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Getting Outdoors on the Quiet Bay

Unlike the traffic jams on the highways leading to beaches over the weekend, San Francisco Bay was remarkably uncrowded. Social distancing? No problem out here!

empty bay
On a pleasant Saturday — no ship traffic, ferry boats or airplanes.
© 2020 Jennifer McKenna

“There wasn’t a lot of wind today and at times there wasn’t any,” wrote Jennifer McKenna on March 21. “There were a bunch of fishing boats out and a handful of sailboats — not nearly close to what you would see on a normal Saturday in the spring.”

Fugu in Richmond
Chris Case, an experienced singlehander (he’s even done the Singlehanded Transpacific Race) took his Wilderness 30 Fugu out for a solo spin.
© 2020 Jennifer McKenna
Islander 36
The Islander 36 Zorza.
© 2020 Jennifer McKenna

Jennifer and her husband took their Alerion 28 out for a daysail. It was not the intense workout that a day of sailing on San Francisco Bay can entail, but it did work as a mental health day.

Fred on the tiller
Fred relaxes at the helm of his Alerion 28, Zenaida, on a lovely Saturday.
© 2020 Jennifer McKenna
Quiet Bay
During the workweek (such as it is these days), the Bay is even more deserted.
© 2020 Drew Harper

“I went solo sailing last Thursday,” wrote Drew Harper of Spinnaker Sailing. His was the only boat out. “Honestly I felt guilty, thinking it might be sending the wrong message to the general populace.”

GIF of spouting whale
“Here’s a loop of the humpback I was next to for a couple of hours.” (At Angel Island’s Point Blunt.)
© 2020 Drew Harper


  1. Susan Flieder 4 years ago

    Not sure you can even sail in San Diego Bay these days. They’ve closed off all beach parking lots and cleared the beaches of people, and water of surfers. No more dog beach, no surfing, no hiking.

  2. David Henry 4 years ago

    Not to put a damper on things, but how does one shelter in place and yet leave home to go sailing?

  3. Bob 4 years ago

    WTF?! “traffic jams on the highways leading to beaches”

    People — DO NOT go to beaches, unless your aim is to help spread the virus further! Pandemics require everyone to temporarily sacrifice their personal gratification for the public good: stay home!

  4. SydT 4 years ago

    A little over reaction here. If you leave your house go to your boat, sail single handed or only with members of your household, do not stop for gas and generally keep to the spirit of no outside contact, how is that any different then going for a walk in your neighborhood? Out last evening walking I couldn’t tell you how many times I needed to move out of the way and into the street to a keep at least 6 feet away. I feel going for a sail is way safer for everyone.

    • CR 4 years ago

      I agree with SydT! Solo on a boat is the best way to refresh during these difficult times. It’s social distancing at it’s best.

    • Martin 4 years ago

      Solo sailing certainly complies with the spirit of social distancing.

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