Those magnificent men in their flying machines

Last weekend we took Pesto to a ride across the bay. It was warm and clear and we thought we would do some sightseeing, and maybe even stop at a tranquil anchorage for an afternoon meal before returning to the marina.

It was a little different than that.

When we arrived to San Francisco Bay, we heard about the Fleet Week. We even noticed a few large marine vessels coming into the bay. But we were busy with other things and didn’t pay much attention.

So, when we left the Marina basin inside the Bay itself, it came as a surprise the amount and variety of vessels on the water.  It was way too much for a normal Saturday:



There were all kinds of vessels. From modern racing boats:



… to vintage racers, like this beautiful America’s Cup specimen from the late 90’s:



… to relics, like this middle age sailing ship model:


We started doing what we were out for – sightseeing:



And then we noticed the crowd packed on shore:



Something was definitely going on. The writing was on the wall. Well, in fact, it was on the sky:



And just when the boat fleet was packed to the most out there, we finally saw it:



This guy was doing all kinds of stunts above the boating crowd:



And each time he finished a stunt, he would fly by very close to us. So close in fact that eventually the Coast Guard came and told us to move away:



We thought it was a bit overrated at first, specially because the little red biplane seemd to have flown away at that time … and then we heard a roar. Six F-18s came at a stunningly high speed:



They flew by in different formations and at different speeds for over an hour:



At some point, they were a bit too close for comfort:



Eventually they flew away. There was a moment of quietness until we realized, they had called the big guys:




So, what was supposed to be a tranquil sightseeing sail across the bay ended up becoming a major air stunt show, including near-miss fly-by’s from F-18s, Hercules and a B-747.

With that we called it the day, without even bothering to stop at a tranquil anchorage. We headed straight back to the marina, tied Pesto tightly, popped the champagne, and enjoyed our meal on the cockpit, watching the sun set behind the Sausalito hills.

That was our first weekend here. The San Francisco Way!

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