Day 10 towards Cape Horn... We made it!! But wind wasn't helpful for getting in

Wednesday 31st October 2012 ... and into Thursday 1st November - Safely tied to a buoy off Sausalito Y.C... phew!!

Wind has been mainly from the south, went very light during the night and from SSE by 9am, so had to tack around to avoid being set inshore too soon..  

Tried to keep speed down to around 4.5 kt to avoid ebb when nearing SFHarbour - but with having to tack around, we got further away, so when rain came, with a windshift to SSW-S, we were able then to get back on course nicely - and at a good speed of around 6kt in wind of 17kt , with ETA at. SF Hbr entrance around midnight - perfect to catch the flood tide through the Golden Gate just after its maximum of 3.3 kt.  

Spoke to Sal in themorning - replacement liferaft should now be on its way to SF from LA, along with an adjustable cradle, which avoids the problems of fixing to the pushpit that kept me awake a lot last night....  

LaDonna B and Stan H have been very supportive and helpful, both in supplying info and liaising with Sal and with Sausalito Y.C. - much appreciated!  

Entry into SF was busy - plenty of shipping and tugs, one with a tow, to look out for. I gaveTraffic Control the message that I had no motor andwas coming in to Sausalito under sail alone - SF Coast Guard promptly jumped on the radio to ask if I needed assistance -kind of them but they got a definite 'No, but thanks!!" Decided it was simpler not to explain why...  

Had good wind to sail to and even better speed with the flood tide helping us along - around 6 knots in 17kt of wind - but by the time we were in the main channel leading to the Golden Gate Bridge, it was beginning to die right down. I thought it was maybe due to the high cliffs on either side - but as I passed under the bridge, it was as though a switch had been pulled - flat calm and virtually no wind as we passed out the other side but still the flood tide, although much less.  

With difficulty, I managed to steer us towards Sausalito on the N side of the bridge - I was worried we might be taken over to Alcatraz and its vivid white strobelight, the tide was so much stronger than our speed in little wind.. But we managed to make1-2 knots in the right direction and crawled along close to shore, as I searched for the buoys I knew were somewhere - but I'd forgotten exactly where! I noticed a boat which camw towards me & then kept pace with me, a distance off - I'm sure it was the Coast Guard keeping an eye on me... Fortunately, the sky was lit up by the city lights all around (and I suppose the near-full moon was also up there, lighting up the low cloud!) and when I finally found the mooring field, the buoy I went for had a nice easy pick-up pole. The problem then was having very little speed and manoeuvrability - it was 'first time or not at all', since I reckoned I'd never get back to it if I missed it! So I had to get it on the move, to avoid our nose falling off when I left the wheel... When you're holding onto a pick-up buoy for dear life, with the line gone under the bow of the boat, it's a good thing there's almost no wind or it would be dragged out of your hands!! "All's well that ends well..."  

I'm off to my bunk for a good sleep... It's 4am ....