San Francisco Chronicle: Knot easy

A fleet of tall sailing ships got more than they bargained for in the Golden Gate on Wednesday when a howling gale turned what was supposed to be a grand parade into a windy scramble.

The plan was for 30 vessels to enter San Francisco Bay just at noon in a majestic line of billowing sails at the opening of a six-day festival called Sail San Francisco.

Instead, westerly winds blowing up to 30 knots whipped the Golden Gate and the bay into a froth of whitecaps. Small boats that came to welcome the sailing vessels dodged in and out of the procession like little dogs chasing elephants and ponies in a circus parade.

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