On Friday we posted the photo below of a somewhat ‘off the radar’ Bay Area marina, under the heading ‘Guess Where.’ It didn’t take long for sharp-eyed Latitude 38 readers to correctly identify the spot. Ron Witzel, of the Tripp Javelin 38 Harpoen, was the first to point out it is Point San Pablo Yacht Harbor, hidden around the bend from Point Molate on Richmond’s western shore.
The yacht harbor changed hands a few years ago and is now being spruced up, and it has a new restaurant on the premises, Black Star Pirate Barbecue. According to harbormaster Daryl Henline, the harbor and channel are shallow and in need of a dredge, so they’re not really ready for visiting by boat. However, it remains an interesting waterfront destination to discover by car, and is the departure point for guests at the East Brother Light Station (currently closed due to COVID-19).
The historic point was home to Winehaven, the world’s largest winery from 1907 to 1919, before it was shut down by Prohibition. At the time, the winery was shipping about 500,000 gallons of wine a month! The point was also the home of the very last active whaling station in the US, which wasn’t closed until the 1970s.
To get there by road you have to be heading west on 580 toward Marin and take the very last exit, Point Molate/Western Drive, just before the Richmond Bridge toll plaza. Over the years thousands of sailors have sailed by this point and hugged its shallow shore when hiding from the current during the annual Great Vallejo Race.