I sail out of Alameda.
Some thoughts in no particular order :
SF Bay is one of the finest natural protected bodies of water
in the world. For me, one of the great features is being able to pick your weather
, to some extent. In summer, when it's blowing like crazy in the slot, you can head
south under the Bay Bridge, and sail down to Hunter's Point in relative calm.
Conversely, fall to spring, when winds are light, can result in some perfect days in the slot (the area formed by the GG bridge, Angel Island, and the SF shoreline.)
1 : The slot must be respected. I won't go into it without at least one reef, and no more than 100% jib
. In fact, I now have an 83% for summer that works perfectly there.
If you want to pass under the east section of the Bay Bridge, there is only one specific allowed route
right now. See Notices to Mariners for an explanation. While we're on the subject, you can sign up for e-mail notification of Notices to Mariners, and I recommend you read them as the Bay Bridge demolition for the next couple of years will mean regular changes to the channel, I suspect. Just this week there is a new protective zone around the demolition.
I use this for weather
(click on a spot) :
Marine Point Forecast for Latitude 37.8°N and Longitude 122.36°W
although it is quite good for the same or next day, more than 2 days out it is hopeless for wind strengths. It's often better to read the general synopsis if more than 2 days out, rather than the specifics.
is very good for currents (and in general). It is a free chartplotter software
. The charts
themselves are free from Noaa. It has really good currents and tides, you click on the points and a chart appears and you can then cycle through the days. I use OpenCPN
for all my route
planning at home.