Sunday, August 17, 2014

San Francisco Trip: Under the Golden Gate Bridge

Day Nine - Bodega Harbor to San Francisco - 58 Miles

We arrived in San Francisco!  The final leg was a super smooth finish to a great trip. Very fun to once again cruise under the bridge and see the city open up in front of the boat on a beautiful day.

5:00 AM - The alarm actually did not ring; we were already up with the excitement of getting going.  Last night my brother John joined the crew for the final leg.  John lives in Alameda and we encouraged him to drive up to Bodega Bay and climb aboard.

5:10 AM - Engine inspections completed and the Cummins fired up.

5:30 AM - Departed Spud Point Marina and into the well marked channels of Bodega Bay.  Very dark morning with no moon or stars.  Commercial fishing boats are also heading out.

5:50 AM - Exited the "tips" of the breakwater and headed towards the RW "BA" Gong Buoy and then onto our southerly course which will take us just off Point Reyes.

6:45 AM - Daylight. Smooth conditions with a 5-knot onshore breeze, 2-foot swell with a 15-second period and 3-mile visibility.  Great sea conditions.

Point Reyes - Windiest & foggiest place on the coast

8:05 AM - Passing Point Reyes Lighthouse.  This is a very cool lighthouse that appears precariously hung off the side of the point.  Officially the windiest and foggiest point on the coast. 

The water has changed to a blue color south of Point Reyes

We start to see boats on the water and keep track of other vessels

9:30 AM - For the first time on the trip we start coming across a number of boats.  We had discussed several times how the coast was very quiet of traffic, but that has now changed as we near the large Bay Area metropolitan area.  A couple of heavy ships in the Vessel Traffic Lanes and quite a few pleasure and commercial fishing boats working the area around Bonita Bay.

Natural seashore and former shore batteries that protected the area during WWII

10:40 AM - The Marin Headlands and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area have been preserved and kept for future generations to enjoy.  Combining this area with the Point Reyes National Seashore and the waterfront is largely unspoiled.  A great resource close to the city.

Point Bonita Lighthouse - accessed by suspension bridge

11:00 AM - Point Bonita Lighthouse slides past the port side.  Originally too high on the hill, new lighthouse was built lower to reach under the constant fog.

The Golden Gate Bridge and entrance to the Bay

11:30 AM - Golden Gate Bridge. This is the big moment that we have been looking forward to.  The water is very calm and the boat and crew is very happy.  We pass through the Gate against a very small ebb tide.  On larger tide cycles it is important to enter on the flood as a massive amount of water moves under the bridge.

American Tug 34 happily delivered to San Francisco

Noon - Tied up!  This was a very fun and enjoyable trip.  

The crew had a great time.  From left to right:  Mike the owner, Gerry Henson & Steve Scruggs