Tuesday, February 1, 2011

San Francisco Bay (January 27, 2011)

My third visit to the Bay found new sites and experiences. On Thursday, I arrived after 4.5 hours of driving and put the boat in (without incident) and met an old schoolmate (classmate from the class of '77 at Rio Lindo) for a few hours. Kent Griswold and I enjoyed catching up while cruising to San Francisco from Berkeley. While there, I got to 'mix pleasures' ... my love of being on the new boat with my 25-year career with passenger ships. The vessel CARNIVAL SPLENDOR was in dry dock in S. San Francisco undergoing repairs and refurbishments (see photo). NOTE: Carnival announced that she'll be returning to sail the classic Mexican Riviera itinerary on February 20th. This was in some doubt since many of the ships serving LA ports have moved to Galveston and elsewhere due to concerns about the safety of passengers in Mexico. Looks like Carnival Cruise Lines is going to stick to their commitment to sail the 7-day Mexico route and to their investment in the Long Beach cruise terminal they've built to serve that market.

Lee Ann joined me on Friday and we set out for Tiburon for breakfast at 'A New Day', a cafe on the main drag that proved top-notch. MARINER's NOTE: You can put in at the docks behind Sam's, tie up and walk into town. If you're not a shallow draft boat, watch the tides. We saw two sailboats aground there in one weekend; low tide does not leave enough water beneath the docks for a deep keel boat or a heavy vessel with more than 3' of draft.

We then set a course NE out of Racoon Straight for Richmond, and proceeded to explore the areas beyond Point Richmond and Brickyard Cove. There were three more marinas back in there, and about a mile of boats at the end before a turning basin. It was in the last of these marinas that I found my first on-water RF-246 (since we became owners), the Island Gypsy of Port Ludlow, WA (see photo). I'm not sure what brought it to Richmond, but there it was, in excellent repair with Delta Cab, a single Yamaha outboard and a kicker engine. I let Lee Ann ashore and she put a card on the windshield. We're hopeful the owner will contact us.

That Saturday was the '3 Bridges Fiasco' on the Bay. Some 400+ sailboats (shorthanded; only one or two people allowed on board) sailed a non-specific route around marker buoys at the Golden Gate, Richmond-San Rafael and Bay Bridges in a chase race that concluded back in San Francisco at the St. Francis Yacht Club. The commotion and colors on the Bay were both considerable as this event played out, but alas the wind was not sufficient for speed sailing and many boats cruised the day away (into the night) and then did not finish. We waited anxiously as a new friend from "our dock" in Berkeley made his way in about 9PM (having left at 7AM!), having tried but not succeeded in finishing the race alone.

As usual, Kokomo made cruising the Bay - even in cold weather - a joy!

San Quentin Prison

San Quentin Prison
One of the more 'captivating' sites along the Corte Madera channel . Rowers from Corte Madera are practicing in the foreground.