Prior to leaving on our sailing adventure, we lived and worked for 23 years in Northern California.
We learned to sail at Club Nautique, then based in Alameda and Sausalito (they have now expanded to Southern California as well.) We took our first classes on San Francisco Bay and then moved on to the Gulf of the Farallons, off the Northern California coast. San Francisco Bay offers a wide variety of wind and current conditions, from dead calm during the morning in the south bay, to 25 knots or more of fog blowing in through the Golden Gate, past Alcatraz to Berkeley.
We would often sail out of Ballena Bay, make a circuit around Treasure Island and Angel Island, beat upwind through Racoon Straight, past Tiburon and Sausalito, south along the Golden Gate, and then a broad reach past the City and back again to Ballena Bay. Although it was often cold and foggy, San Francisco is a wonderful and challenging place to learn to sail.
For Jim's Coastal Passagemaking classes, they sailed through the Gulf of the Farallons to Drakes Bay and Bodega Bay to the North, or Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, and Monterrey to the South. Again, conditions varied from crystal clear to dense fog, calm winds to 35 knots, and flat seas to 10 foot swells. Sailing on this part of the Pacific Ocean was often difficult and uncomfortable, but it was a rewarding experience. This part of California is also one of the most scenic locations in the world. It was a hard place to leave.
For photos of our home and nearby area, please see our Home Port Photo Gallery