bay Bridge, for no particular reason at all. My GPS shows SOG of 5.5-6 kts and I wonder how good of a sailor I must be to get that much speed out of that little wind, and that I must finally be doing something right.
Perhaps a quarter mile to the bridge I decide that there is nothing to do on the other side and I'd better turn around. Well. I head up, tack through the wind and - well, the bow is pointing north-west, sails are full, but the GPS tells me I am making about 0.5 kts south-west, towards the sandy point
Oops, I guess those 6 kts were not all my sailing skill
So, had to start the engine and got all of 3.5 kts motor-sailing.
I guess what I wonder about is - is this the normal state of things near the bridge or was I lucky? I guess if not for the engine, I'd be pretty well committed to going under the bridge and continuing south