BZ's Festival of Sail

Photo Gallery

Took the day off work to enjoy San Francisco's Festival of Sail event. I was a guest on board the USCGC Tern, and a finer day out on the Bay could not be had!
The Festival of Sail includes a parade of Tall ships. Star of the show being the 295 ft. long Coast Guard Eagle. The Eagle is the only commissioned vessel in the U.S. military (yes, the Coast Guard is part of the military), and is manned by cadets. Other tall ships include the Nina, Bounty, Gas Light, Gold Star, and Lynx.

Used a Nikon D200 w/ a 70-300mm VR lens, and a D50 w/ a 18-55mm lens. Mostly shot in shutter priority exposure mode (between 1/100 and 1/320sec), with Single autofocus. Pictures taken on July 23, 2008. - Bernard Zee


A rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) deploys from the stern of the USCGC Tern while underway in the San Francisco Bay. The RHIB is a 17 foot Zodiac Hurricane with a 100HP diesel engine and Hamilton water jet drive. The craft is capable of reaching 30 knots!


The USCGC Eagle (WIX-327) is used as a training cutter for future officers of the Coast Guard.


The Golden Gate Bridge makes a nice backdrop for the Californian, which came up from San Diego for the event.


The Eagle started out as the Horst Wessel - a German sailing ship constructed with the same engine room setup and frame as U-boats to train German Navy cadets. This in order to bypass the Treaty of Versailles, which did not allow Germany to militarize. Thus, when WWII started, the Navy already had many trained U-boat officers ready to go. At the end of WWII, the Horst Wessel was transfered to the United States, where it was commissioned as the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle in 1946.


This Coast Guard rigid hull inflatable mounts machine guns fore and aft, and is serious about homeland security!


The USCGC Bertholf (WMSL-750) is the first of the Legend class maritime security cutters. I believe it only recently entered active service May of 2008. Its homeport is Alameda, CA.


THe USCGC Hawksbill is a Marine Protector class vessel (like the Tern), and is based out of Monterey, CA. Even though it operates out of Monterey, it is part of the San Francisco Sector.


Here's the Hawksbill with the Bay Bridge as a backdrop.


The STS Kaisei is a steel hulled brigantine (a vessel with 2 masts, at least one which is square rigged) built in Poland. Kaisei means 'Ocean Planet' in Japanese. The Kaisei is currently operated by Ocean Voyages in Sausalito, CA.


There were plenty of other sailboats out there besides the tall ships.


The HMCS Oriole (KC-480) is the oldest commissioned vessel in the Canadian Navy, and is used as a training vessel. It displaces 92 tonnes, and is 102 ft. long.


The Seaward is a 82' staysail schooner operated by Call of the Sea. It displaces 65 tons, and is 82' long.


It uses a Cummins 6BT, 210 hp engine for propulsion when not harnessing the wind.


The sailing vessel NEHEMIAH is a classic 57' wooden cruising ketch.


It displaces about 30 tons, and can carry 32 passengers. The vessel was built in 1971 by 2 skilled craftsmen, and has travelled around the world.


Here's a backlit shot of the NEHEMIAH, with the unmistakable San Francisco skyline as a backdrop.


Closeup, the USCGC Eagle is a very impressive sight. That's of course, the Golden Gate Bridge in the back. That U.S. flag is huge!


Normal complement of the Eagle is 19 officers, 56 crew, and 175 cadets and instructors.


Looks like triple redundant steering wheels... :-)


The Eagle displaces 1813 tons, and is 295 ft. long.


Speed is 10 knots using the C399 Caterpillar diesel engine.


A great shot of the Coast Guard Auxiliary 'Silver Charm'. At the back of the boat with the camera is Alan Haraf from district 11 Public Affairs. I deduced it from the shots of the event that was posted on the USCG website (which were terrific by the way). Linda Vetter, who was piloting the Silver Charm confirmed it. I'm so tickled that I had guessed correctly! :-)

The Coast Guard Auxiliary are not paid for any services they perform, and are volunteers who use their own boats and equipment to support the Coast Guard's missions.


Name on the side of the boat identifies her as the 'Dragon Lady'.




The USCGC Eagle easily dwarfs the smaller sailboats around it. Looks like the masts barely clear the Golden Gate Bridge!


The Tern1 returning to the mother ship after a jaunt about the Bay. I think they're wearing foul weather gear for a reason... all too easy to get soaked and chilled to the bone while speeding on the choppy waters.


This is the Bounty II, which is a replica of the original HMS Bounty - built in 1960 for the MGM movie version of Mutiny on the Bounty.


The Gas Light is a replica scow schooner built in 1991. These vessels used to transport cargo around the San Francisco Bay and its tributaries. The design of the vessel allows it to navigate shallow rivers, handled well, and easy to work on.


The Californian is the official Tall Ship of the State of California! She was built in San Diego and launched in 1984.


This is the schooner Gold Star, which has been sailing on San Francisco Bay since 1965.


Here's the S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien going under the GGB. The O'Brien is a Liberty ship that brought men and material to the European and Pacific Theaters - without these very practical and easy to mass produce vessels, winning WWII would have been logistically impossible.


The sailing ships trying to keep out of each others way while positioning for the parade of ships.


Here's the Kaisei with the Rock (Alcatraz) in the background.


The liberty ships were not totally defenseless, but had to rely on convoys with warships and dedicated anti-submarine assets to make the trans-oceanic voyages in one piece.


An exciting shot of the Californian with full sails. Designed for speed, Californian has nine sails, is 145 ft. in length, weighs 130 tons, and is armed with four 6 pound deck guns.


The Californian is a replica of the 1874 Revenue Cutter 'C.W. Lawrence', which patrolled the coast of California enforcing federal law during the gold rush.


The Kaisei with Sutro Tower (another distinctive San Francisco landmark) in the back.


The Bay Lady is the largest certified schooner on San Francisco Bay.


She was built in 1989 in Boothbay Maine, and patterned after the Maine Coastal Schooners.


Built purely for sailing charters, the Bay Lady can seat 56 people slightly recessed into the center of the boat.


The Eagle is getting ready to deploy her sails for the parade of ships.


The Canadian Oriole slightly backlit.


Interesting framing of the NEHEMIAH by the GGB arch support.

The following bit of historical tid bit is provided by Linda Vetter: "The (now) infamous designer of the GGB refused to demolish the old Ft. Point, as felt it was a great architectural statement and the only Civil War-era fort out here. Originally the plan was to demolish it, as that was the only flat area they could use to stage materials and things to build the GGB. So he first designed and built the "arch" bridge to span the Ft. and preserve it. The wild thing is that at the time he did that, that was the biggest bridge he'd ever engineered and built! Then he went on of course to build the "rest" of it..."


Everyone was very friendly out on the Bay!


I liked this action shot of a sailboat with the Palace of Fine Arts in the back.


A nice looking SFPD boat. Funny that there's no vessel name on the stern. I believe it's called SF Marine 1. It's a civilian version of the USCG 47 ft. Motor Life Boat (MLB). It can survive a complete rollover, self righting in 10 seconds. I wouldn't want to try it...


The Balcutha is a 3 mast, steel hulled cargo vessel. Centerpiece of the SF Maritime museum. Didn't sail for the event though.


We made a U-turn and headed upwind for the parade of ships. Unfortunately, we were going pretty fast and throwing up a lot of spray. The confetti looking things at the bottom of the picture is the result when I tried to get a shot!


But we soon settled down to a slow idle, and I'm back in business!
Here's SFFD's Fireboat Phoenix doing the water display. The Phoenix has a pumping capacity of 6400 gallons per minute. Hero of the the 1989 Loma Preita earthquake, the Phoenix was instrumental in providing the water needed to put out the Marina fires. The high pressure water mains that normally supply the hydrants were broken by the quake, and there was no way to fight the growing fires. Within minutes of the quake, the Phoenix had moved into the St. Francis Yatch Club Marina and almost a mile of hose was connected to the ship's powerful pumps. A devastating fire that could have wiped out the area was thus avoided!


With full sails, the Eagle can do 17 knots. Pretty too!


Closeup of the vessel's stern. Sailing vessels embody a certain romanticism that just isn't matched by anything else.


The USCGC Eagle with Alcatraz and the fireboat.


Simply beautiful!


Can't get enough of this ship. Definitely the star attraction at the event.


The Californian streaks by before I even know it!


The stern view of the Gas Light.


A nice shot showing the Gas Light, Californian, and Eagle.


Eagle flying one huge flag!


HMCS Oriole w/ the GGB background.




The Robert C. Seamans is a 134 ft. steel brigantine and is used as an oceanographic research and sailing school vessel.

It is owned and operated by Sea Education Association (SEA), and has a wet/dry lab, library, classroom, and computer lab.

The Robert C. Seamans displaces 300 tons, is 134.5 ft. long, and can carry 40 people.


It's the Alma! This 59 foot Schooner has a distinctive square bow (hard to see from this angle). Built in 1891 to carry bulk cargo, this flat bottomed hull boat could navigate the shallow waters of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Delta - and can rest on the bottom at low tide.


Seaward makes its pass.


A glamor shot of the Seaward with downtown SF in the back.


See? It IS a parade of ships...


The Nina is a replica of... the Nina! For those who can't remember, it's one of the ships on which Columbus sailed across the Atlantic on his voyages to the new world in 1492. Quick, what's the name of the other 2 vessels? No worries, I had to look it up too. It's the Pinta, and Santa Maria. Oh, yah...


The Gold Star represents one man's dream - who spent 14 years building her. It was then sold 2 years after it was completed...I guess he was more into building than sailing!


The Kaisei makes it under the GGB.


Lots of history represented in this shot.


The Bay seemed filled with sailboats of all types!




This is the Seaquest, a Sea Witch owned by Stephen Carlson. Thanks to Rod, Captain of the NEHEMIAH, for the update!


The Bounty makes its way under full sails.


It was a beautiful day to be sailing, and for being out on the bay.


Looks like a bit of a close call there!


The Brigadoon was built in 1924 in Lynn, MA. and is berthed at the Klaus family home in Alameda.


The Lynx is a square topsail schooner modeled after an 1812 American privateer vessel of the same name.


That's the NEHEMIAH.


This is a great shot of the Lynx showing a smoke ring after firing one of its canons.
Linda Vetter helped to identify SFPD Marine 3 (a 33' SAFE boat with black hull) which is alongside the Lynx.


You can see you really need to know what you're doing when it's this crowded out there! That's the Richmond Police Dept boat in the foreground doing its part to keep the bay safe.


The Potomac was a yatch used by Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), and is known as the 'Floating White House'.




More shots of the Lynx. If I remember correctly privateer was basically an officially sanctioned pirate. Guess there's no such thing anymore now!


A Sea Scouts vessel with the APL Singapore, and O'Brien in the background.


From Linda Vetter: "the reason the SFPD "Marine 1" (that's it's name, no points for taste) looks just like a CG 47' MLB is because it WAS a CG MLB, hull #1, sort of the prototype. The CG made so many modifications that they didn't really want #1 after testing, and "sold" it to SFPD for $1.00. Of course, they spent a lot more repainting it, etc.! So it's been around about 10 years now."


The USCG is ever vigilant! I believe this boat is a 25 foot Response Boat Homeland Security craft, and part of the Maritime Safety and Security Team (MSST). Designed for the USCG by SAFE Boats, the RB-S (Response Boat Small) "Defender" Class has great maneuverability, and a top speed over 40 knots!


That's the 65 ft. Schooner Brigadoon making its way across the Bay.


Picturesque view of the rock.




Lynx goes Boom again!


Makes the personal sailboat look tiny...




Per Linda Vetter: "Oakland PD have two identical aluminum boats they got last year, built by Almar. They're "OPD 1" and "OPD 2", and the numbers are on the door about 2" tall it seems. Pretty impossible to tell them apart (they do claim they have bigger numbers on order!)."




The Hawksbill is dwarfed by the Container and Liberty ships.








Hey, I didn't know they did 'nose' art on ships!




The Robert C. Seamans heading back to dock.


Looks like a great place to have class!


She dropped all her sail in this shot (w/ the Rock).


The Eagle being tugged into position.


Right in front of AT&T park (where the SF Giants baseball team plays).


Everyone was out on the water! Here's the SF Fire Dept rigid hull inflatable doing a speedy pass.
I set the shutter speed slower to get that in-motion feel!


Might look like the same boat, but it is not! This one is Coast Guard (no guns mounted).

Linda Vetter (Silver Charm) provided the following:
"The MSST boats (255099, etc.) normally have theirs mounted, and the small boat station boats (Station SF, Station Golden Gate, etc.) normally do not when out there, due to their normal different main objectives for being out there. So the guns are often a quick way to tell if it's MSST or a small boat station boat from the distance before you can read the number."


Not to be left out, here's the San Mateo County Sherriff dept. If you do something bad on the bay, don't worry - there will be someone who can arrest you!


You would think this is the same Coast Guard boat - but no, it has machine guns!

Linda Vetter also provided this interesting bit of information:
"By the way, the typical CG hull numbers for those below 100' are that the first two digits are the length of the boat (e.g., the Tern and all the other 87' PBs - Patrol Boats - start with "87" then a unique serial number). So all the RBS's are "25...." And the 41' Utility Boats also at Station SF are "41404", "41392", etc. "


Here's the Tern, back home at YBI! Thanks for the invite - I really appreciate it!! Can't say enough good things about the men and women of the United States Coast Guard. They are a very professional, capable, and gracious bunch!


Some additional items of interest:




www.bernardzee.com