Originally Posted by Teebeedee
Brisbane, Alameda, and Santa Cruz are equal distance away from where I live. I really appreciate the space Monterey bay allows with minimal boat traffic. I originally decided to stay in Brisbane because I can practically sail into the bay from my slip and it is only a .5 mile motor back to it. I used to keep a Montgomery 17 with a small outboard
motor in the estuary, but found it too long to get to good wind. how long does it take you to motor out of the estuary, and where do you motor to for the best wind?
I enjoyed the estuary for a lot of reasons. We sailed out of Alameda Marina on our trailered C22 for 5 years and our C25 for 13, and our C34 for 18 before moving here in 2016.
It took less than 45 minutes to get to the Bay south of the Bay Bridge. I also learned how to go out what we called "The Back Door" through San Leandro Channel under four bridges. That also took 45 minutes. Either trip was always interesting. We found that 45 minutes allowed us to get accustomed to the boat, get it set up and ready to sail without having to do everything at the dock
and just sit on the boat doing boring motoring for those 45 minutes. There was always something going on: freighters, other boats, stuff on the shoreline, the quiet of SL Channel, etc. It was always an entertaining trip coming & going.
Coming back, we could have the boat ready to put away before we got to the slip, mostly the mainsail
cover on and ready to either sit and relax or pack up and go home. We rarely stayed on the boat in the marina, preferring to anchor
Coming back, the wind was almost always behind us, which made for a great way to end the day sailing
I had an acquaintance who moved his C36 from Fortmann to Berkeley. Within a week, he posted "How do I dock
my boat singlehanded in the high afternoon winds?" Like he didn't know? He'd been sailing the Bay for ten years!!! Yes, it was nice and calm in the estuary even if it was howling on the Bay.
It took me all of three hours to sail to the Golden Gate, and I mean sailing upwind. Always fun.
"The best wind?" Surely you jest!
The wind in the Bay can be in the main bay, the south bay, one or the other, or both. It's where you find it. Some of my really enjoyable sails
were out the back door and north on an ebb, where just the current
would give me enough to sail on gorgeous winter days with little to no wind. Other days I would sail with my April to September first reef in the main and my 85% jib
in honkin' conditions.
I had another friend who had been in Alameda for years and moved his C36 to Loch Lomond. He returned after a year. Not because of the narrow shallow channel, but because there was nothing else there. In Alameda we could walk to chandleries, and shopping
on Alameda was great. We weren't bar or restaurant types, but there is no end to those opportunities as well. Not so much for other places. And South Beach had a waiting list as bad as Santa Cruz.
This, again. >>>>> Coming back, the wind was almost always behind us, which made for a great way to end the day sailing
downwind. And when we pulled into our slip it wasn't howling like Berkeley, Emeryville and even Richmond. It howls in Richmond in the afternoon. If you sail out of Sausalito, either you beam reach down and back, go out into the ocean, or go downwind first which means upwind at the end of the day. Yuck.
If you haven't yet, get and read Kimball Livingston's great book, Sailing The Bay
. A great read, and fun, to boot.
That was my experience, from 1983 to 2016. I loved it there.
Thanks for the memories.