A New View of the Same Bridge
We were fortunate enough to be invited to a wonderful dinner at the Presidio Yacht Club last weekend in honor of Scottish poet Robert Burns. For some of our staff, it was one of the first times they’d taken the road through Sausalito to its extreme end, running into the Bay at Cavallo Point.
Well, I guess it wasn’t exactly my first time. When I worked for the Point Reyes Light, a photographer and I took a ride with the Coast Guard from Station Golden Gate, and while the view from the water certainly inspired some awe, I don’t remember the setting doing anything special for me.
Eight years later and arriving at dusk, there was a container ship making its way out the Gate. Topping a hill, I could only see bright steel boxes floating against the twinkling lights of the East Bay, giving everything that model-train-set look that San Francisco can ellicit, if you’re in that kind of mood.
Walking through the marina at Horseshoe Bay felt like standing in the rinse cycle of a washing machine. The docks didn’t creak but screamed with the surge and bump filtering in from the Bay. Sailing out of here must be serious business. No channel or protected lee to take your time and get ready. Just bam, right into the breeze, current and shipping lanes; right in the mix with dozens of sailboats, ferries, tankers, container ships, windsurfers, kayaks and whales. But on this short January day, there was no breeze. Several midwinter regattas had coasted to a stop and from a distance looked frozen in amber. A sailor at Presidio YC said his daysail had turned into a day-motor.
Before and after dinner, people recited some of Burns’ more boaty poems: "Behold the hour, the boat, arrive . . . Along the solitary shore . . . Across the rolling, dashing roar . . ." Apparently, ‘Burns Day’ is kind of a big deal, a chance to eat Scottish food and drink Scotch (for those of us who haven’t yet acquired the taste — but appreciate its strength and robustness — it still feels like you’re chewing on a damp, boggy highland marsh).
We stepped outside so that the salt air would further activate the complexities of the spirits. And maybe it did, but the Golden Gate was being a big, giant showoff and distracted from everything else. There was also the spectacular realization that after almost 12 years in San Francisco, it was still possible to discover new nooks and crannies.
What are some of your favorite hidden boaty Bay Area gems?
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