Ngozi and I have had a great time in San Francisco.  We have done a few of the tourist things and as usual ate too much, drank too much and spent too much.

Oakland Marina, Alameda. San Francisco.
Oakland Marina, Alameda. San Francisco.

We had 4 nights in the Marina Village in Alameda.  This a good spot for access to local attractions and has easy access to Oakland and San Francisco, either by ferry or Uber.  West marine is just up the road from the marina and I picked up a few essential items for the boat.

Sailing San Francisco, Photo, Ray Penson
Sailing San Francisco

On the last day we found the bus to Oakland went from outside the Marina, we could have saved a bit of money if we had known earlier.  Oakland turned out to be a pleasant surprise.  A well laid out city with some beautiful buildings.  Also, some great bars and restaurants around Jack London square on the waterfront.

We visited San Francisco around Pier 39, very touristy, lots of souvenir shops selling cheap stuff from China.  Not my thing.  A couple of days later we went to the carnival and had a great time.

After Alameda we motor sailed across, past Alcatraz, to Sausalito and tied up in the Clipper Yacht Harbour.

Alcatraz, San Francisco. Photo Ray, Penson

Sausilito has population of around eight thousand and an easy pace of life.  It reminded us of Waiheke Island in Auckland, a mixture of Rich and Hippy with an arty side.

From Sausalito we did the Golden Gate trip on an open top bus, sunny with a cold wind.  We really enjoyed our stay in Sausalito – not the cheapest place but worth a visit.

Ngozi returned to New Zealand last night and I stayed a final night at the marina.  It felt quite lonely after having company around.  This morning I topped off the fresh water tanks and then motored around to the fuel dock to top off the diesel tanks.  Now I am stored, watered and fuelled ready to depart.

After taking on fuel I dropped anchor off Sausalito, just outside the channel on the bank.  From here I can see Alcatraz, San Francisco, the Bay Bridge and the top of the Golden Gate.  The weather was warm, almost hot, today and I pottered about doing odd jobs.  This evening its flat calm, the stars are out and the city and bridges are all lit up.  I reckon I have the best seat in the house.

The weather in the Pacific is not favourable for a departure yet.  The Pacific high hasn’t fully established and there is a large area of light winds on my path to Hawaii.  It looks like I may have to wait for a week or ten days for a favourable weather window before departing.  In the morning, if the weather is nice, I will re-inflate the rubber duck for a trip ashore to find a Wi-Fi hotspot and download a weather update.


This morning we checked out of Brisbane Marina. We found Brisbane Marina to be a windy and remote place to be moored. But handy for the airport which was the reason for going there in the first place. Like The wind was blowing us onto the berth as we prepared to depart we had to wait for a lull before waited for a lull in the wind before backing off the dock.
 Once in the San Francisco Bay the wind was strong from the south and against the tide. Not too comfortable. We sailed up towards the City with the wind from astern before crossing over to the Oakland side and motoring down to Marina Village past giant container ships and smaller cargo vessels. We have four nights booked in Marina Village, should be sufficient for us to compete all the tourist stuff we want to do.

In the afternoon we had a nice walk ashore and found the local shops and shopping centre. All this was thirsty work and called for refreshment. Ngozi found Famous Daves BBQ served our new favourite IPA on draft and we stopped for nutriment. Then we found it was happy hour. Then we had some BBQ ribs. I am sure how one thing leads to another. 

Over watered and over fed we waddled back to the boat feeling contented. The cook has requested a day off tomorrow so we will breakfast ashore. After breakfast we don’t have any definite plans – we will just see how the day goes.



 Brisbane Marina is quite close to the San Francisco Airport, planes can be clearly heard taking off and landing.  During the night, I awoke a couple of times thinking the wind was whistling through the rigging, only to realise it was the noise of jet engines in the distance.  I closed the deck hatch to keep the noise out and awoke in the morning with a headache.

Ngozi arrived this morning – received a call “do you want me here or not?  Where are you?” I went out the marina gate to find Ngozi sitting wrapped up against the cold in a grumpy mood.  She had not read my message about the exact location to go to.  A couple of minutes later hardship forgotten and everybody happy. 

We had an easy day, went for a walk around Sierra Point.  Had a late lunch and just chilled out, catching up on what’s been happening.  The weather was cool this morning but turned out lovely in the afternoon, just a bit windy.  Tonight, we will try and find some dinner out somewhere.

Tomorrow we are moving to a different marina on the Oakland side for four days.  It will be nice sailing with company and not having to perform balancing acts to make a cup of tea when sailing.

We will leave Brisbane Marina in the morning – otherwise we will be pinned to the dock by the wind all afternoon.