San Francisco Bay cruise

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Jan 13, 2005
We're on our annual "bay cruise" with folks from our boat club. 18 boats are participating this year and we're visiting new destinations (new for the event and new to us).

First stop after leaving home Friday morning was the Pittsburg marina to top up with fuel. Diesel was $2.749/gallon - the cheapest by far anywhere on the water in the CA Delta. Other folks were reporting paying $3.70 on the same day.

On to Vallejo, on the Napa River, to pre-position for the Saturday official start. Several other boats arrived shortly afterwards. When I checked in at the marina office a new sea water pump for the generator was waiting for me, courtesy of the Westerbeke distributor and UPS.

Saturday morning the small group left Vallejo in cloudy and breezy conditions and headed across San Pablo Bay to rendezvous with the rest of the group for the trip up the Petaluma channel and the Petaluma River. The boats fell in line according to the pre-assigned docking order and off we went. You'd better stay in the channel or you'd find yourself hard aground.

The trip upriver was quite nice, but I could have taken better photos if it had been little less cloudy. We get a Sheriff escort for the last few miles up river. before docking at the city dock in downtown Petaluma. Close to all kinds of restaurants, shopping and theater. I take the opportunity to change the sea water pump.

Sunday it's relatively quiet around here, except for numerous looky lous coming by to check out the fleet.


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Hey Tom,

These are great photos.  Looks like it was misty at the beginning but clearep up by the time you reached Petaluma.

I was wondering if it's a coincidence that the sheriff's escort photo follows the kayakers photo and if the sheriff was escorting you because someone swamped a kayaker ;D ;D  ;)
Not sure if it was coincidence or not Steve. I was behind the lead boat and nobody swamped a kayaker. They came out under that draw bridge while we were all stopped waiting for it to open. The Sheriff passed me (going in the opposite direction to the kayakers). He subsequently tied up at the city dock and we had a good chat - he's a really nice guy. The river is his beat, but I don't know if he was out there because he knew we were coming (the part time bridge tender had been given 2 weeks notice and the city was aware we aware coming, although the Sheriff works for the county).
LOL Al. Nobody ran aground, but I made sure Chris stayed in the channel. Outside the channel the charted depths are 0-2 feet  ;D

Does an event like this mean Chris just finished waxing the boat again? ;D ;D
LOL Jeff. No, it means I waxed it. Normally Chris would help, but this time I was on my own. Reminds me, I'm only 19 days into it and have 2 days left. I was out of commission for 10 days unable to walk let alone wax the old tub, so it has to wait until we get home.
A few shots taken while walking the dock this morning:

  • Ernie strums his guitar and sings while Cheryl harmonizes.
  • A couple of fishermen looking for breakfast.


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This morning we left Petaluma, cruised downriver, then headed south on the west side of San Francisco Bay. Skies were overcast, but the water was smooth. The photos show some local landmarks from directions not normally seen by tourists:

  • The Brothers (small islands) near the north end of the bay.
  • Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.
  • San Quentin federal penitentiary, on east side of the San Rafael Bridge.
  • Angel Island, the West Coast's version of Ellis Island. See this web site
  • Golden Gate bridge, seen through Raccoon Strait.
  • Alcatraz Island (on left) and Golden Gate Bridge.
  • San Francisco city view.
  • Bay Bridge.
  • My favorite view of the city with the Bay Bridge in the foreground.
  • AT&T ball park, home of the San Francisco Giants. McCovey Cove in the foreground (if you watch the Giants playing at home on TV, this is the cove where the boaters hang out hoping to snag Barry Bonds' latest record home run ball).
  • Forum members Dave and Lisa enter Oyster Point marina ahead of us.


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You know, whenever I think of California(the closest I have been is Primm, NV where I was told I played a front nine in NV, and a back nine in California.) I see palm trees and beaches and girls on rollerblades. That Oyster Bay picture puts me in mind of N. Utah. Guess I forgot just how large and varied the state actually is! Need a deckhand?? ;D
LOL, those palm trees you see are not indigenous, at least not to northern CA.

FWIW Oyster Point marina is close to SFO airport, although we're not under the flight path and don't hear much, if any, aircraft noise.
That skyline brings back some good memories :)
What a difference a few hours makes. Turned out to be a beautiful day on the bay - view from Oyster Point YC.

Forum members Sarah and Ken joined us. (They left the RV at home and came by boat).


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LOL Steve, sounds like you were a bad boy  ;D
sounds like you were a bad boy 

Now you see,'re jumping to conclusions  :D :D

Back in 1996 Ginette and I had a wonderful trip to San Francisco and while touring we had an opportunity to see and photograph many places including Alcatraz and SQ.  So your photos brought back great memories to me....gotcha :D ;D ;)
I'm disappointed Steve. There I was I thinking you'd been an inmate at the cell block  ;D


  • Cell block and other buildings on Alcatraz.
  • Pier 39 seen from the water.
  • Coit Tower.
  • Ken walks Kona this morning.


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Your shot of the Bay Bridge sure brings back memories. We used to have a sailboat and kept it at Coyote Point. We saw that view everytime we went up the Bay.

BTW, I saw diesel yesterday in NJ for $2.37, and that was the taxpaid over the road fuel too.

Hi Chet,

We've stayed at Coyote Point in prior years - nice marina, but not this year. We're off to the estuary in the morning.

These photos taken at Coyote Point 2 years ago should bring back more memories. Of course, us cruise-in stinkpotters took up the first row.


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