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News > Rugbeian Community of North America > An Eventful Sail in San Francisco Bay

An Eventful Sail in San Francisco Bay

A hearty crew of six joined Hugh Olliphant (St 90-90) on his Hunter 27 in the San Francisco Marina on June 13th for another Sail on the Bay.

This year the plan was to sail across to the Tiburon peninsula, have dinner at Sam’s Anchor Cafe, then return to the marina around sunset. We set off in classic San Francisco summer weather – cool, with a thick marine layer (AKA fog), and a strong westerly wind. Blown rapidly over to the North Bay, past Alcatraz, the occasional inquisitive sea lion and harbor porpoise, we tied up at Sam’s jetty.

The sun was shining, and we enjoyed an excellent meal out on their deck. Pausing for a group photo, we reembarked on the boat, expecting an uneventful trip back. Such it was, until we were close to the marina. While taking down the sails, the rudder jammed hard to port. Despite Hugh and Nicholas Dewar’s valiant efforts to free it, we were left drifting gently back into the middle of the Bay as the sun set and temperature fell.

Fortunately, Hugh was well prepared and calmly called BoatUS for a tow. All we could do was sit and wait. The tow boat arrived at dusk, and as luck would have it, the force of the tow unjammed the rudder. The thunk as it freed itself was a welcome sound to all. It enabled us to motor into the marina under our own power, returning only an hour or so later than expected. Such is the price of a good adventure!

A big thank you to Hugh for hosting, and Nicholas, Stephen, Alan, Valerie and her husband Sean for coming along.

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