| It is now 12:22 local time and the crew of Maverick is motorsailing up
Santa Fe Channel ready to fall off onto Potrero Reach, where we'll cut
the engine. We cast off the lines at approximately 12:06 bound, as you
know, for the Marquesas. Until we get our sea legs we'll likely not
write, but we'll talk to you in a couple of days. Meanwhile, the
following is a prerecorded message.
When a traveller approaches the Bay from sea, there is nothing at
all to give a hint of the size and importance of the cities of San
Francisco and Oakland. Sutro tower is visible, and as you sail closer
you can see the understated Sunset District, which could easily be
mistaken for a small coastal town, sloping towards the west. Otherwise,
the cities are hidden by the coastal mountains and all the mariner sees
is a rugged and undeveloped coastline, and in fact the Golden Gate is
such a small opening that most early explorers failed to find it.
But as the sailor approaches closer to the rocks and cliffs of
Land's End and finally passes under what is now the Golden Gate Bridge,
the whole mass of humming activity suddenly opens up. This is startling
at night, when it is reminiscent of the scene in a science fiction movie
where a dark cave leads to a small door which, when opened, reveals a
vast, obviously powerful, alien civilization.
It will be the same in reverse for us. We'll make our way from the
civilized calm of the marina in Richmond out Potrero Reach, give a nod
to Red Rock, then turn left and passing Southhampton Shoal proceed
through Racoon Strait, past Ayala Cove on Angel Island, the towns of
Tiburon and Sausalito, then Yellow Bluff and the Bridge, taking a long
look at the City of San Francisco. These protected and familiar waters,
where so many beatific days have been spent sailing and at anchor, will
then almost instantly be left behind. Exactly at the Gate, the swell
from distant storms begins to be felt and if we glance backwards, much
of our home waters will have disappeared from view; we're in the foyer
of the Pacific Ocean. For a few minutes the full size of the swell is
dampened by the refraction around Point Bonita, but as we sail out past
Mile Rock and the point we make the final transition to ocean waters and
no land protects us from whatever sea is running. If it is at all large,
the prudent sailor will not turn left until he's gotten himself through
the shipping channel to the San Francisco Buoy.
At that point the crew of Maverick will set its course on 180
degrees true, due south, from which, depending on the wind, it will try
not to diverge for about 2500 miles. Soon the last shadow of land will
fade, and we will be all the way out there.