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Fleet Week Air Show and Sailboats — What a Way to Spend the Weekend!

This past weekend, the US Navy’s Blue Angels and a variety of aircraft blazed across the sky over San Francisco Bay for the 2021 Fleet Week Air Show. We mentioned in last Wednesday’s ‘Lectronic Latitude that we were excited about the air show, and the actual event did not disappoint. Here are a few photos that were sent to us by Jörg Bashir, who was aboard Call of the Sea’s schooner Seaward with his two kids for Saturday’s air show. Jörg would ordinarily be sailing his own boat Kipu Kai, a Pacific Seacraft Orion 27, which is berthed at Marina Village Yacht Harbor in Alameda. But clearly for such an occasion, it’s by far better to have someone else take the helm and keep a lookout for other boats, and keep your own eyes free to enjoy the show, and take great photos.

Jet planes
From the waterline it often looked as if the planes were touching.
© 2021 Jörg Bashir
The Blue Angels might have been the main drawcard, but they were not the only attraction.
© 2021 Jörg Bashir
Did someone say “Inverted?”
© 2021 Jörg Bashir
The big guns had a few tricks of their own.
© 2021 Jörg Bashir
If anyone had any questions as to why there was an exclusion zone for boats, the low-flying craft put all doubts to rest.
© 2021 Jörg Bashir
We still can’t beat nature’s beauty and grace.
© 2021 Jörg Bashir
The crew aloft on the Matthew Turner had one of the best views.
© 2021 Jörg Bashir

Although there was often less than a minute between the various ‘performances’, there were plenty of sailboats to admire between shows.

Most of the sailing was done before and after the air show.
© 2021 Jörg Bashir
We’re pretty sure the J/105 Archimedes was on the water both Saturday and Sunday.
© 2021 Jörg Bashir
Even without the air show it would have been a fantastic weekend on the water.
© 2021 Jörg Bashir

Bay Area sailor Jeff Berman was also on the Bay and sent us the following shots.

Six US Navy Blue Angels jets flew for around 40 – 45 minutes on both days. Imagine the adrenaline rush the pilots must feel.
© 2021 Jeff Berman
They did a lot of ‘up close and personal’ flying. Do you think they took photos of each other from the cockpits?
© 2021 Jeff Berman
The cityscape background added another dimension to the spectacular air show.
© 2021 Jeff Berman

A big “Thank you” to Jörg Bashir and Jeff Berman for sharing their photos.

And an extra big “Thank you” to all the sailors, power boaters, ferry captains, kayakers, jet ski drivers … As far as we’re aware, there were no unfortunate or unpleasant incidents over the weekend on the Bay in relation to the air show. Except for that one boat that we understand had hit a rock and was taking on water — we hope that all worked out OK. Oh, and there was “that one person” who decided to cut through the no-go zone in a great hurry. As expected, the Coast Guard hurried right after them. Wouldn’t like to have been in that driver’s seat when they all reached the dock.

Stay tuned to ‘Lectronic Latitude — if we can, we might slip in a few more photos in future editions. And if you have any photos to share, you can send them to us at: [email protected] or for Sailagram, send to:  [email protected].


  1. Bob Brockob 3 years ago

    I appreciate your celebratory editorial and take on the Blue Angels. It is a thrilling show. There are other views and things to consider.

    The planes the Blue Angels fly are really designed for killing, not entertaining. The entertaining we watch is for military recruiting. The Blue Angels get over $35,000,000 of our tax payer money each year as their recruiting arm.

    In terms of fuel consumption, around 1,200 gallons of jet fuel per hour for these shows, for each plane: 7,200 gallons for their show each day. This does not include getting the plans to and from San Francisco.

    I think it is worth noting this, especially In this day and age of our huge military budget, climate change, thoughtfulness of others traumatized by this extravaganza and our love for our bay environment. i don’ think the Pelican in your editorial is flying to celebrate the joy of being up there with the Blue Angels. My 42′ Cooper sloop, Whisper, under full Perkins only power can go an hour on one gallon of diesel.

  2. Dennis Bailey 3 years ago

    It makes me ill. What’s the carbon footprint and nationalistic and militarist message here. This sullies our ears and sky and your journalism.

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