Family Sailing - Family Fun

The Oakland Estuary Cruise

by Harold Ho, Fleet 62 Captain

Wow, what a heavenly day!  

Sunday, October 7th was our annual Estuary Cruise


and, save from the lack of wind in the morning, it was another successful event. Despite a number of last minute cancellations, we still had good turnout.  We were even joined by Frank and Penny Chwalowski in Lido 4919, "Frank 'n' Cents", who came all the way from Sacramento - representing Fleet 8.  We also had our distinguished Commodore, Keith Ohara single-handing his FJ.  And, of course, we had a few local Lido's: Allan Avila brought his whole family as crew--his wife Eunice and their two sons, Cameron and Casey, Jim Lechner brought his sometimes-Lake-Liz-crew, Nina, and Sidney Lee took this crew Doug Hamilton… or was it the other way 'round?… It was certainly good to see Doug at the helm of a Lido!!!  Last, but hopefully not least, Maria and I were the safety boat in our 30' footer.  Earlier concerns about keeping up with the Lido's with our 1-cylinder diesel were quickly dashed as the Estuary turned mirror calm at launch.  There was just enough random puffs to keep forward progress, when we decided to turn to Quinn's for lunch first and save time for afternoon sailing when I promised the winds would build.  

To our joy, Hans and Helga Wolff joined us at Quinn's so we had a full table of 15 for lunch!  

After a lengthy, but very enjoyable lunch, we finally caught the breeze we were hoping for--maybe 5 to 8 kts.  Sidney, Keith and Allan sailed back to the docks while Jim and Frank sailed up to Jack London Square and back.  Meanwhile, Maria and I had to return our sailboat to her home at Pier 39.  Finally excited to shut off the diesel and sail back, we only made it two tacks up the Estuary in the now 12 - 15kts before the jib sheets broke and we had to fire back up the diesel.
Bashing into every wave back across the bay at 3kts under power was quite miserable, but it reminded us how much we love to sail.  Overall, we're glad we had good turnout, plenty of sunshine and fair breeze at least in the afternoon.  We were only left wishing that we could have more Lido's joining us for this fine cruising day.  We're sure Frank and Penny will spread the word and bring more from Fleet 8 to join us next year!

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