The trip out to the Farallons can be a great day's sailing, or it can be a really bad idea. It all depends on the conditions. We usually head
out the Gate in the morning, sail to the South Farallons, cruise
around the backside (islands to port), then have a nice ride back to the bridge as the sun is setting.
is usually from the NW, so after clearing Point Bonita if the seas are light we sail up the Bonita Channel towards Bolinas, then make the island on one or two tacks. If the seas are up, we stay in the channel until we are well outside Four Fathom Bank, then tack out to the islands. It's usually a downwind run back to the bridge.
There have been days when we've motored the whole way on the mirror-smooth sea, and days when we've turned around just a few miles offshore
because we got tired of the beating we were taking. And, there have been days when we looked at the buoy reports and decided to stay in the bay.
For a longer trip, many people sail up to Drake's Bay and anchor
for the night. Bodega Bay has a marina where you can usually find a slip, if that's what you're looking for. It's a one-day sail up to Tomales Bay, and if you are comfortable with the shoals at the entrance you could spend a day (or a week) anchoring
off the many coves and beaches. There's some great hiking on Tomales Bay.
Heading south, you've got Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz
, and Monterey, all within one day of sailing. Monterey is a good 12-18 hours away.