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  • Writer's pictureJaclyn

A Break in San Fransisco

September 6, 2023

We made it! And we were looking forward to a solid break before tackling the southern half of our trip. We dropped our anchor in Aquatic Park, a small anchorage centrally located in the City. We’d be there for a few nights and planned to enjoy the city life before moving on.

Once we got settled, we started planning what to do. First up, eating! Conveniently, we were smack dab in front of Ghiradelli Square, so we treated ourselves to a very pricey sundae. Then it was off to Japan town for ramen! We decided walking would be the best way to see the City. We were right; we saw a lot and logged many miles of walking. Throughout the next few days, we met up with our friends from SV Brigadoon 3, toured the local Tiki Bars, ate more Japanese food, and strolled the waterfront.

The only thing I wanted to do was visit Alcatraz. It was touristy and everything I’d hoped for. We hopped on the big ferry with a boatload of our new friends and cruised over to the island. We spent the whole day wandering the decommissioned prison before returning to the boat for the night. We had a big day planned for the next day and needed to rest up our feet.

The next day, we were up early for what I dubbed “the ultimate walking tour of San Fransisco.” We were off to see the iconic SF things, with a few quirky stops along the way. We started the day with a popular diner spot for breakfast, visited Lombard Street, did a coffee tasting at a hipster joint, visited the cable car museum, toured some alleyways, and capped off the day with a concrete slide and a cable car ride back to the boat. We were exhausted.

Our days in Aquatic Park had ended, and we were off to Sausalito. We had plans to meet up with some of our Blue Water Cruising friends at the yacht club that night. We had a great time catching up and sharing stories of our trip down. It sounded like we all had different weather on the way down. We also took Sprocket to his first (but not last) bar and had dinner aboard SV India.

We decided we didn’t have enough time in the City and returned to Aquatic Park. Our friend Sonya scored us tickets to the Rolex Big Boat races, so we spent the weekend living the fancy life watching races from the Yacht Club.

It wasn’t all sunshine and wind, though. On our way back to the boat one evening, we had a dinghy engine failure. We hopped in the dinghy with our fresh, hot pizza and headed towards the boat. It was dark, and the wind was blowing hard against us. We motored out into the anchorage when the forward stopped working. We were far enough off the beach we couldn’t go back (even if we could, there was no one around to help). So we put it in reverse and figured we’d return to the boat. This worked for about 10 feet before the entire engine stopped working. So we got out of the one paddle we had and paddled along. If the wind and current weren’t so strong against us, we wouldn’t have had a problem. But here we were, paddling into 20 knots of wind and a significant current with one paddle. We were going backwards. So, with no other options and a hot pizza, Mark stripped down and jumped in to swim us to the boat. What a sight. Mark dragged the boat, and I paddled the dinghy like a paddleboard. Well, we made it, and the pizza was still warm. Add electric dinghy engine repair to the fix-it list.

We’d decided we wanted to get to Mexico in mid-October, so we had just under a month to make it through the next 400 miles. We decided we better get a move on. We headed back over to Sausalito to make an easy exit from the City.

It was time to move on.

NM Sailed: 0. Miles Walked: too many to count.

1 comment



Thank you for the update! You never mentioned the engine failure or going to Alcatraz while I was in Mexico so this is all new news! You and Mark are very resourseful and make a brilliant team!⛵️💖

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