Tuesday, October 5, 2010

San Francisco (2010)

Around 6 am on September 24th, we pulled into San Francisco Bay. After the marinas opened at 9 am we got a hold of the Pier 39 marina and found out that they had guest moorage available. When we pulled in we could see tons of people and it was obvious that we were in the midst of a very popular tourist destination. We later learned that it is the most visited tourist spot in San Francisco. We spent four nights at the marina. We caught up on sleep and laundry the first couple days and then walked around exploring the city. It was quite hot the first few days and we felt like we were thawing out.

sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge

In the marina there are 12 floating docks designated for sea lion use and there were probably a hundred of them while we were there. They are entertaining to watch, but can also be a bit of a menace to boaters. Besides the 12 floating docks, there are a couple of boat slips that they also liked to visit at night. They would jump up on the docks and bark really loud. The marina supplied a few plywood shields near those slips and boat owners would have to charge the sea lions with the shields to get them off the dock. Some of these sea lions weighed half a ton. Ten minutes later they would jump back up again and start barking. The process went on for a couple hours. We were glad we didn’t dock at one of these slips.

marina at Pier 39
After four days we were ready to leave the marina and anchor out in the bay for a while. Although it was in a good location near Fisherman’s Wharf and other tourist attractions, there is a lot of current in the marina and it gets quite a bit of the wake from the ferries and other large sightseeing boats. At times the boat was rocking back and forth so much it seemed like we were going to rip the cleats out of the dock.

Chinatown and Lombard Street

We headed out to Treasure Island, which is a 45 minute boat ride from San Francisco to anchor for most of the next week. Treasure Island has great protection from the winds and wake in San Francisco Bay. We hung out there and relaxed for most of the next week and spent our time reading, doing a couple of boat maintenance projects and working on the blog.

We’ve had a great time in San Francisco, but after 12 days it is time to start heading south again. It looks like the offshore weather will be ok for the next couple days. We plan on heading out Wednesday morning (Oct. 6th) so that we can get south of Point Conception before the winds start to build again. This point can get really nasty, but after that the winds and waves should be more benign. We haven’t decided when or where we are going to stop between here and San Diego. We are just going to play it by ear.