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Bomb Cyclone: Eye of the Storm on the Golden Gate Bridge

The Bay Area has been hit by another bomb cyclone, this time causing several boats to leave the docks — some under the command of their captain, others under the command of the elements.

We received an email from John Fredericks of Shing-a-Ling in Oakland, who told us they lost six boats from the marina in the wild conditions.

Former Oakland Harbormaster Brock de Lappe sent us photos of the boat-carnage near Jack London Aquatic Center.

Estuary storm damage
Estuary storm damage.
© 2023 Brock de Lappe
Estuary storm damage
Estuary storm damage.
© 2023 Brock de Lappe
Estuary storm damage.
© 2023 Brock de Lappe
More boats adrift.
© 2023 Brock de Lappe
The cleanup begins.
© 2023 Brock de Lappe

In the North Bay, Capt. Heather Richard, of Fine Day for Sailing, untied from the dock to motor out into Richardson Bay. But not before she captured this video of the docks dancing with the the boats to the discordant rhythms of the weather.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Captain Heather Richard (@finedayforsailing)

Capt. Richard shared the video on her Instragram account, and reported that she was able to take refuge at the Spaulding Marine Center docks.

It’s been a wild weather year for California. As yesterday’s winds picked up we had a look at Windy to see what was going on. The image below appeared with a classic cyclone rotation right on top of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Bomb Cyclone SF
The eye of the bomb cyclone appeared right over the Golden Gate Bridge on Windy.
© 2023 Windy

As reported in SFGate, a bomb is a system created when the barometric pressure drops at least 24 millibars in 24 hours.  At this point it “bombs out,” according to the weather service. They eye of the storm over the Golden Gate has the look of a hurricane, a system that usually forms over much warmer water. While it was not a hurricane, gusts of 60 knots were reported in a number of areas around the Bay.

We heard that the ferries were shut down. A string of barges broke loose and damaged the Lefty O’Doul Bridge near the Giants’ Oracle Park. A 250-ft section of Interstate 580 at Altamont Pass was undermined and the two right lanes shut down, and a big rig overturned on the Bay Bridge.

Diver Dave of Sausalito reported to John Skoriak that he recorded “a gust of 113 mph” on the anemometer at his shop at Liberty Ship Marina.”

We hope everyone fared as well as possible. If you had unusual weather sightings send them to [email protected].

8 Comments

  1. Bean 11 months ago

    One almost wonders whether ketches have some unique vulnerability here.

  2. Bruce Bennett 11 months ago

    At least 5 jibs blown out here at Marina Village Yacht Harbor. My bimini and canvas were torn to shreds.

  3. joe Mac 11 months ago

    Good dock lines that are tight every time you leave the boat.
    I see too many thinly worn dock lines and improper cleat knots everywhere.
    My dock will have to break loose before my boat will break free.

  4. Alan Shirek 11 months ago

    We have a view of Richardson Bay from our Sausalito apartment. We watched a very nice Offshore 40 that has been anchored off the Taj Mahal for years and has ridden through many windstorms. First, the furling jib unfurled. Then the boat started to drag. It sailed, without a crew onboard, up Richardson Bay. It ended up, somehow, tied against the Basin 3 breakwater at Clipper Yacht Harbor. Nice boat. Hope it’s OK. Thanks to whoever saved it. (There was a USCG motor lifeboat out there. Never saw them take the Offshore 40 in tow, but they might have).

  5. Alan Shirek 11 months ago

    Great news–around 7:30 PM I saw that beautiful Offshore 40 with three guys and two dinghies returning the boat to an anchoring spot that was fairly near where it was originally moored. I was hoping that the owner would find the boat one way or another. It’s a beautiful old boat and I hope it didn’t suffer too much damage. I’ll sail by and check it out in the next few weeks.

  6. Alan Shirek 11 months ago

    Last Comment About the Storm–We saw Heather’s boat too! We couldn’t quite figure out why anyone would go out in those conditions. We see her boat out sailing on charters all summer and fall. They have a great following. But yesterday there were more breaking waves in Richardson Bay than we have seen in more than 50 years. She was taking one wave after another over the bow. We were very relieved when they turned around and headed back up into Richardson Bay. They ended up yards from where the Offshore 40 ended up. Hopefully all’s well that ends well.

  7. m 11 months ago

    We got extremely lucky out here on Pt Reyes. Everything was south of us or to the east of us. Lots of rain and the usual power outages, but the PG&E linemen out here are really on it, so power back on promptly. No boat damage at the Inverness YC either- whew !

  8. Eric S 11 months ago

    The Taj Mahal in Sausalito took on enough water that it sank!

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