Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Greatest Sailing Venue on the Planet

Someone asked me what it like to sail the San Francisco Bay.  I thought for a moment.  After sailing this bay in excess of 1000 days,  I have an opinion.  For nine months of the year, it really sucks...literally!  The cold air comes off the Pacific and is sucked thru the Golden Gate to replace the hot air in the eastern valley.  Wind speeds double just at the Bridge and we have some of the most consistent winds on the planet.  20-30+ knots almost everyday.  What makes it interesting is the two big land masses in the central bay.  When we head out the harbor in the East Bay at Emeryville,(directly east of SF) it it usually blowing hard from the Northwest.  This lines us up on a tack towards Angel Island.  We can be very cold and miserable coming across the slot.  Once we reach Angel or Tiburon, the wind drops, it's sunny and summer like temps return.   We swim, picnic, head to the beach and enjoy the beauty.  Besides the wind, there are so many SF highlights right in front of you: Alcatraz, The City, Bay Bridge, Treasure Island, Mt. Tam. and the distant hills of Napa.  Finally, the bay itself.  Being the second largest body of inland water ways ( Chesapeake is #1), there is lots to explore.  Some of the highlights include: Sailing to the Giants ballpark and going to the game, Heading up the great rivers: San Joaquin, Sacramento, Petaluma, and Napa.  Spending a week or summer in the Delta.  Whatever you are doing on the bay, it's going to be good.  There is also a good deal of respect that comes with sailing the bay.  Many things can go wrong and its easy to get in trouble.  We try to minimize that by running a safe ship.  One tip for newer sailors that is important.  Make sure your crew knows how to start the engine, take down the sails and use the radio to get help.  If you as skipper end up in the water, it will be difficult to tell them what to do as you tread water.

Here are some racing highlights that will give you a feel of sailing this amazing bay that we love so much.

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