All total we will have spent about a month in San Francisco from the time we docked on September 11th at Pier 39 until we depart on October 7th and exit under the Golden Gate Bridge for San Diego Bay. We enjoyed the Bay Area very much. Got to see some old friends as well as our nieces and nephews. One thing for sure, the bay area has nothing over the Pacific Northwest in terms of places to go and absolute stunning beauty of Puget Sound and surrounding islands.
Sailing in the bay can be invigorating to say the least. The wind will pick up like clockwork every afternoon and blow a consitant breeze. This breeze more often than not will exceed 20 knots. That coupled with a counter tide can turn this shallow bay into a froth of steep, short waves with no particular direction. We found a very limited number of ancorages as compared with the abundance of the Northwest and the ones we did find were all susceptible to swell and or traffic waves. In a good breeze we found you could sail across any of the main points of the bay in about 90 minutes. I imagine this consistent wind contributes to the overwhelming number of sailboats in the area. It seems sailboats out number power boats by a very large margin.
We leave the yard and rollout the main and yankee in about 12 knots of wind off the port quarter. The motion is very smooth and the boat slid through the water at a very comfortable 4 knots. We elected to sail north under the San Rafael bridge before heading toward Paradise Cove where we planned to anchor for the evening. Our comfortable sail turned “invigorating” just as we passed under the bridge. Wind increased to 40 knots with tide against the wind. We got the yankee rolled up and the main reefed then set the staysail. Boat was sailing much better but the sea state was something even the Maytag repairman could not fix! We headed upwind back toward Paradise Cove. As we got closer to our anchorage we could see the wind blowing the caps off the wave tops even close into shore. We elected to abort plan A and head for Sausalito. Even though it would be bumpy we knew the mud in Sausalito would hold us through almost anything and we had more sea room should the anchor slip. We did take a brief look at Angel Island as we headed down Raccoon Strait. It was bumpy and we would have to deal with both bow and stern mooring buoys. No thanks!
It was a rough night. One small boat was dismasted off Angel Island and another broke loose from its anchor in Sausalito but Pellucidar hung on tight. The loose boat is not that surprising as there are a number of derelict boats out there and who knows how long they have been without someone checking on the ground tackle. We hobby horsed until just after midnight when the winds began to settle. We were anchored in about 10 feet of water with 100 feet of 3/8” chain out and it looked like a tight rope! Next morning found the seas a bit more settled. We broke anchor and sailed around the southside of Angel Island for Berkeley. We left Alcatraz Island to starboard as we rounded Point Blunt and ran the channel into Berkeley. You don’t venture too far outside of the markers without local knowledge. I was told you can cut across but chose to not take the chance.
The wind was supposed to increase over the next few days and we had visitors coming down from Red Bluff. Our nieces Rory and Candice along with grand niece and nephew Kylie and Brady were coming to visit. Being in a marina just makes that a whole lot easier. We had planned on going for a nice sail but the conditions in the bay were much like the day before and with a group of new sailors we elected to stay ashore.
We had a great time visiting, going to lunch, walking the park and of course making a trip to Home Depot.
Home Depot is fun around Halloween time!
The group had a rousing game of phase 10 before it was time for them to head for home.
We really appreciated them driving all the way down to see us. We were all disappointed we did not get out for a sail but it would have been miserable.
We found a sun dial and suprised to find it pretty accurate once we accounted for daylight savings time!
Even though the day was a bit rough on the water we had a great time and the evening sunset seemed to make up for the last few days of rough weather.
The next morning we left Berkeley under sunny skies and a light breeze pulling on the sails. The water gurgled along the hull as we made our way out the Berkeley channel, passed under the Bay Bridge and secured a berth in South Bay.
This is a nice marina just out side of what used to be the AT & T baseball park. (Now Oracle Park)
This was a fun stop. It got us a little closer to the city. We figured out the trolley system and got down to the wharf.
We wandered down to Ghirardelli Square.
We discovered a very cool putting course where we engaged in a very competive game of golf! Each hole was paterned after a unique attraction of the bay area. We had a blast and for the sake of matrimonial bliss, determined the match a tie!
While we were at the wharf we did a little recon on Aquatic Park.
We heard there was an achorage available but there was a maximum boat length of 36′. We discovered buried in the fine print a number you could call to request permission for larger vessels. We made contact and recieved permission to anchor Pellucidar. The fee was $10.00 per evening and the location was amazing! Right in front of Ghirardelli Square.
There was even a small beach where we could park the dingy. We spent four days there and enjoyed every minute. It can be a bit rolly at times with the traffic but usually settled down during the evening.
We took a day and traveled to Burlingame where I visited with one of my old team members and the warehouse crew. This was one of those days of planes, trains and automobiles but we had alot of fun and it was great seeing old friends.
Our stay in Aquatic Park coinsided with the preparations for fleet week in San Francisco. The docks and vendors were all preparing for the arrival of the fleet the following Sunday. St Francis Yacht Club hosted a multitude of racing that week and we had a front row seat!
There was lots to see along the wharf and from our anchorage we had easy access althought there was a little surf along the beach where we land the dingy. This was our first try landing with the wheels. We did ok but it was more due to luck than skill! The waves were very very small and I still almost tipped us over. We also discoverd the wheels were flat. That makes it a bit more challenging to roll up the beach. Dingy landing with an outboard is very very dangerous in surf. Make sure everything is in waterproof packets and to wear your engine shut off tether. (You should anyway but especially during a landing) Last thing you need is a whirling propeller heading for your nose while trying to find which way up is! We did have clam chowder in a bread bowl from Boudin and strolled along Fishermans Wharf.
This week marked the end to our stay in San Francisco Bay and the beginning of our next adventure with our friends Bill and Janet. We hoisted anchor in Aquatic Cove and caught the west wind heading back into the bay. Our destination was the marina in Bisbane where we would pick up Bill and Janet and embark on our journey to San Diego. As we sailed with Alcatraz off our port we saw one of the Oracle monohulls out sailing. Now its a race. Once they viewed the competition they headed north toward San Rafael. They wanted no part of tangling with Pellucidar and her crack crew. We sailed across the north side of Treasure Island, under the bay bridge and down toward the southern part of the bay. I wish we would have done this earlier as we discovered a possible anchorage on the Eastside of Treasure Island although the guide books all show it to be extremely shallow.
The southern part of the bay gets extremely shallow. They have channels to enter and exit the marinas. When you call the marina to check on the depth you get “Yeah, I think there is enough water”. We entered at high tide and still only had about 8 feet in parts of the channel. (We draw 7) When we docked we were greated by several Westsail 32 sailors who were having a cruise. What a neat group. Later in our journey we would meet up with one of their members in La Paz. Small world.
Our friends, Jay and Diane who visited us earlier in Alameda, picked us up and took us to their home in Belmont. We had a great time visiting while Diane spent all day preparing an amazing dinner. They dropped us off at the boat just as the sun was setting over the marina. You cant script days like this any better!
The marina staff was super accomodating. They allowed us access to the laundry facilities normaly reserved for liveaboards so we could prepare to head south.
G2 was axiously awaiting the crew from My Sunshine and was ready to begin the next leg to San Diego!
We leave from Brisbane for an amazing trip down to San Diego. You can catch the first part in Pellucical Adventure – Part I published earlier.
These are a little out of sequence but that keeps the stories real! That is what I keep telling myself. I will try and finish up the second part of our trip to San Diego during our Christmas break, Pellucical Adventure – Part II. I’m still not giving up on the rest of Vancouver Island but it could be a little bit.
We are still having fun. We have met some really wonderful people and been in some amazing locations. The trip down has had more of a delivery flavor to it with the exception being between San Francisco and San Diego where we took more time to stop and smell the roses. Im starting to put together some short videos and those can be found on our YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKtjzeLHByMNZdGKXgYSW1A/videos?view_as=subscriber
I’m still cleaning this channel up a bit so there will be additions and subtactions in the future.
We also have a new tracker. The Garmin InReach is in a time out. Nothing wrong, just don’t need duplicates. Here is the tracker https://trackamap.com/svpellucidar
This is driven by our Iridium Go, is overlayed ontop of Windy and is powered on all the time. We loaded the existing track so you won’t miss a beat! You can send text messages just like the InReach only you need a new number (+88 165 241 7193)
We appreciate you following along. Feel free to reach out with questions or comments anytime.