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Walt Drechsler

San Francisco – Part 1

We left Pier 39 and the Sea Lions and motored across the bay to Grand Marina on the East side of Alameda Island. This is where Mo would catch her ride back to Washington. Grand Marina is across the estuary from Coast Guard Island. It’s well protected with the exception of a few wakes from passing boats. We were down far enough the ships from Oakland did not pass through. We said our goodbye’s to Mo and spent the next week getting caught up on projects, laundry and sleep. The days were exceptionally warm for this time of year so we paced ourselves. We took Uber to Southshore Shopping Center where we got a few groceries and a quick visit to West Marine. We also got a trip into Svendsen’s Marine in North Alameda as well. We did not know it at the time but we would be spending some time and a whole lot of money at their Richmond location soon! One evening we took the dingy around Coast Guard Island to Quinn’s Lighthouse. When I worked in the Bay Area we would have dinner here with my team. It was always a fun time with great views.

Looking NW from Quinn’s Lighthouse Deck

Our week at Grand Marina came to an end so we moved to the guest dock at Oakland Yacht Club.

They were very welcoming and had very nice facilities. We were meeting a couple of friends for dinner later that week and wanted to stay in the area. We ended up going back to Quinn’s. On Thursday nights they have a group come in to do Sea Shanties. This must be a regular thing because it seemed we were the only ones in the bar that did not know the words! It was a fun and entertaining evening!

Friday morning we motored out toward Saulsalito. Once we passed under the Bay Bridge the wind filled in and we were able to sail past Alcatraz and into Richardson Bay.

As we came in to drop anchor we noticed one of the current residents had an issue with water in his basement. I hope everything turns out ok…..


We dropped the hook in about 12’ of water and spent a comfortable if not a little rollie night at anchor. We took the dingy to shore in search of some lunch. Not knowing where to tie up we stopped in one of the marinas. The slip belonged to Marotta Yachts in Saulsalito. When I inquired he said it was his slip but he was not using it so I was welcome to tie up. Very generous of him.

We had lunch at Scoma’s on the water. I had the crab cake burger and Linda had a regular burger. She’s not much on seafood…..

The we wandered back down and “had” to stop at Lapperts Ice Cream. Funny, there were a few ice cream shops all pretty close to one another but this one had a line out the door. Obviously this was the place we wanted! We got our cones and sat out by the water trying to enjoy them before they melted!

We took the “dingy boat” back to the Pellucidar. We relaxed in the cockpit watching the lights come up in the city as the sun set behind Saulsalito. Another great day!

Saturday, Kim and Dona Eddy from Amazing Grace III stopped by on their way out under the Goden Gate. They hail from Everett and signed up for the Baja Ha Ha as well. They were headed for Marina Del Ray. Once their wake had blended into the blue Pacific we hoisted anchor and motored up to Ayala Cove on Angel Island.

Angel Island State Park

Ayala Cove is a nice little cove on the north west side of Angel Island. They have mooring bouys where you secure both the bow and stern. Took us a bit but we got both secured to a bouy….That is until I thought some adjustment was required. You know when you are in the process of changing something and that little voice in your head keeps telling you to stop? Let’s just say the next 30 minutes was pure entertainment for the anchorage and lots of panic amongst the crew of Pellucidar!

2 lessons learned:

#1 – When the bitter end is not secured to the bow, it creates a lot of unnecessary drama

#2 – When #1 happens, it’s best to untie the stern and start all over rather than try to pull a 16 ton boat with a dingy.

We did eventually get the boat hooked back up with the help of some very kind neighbors. (Probably more out of self preservation) They did not even laugh in front of us! We were talking later and I mentioned it must be hard to believe we sailed all the way from Seattle. They said the sailing part is easy, its when you have to stop that things get difficult. I have to agree!

Angel Island has a lot going on! Ferries come and go, tour groups are taken around by various forms of transport, there is a small cafe with live music and even campsites if you wish to spend the night on the island. In addition to all of that there are several military installations. From 1863 till 1946 it was a US Army Base. It also served as an immigration site from 1910 to 1940 as well as housing POW’s during WWII.

We went ashore and took the perimeter walk around the island. This 5 mile walk was fun and very interesting. Here are a few more pics from our walk around the island.

We leave Angel Island to spend a few days in Svendsen’s work yard up in Richmond. Hope you will join us as we prepare Pellucidar for her next leg to San Diego and explore the rest of San Francisco Bay.

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