written up in Fifty Places to Sail Before You Die,
San Francisco Bay is truly one of the best sailing venues
on our blue planet. They say that if you can sail the Bay,
you can sail anywhere in the world. This is definitely true,
at least for protected waters.
main part of the Bay provides over 400 square miles of intense,
exciting and exhilarating sailing made up of strong summer
winds, powerful tides and currents and abundant commercial
traffic. Among the few gifts to the sailing community are
the Marin Headlands which provide relief from ocean swells,
hence the "protected waters" caveat above, and
places like Richardson Bay and Raccoon Strait where you can
tuck in to get out of the wind for a bit and enjoy a glass
the wind, tides and currents are also forces to be reckoned
with. Each ordinary flood or ebb tide pushes water through
the Golden Gate at a rate of some 5,000,000 cubic feet per
second. How much is that? At its highest flood stage in 50
years, the Mississippi River topped out at a flow of 1,962,000
cubic feet per second. More water goes through the Gate each
and every tide change than flows out the "mighty Missip" every
day. Currents under the Gate can reach 7 knots on an outgoing
tide which exceeds the top speed of a lot of boats.
that being said, with proper planning a counterclockwise
trip around the Bay can actually be a pleasant experience.
San Francisco Bay is honestly a wonderful place to sail.
It is an experience not to be missed and, on a good day,
you can feel that you're almost on equal terms with the Bay.
Click here for
a little history on our namesake, the Mission Bay/Mission
Creek area of San Francisco >>
here for some videos and a VR panorama of SF Bay >>
It is remarkable how quickly a
good and favorable wind can sweep away the maddening
frustrations of shore living.
—Ernest K. Gann
There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad