SF Bay crossing expedition

We'll be paddling from the marina down to the new section of the Bay Bridge and thence past the south side of Yerba Buena Island to Pier 1.5 in San Francisco, where we'll stop for lunch (rumor has it that we can walk to the Ferry Building and not worry about our gear).

We'll discuss the return trip at that point: (a) back the way we came; (b) around the north side of Treasure Island; or (c) both--split into two groups for the two routes back. Overall round trip: around 12 miles. Dress for cold water; be prepared for currents, swells, wakes and wind waves, though none is expected to be substantial on this day. Be able to (and be equipped for) self-rescue; ideally, bring water and a buddy.

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  • Kevin T

    From the pictures, it seemed that the wind was light and didn't cause big chops. Seek, was it enough to drive your sail?

    October 29, 2013

    • Seek

      Wind was adequate on the return.

      November 4, 2013

    • John M.

      :^)

      November 4, 2013

  • Seek

    Having paddled a 17ft sea kayak, my little 12 footer is a slug. With that said, the conditions on that day were perfect for me and my slug (and sail).

    If the direction was reversed, I think my answer would be different. Knowing the specific conditions (tides, wind direction, weather) and stating that this is not a race and the group will stick together made a trip like this attractive.

    Besides conditions, knowing the people (the regulars) that are going to be at a paddle makes a crossing like this accomplishable.

    For instance, "Even though this paddle is going to be 15 miles, knowing Seek (known to be slow, but a very nice guy) is going to be there, I think I can do it." ;)

    November 4, 2013

  • Martin F.

    Endurance: 10, felt good all the way and could have gone further, specially with Keith doing all the heavy paddling :)


    Comfort: 10, felt very safe in Keith's double. Great handling and steady as an Aircraft Carrier. Fun to surf with the wind on our backs once around TI on the final leg back to Port. I too, would be up for other paddles in the SF Bay proper and out the gate, weather conditions permitting. Putting in say at Baker's beach and entering the SF Bay under the Golden Gate Bridge and paddling across the SF waterfront under the Bay Bridge to somewhere near AT&T park could be fun. "Bridge to Bridge" paddle. Of course we would have to work out the logistics on getting a ride back to our vehicles.

    1 · November 2, 2013

  • Keith

    I was OK as far as endurance, but I was tired by the time we got back. I was very comfortable in my double kayak because it is so stable in wind and waves, but I don't think I would have been as much in my single. I know that I would have wanted a rudder in my single. I would be interested in a trip to the islands you listed, but I think I would like to have more experience before going out of the Gate. TI was not a problem.

    November 2, 2013

  • Bob M.

    I am definitely a 10 on endurance, as long as there is a rest point to get out and stretch. I didn't go around TI, but had no problems with the side wins we dealt with on the return. I have paddled all of the places you mentioned and like John, would like to venture out the gate as long as the conditions were suitable.

    November 2, 2013

  • Tatyana

    Fantastic conditions. As far as rating my own confidence, feelings and endurance. I feel on 10, and could handle more... with a right kayak, of course :-) I was lucky this time. I would be up to any adventures similar to this one with a such fantastic group of people!
    -Max

    November 1, 2013

  • bert

    I wanted to ask a couple of questions to those who attended the paddle: On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being best): 1)How was your strength/endurance paddling approx. 13.5 miles? 2) How comfortable were you in the waves/ wind when rounding the north point of Treasure Island?

    Would any of you be interested in other paddles around the bay such as to Angel Island, Red Rock, the two brothers, etc. if they were similar in distance (Generally 8-12 miles) and conditions (With trying to go no greater level of difficulty than what we experienced at TI)?

    Your feedback would be appreciated.

    November 1, 2013

    • John M.

      Both 10s, and I'd definitely be interested in more--even out of the Gate.

      November 1, 2013

    • Jomar

      Since I'm a beginner and being that this was my very first try on a big bay crossing, I would have to say that I was comfortable all the way until we hit TI. My boat weathercocking like it did zapped pretty much all my strength. I would have to give me an 8 on the strength/endurance and a 4 on the north point of TI. I should have read the wind and waves, and thinking about it now, I should have went with Seek and John on their route to TI.

      November 1, 2013

  • Steph

    We had a great time, thanks everyone! Looking forward to doing more paddles with the group.

    October 31, 2013

  • Seek

    Enjoyed this paddle very much. Easy tides, great weather, and excellent company! What more could one ask for? My little write-up...

    http://bayareakayaker.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=67&t=1125

    6 miles to 1.5 and 7 miles back to Emeryville around Treasure Island. Got that nice muscle burn after the paddle, but it's all gone now.

    2 · October 28, 2013

    • Jomar

      Great writeup Seek!

      October 28, 2013

  • Keith

    It was a beautiful day to be on the water with a very nice group of people. Some new and some old faces and enough of a challenge to make the trip feel like an adventure. Thanks to Bert for putting it together and John for seeing to it that no one was left behind.
    Keith

    1 · October 28, 2013

  • Tatyana

    Great trip, wonderful people, excellent conditions with some challenge coming back to Emeryville and overall a fantastic day.... It was a pure joy for a mind, body and soul. Guys and gals, you rock! Will do it again with you anytime! Thanks for a great guidance and navigation of Bert and John Morrison.
    -Max

    1 · October 28, 2013

  • Martin F.

    Great group, great challenge, great ride on the way back to port and last but not least great entertainment. John and Jenny, I was able to procure a CD with most of your favorites, let me know if you want a copy :) Bert, John and Seek thank you for figuring out all the logistics and the many details and setting it all up for the rest of us. Cheers!

    2 · October 27, 2013

    • John M.

      I would love a copy of the CD, Martin. I'd play it over and over and over... :^o

      October 28, 2013

  • John M.

    Keeper of a day. Sunny with light breeze and small ebb current in the morning, as we left Emeryville. Got a great look at the smooth, closed underside of the new bridge section (fascinating side-by-side comparison with the open, erector set look of the old bridge). Passed around the south side of Yerba Buena, and most took a short rest stop at a stony beach there. Some communed with the harbor seals on the water. Pier 1.5 was made to order for us (low dock; we could all haul our boats out), and we walked to the Ferry Building, where we had good eats, good conversation and bad street music. The sailboats were out for a moderate afternoon breeze, and most of us had the wind and tide at our backs after we paddled around the north end of Treasure Island (Bob and Max retraced our morning path). A well-matched and companionable group, and a glorious time to be together. Thanks for leading, Bert.

    3 · October 28, 2013

  • Jomar

    This was my first meetup with the group. The group was great! I'm a beginner in kayaking and everybody has been great with advice and tips in paddling techniques, gear and kayaking in general. The Emeryville marina launch ramp is a nice location and the rate for parking is reasonable. All in all a great first experience in a BIG bay crossing...except that my skegless, rudderless boat was not a good choice for this waters....my boat wants to go to tiburon and berkeley but I want to go to Emeryville. With that said, thanks to Bert for helping me out and towing me past treasure island and to all the very patient group for waiting until we caught up with them. I will try this crossing again, after furthering my skills.

    5 · October 27, 2013

    • bert

      Jomar, it was a pleasure to paddle with you. This was not an easy paddle and one that many might not be able to undertake. You handled yourself well, even at the north point of Treasure Island, with significant current and winds. I just didn't want you to burn yourself out getting around that point. Once we got around, you did great the rest of the way back. You are well on your way. Best to you.

      1 · October 27, 2013

    • Jomar

      Thank you and actually I was about to burn myself out and I kept thinking about how nice it would have been to have Seek's sail LOL! it was amazing how a tow on a extremely weathercocked boat made a big difference. As soon as you pointed my boat in the right direction I noticed that I could actually paddle on those conditions granted that my boat stays straight and not weathercock. I did have 3-4 instances of close calls and successfully braced to avoid capsizing at the north point of treasure island. Again, thank you and thanks to the group that day.

      October 28, 2013

  • bert

    A great group with a good mix of paddlers. Conditions were really good in the morning, with with wind building to about 6-8 mph in the early afternoon. After a pleasant paddle over to pier 1.5, we all had a nice lunch at the ferry building (including entertainment). Before returning, most of the pod decided to paddle north around treasure island. Two of the paddlers returned following the original route back around Yerba Buena island. All returned, tired but safe. Thanks everyone, I had a real nice time and hope to do more with you in SF bay!

    2 · October 27, 2013

  • Jenny S.

    Great paddle, wonderful conditions! Thanks to Bert for sharing his knowledge of the area.

    3 · October 27, 2013

  • Peter Y.

    Did anybody track it? I'd be interested in your route and times and any navigation reports.

    October 26, 2013

    • Seek

      Yes and will include water depths. Write-up soon. I must sleep now. Awesome paddle. One of the longest for me to date.

      October 26, 2013

  • Bob M.

    great trip

    1 · October 26, 2013

  • Jonathan

    I had car problems...wish you guys a great day out there

    October 26, 2013

  • bert

    I have a Looksha IV with a skeg that has been sitting high and dry for a few months and needs to get wet. It is 17' long and 22" wide. I am willing to let someone use it instead of renting on this SF bay trip You should have prior experience in a sit-inside and know how to wet exit. I can also bring a paddle and PFD. Let me know.

    October 11, 2013

    • Steph

      perfect thanks so much! just in case, my cell is[masked]-3821. i'll bring a vhf too. see you tomorrow!

      October 25, 2013

    • Steph

      Bert - just realized I was assuming you had a spray skirt - sorry for the confusion so late - please let me know if you have one or not -[masked] - and I will try to go rent one asap

      October 26, 2013

  • Peter Y.

    Sorry, couldn't reschedule for tomorrow. I'll likely be out on the bay Sunday morning though. Sorry to miss this, have fun.

    October 25, 2013

  • Bob M.

    Anyone coming from Marin county that needs a ride, let me know (I am in southern Novato). I also have a spare boat (14' Seda Kevlar Talikut) I can bring if someone needs to borrow a boat and gear.

    October 24, 2013

    • Tatyana

      Yes, Bob, I would like your kayak to borrow and ride with you :-)

      October 25, 2013

    • Tatyana

      Thank you, Bob, you saved my dreams :-) I will see everybody tomorrow.

      October 25, 2013

  • Tatyana

    Bob, call me anytime tonight until midnight or tomorrow morning at 5,6, 7 anytime you get up please -[masked]
    -Max

    October 25, 2013

  • Tatyana

    Bob, sorry I did not follow the thread for a couple of days. I would like to borrow your kayak if you are still offering and would love to ride with you. Also, some of my flexibility changed. I understand that trip might take us 6 hours. Starting at 9+6=15 plus driving back and whatever time we need to rest at 1.5 Pier that concludes to approx. 17:00 - 18:00 to arrive in Marin.

    Am I correct? I have to see if I can find a substitute for my other engagement. Please let me know what you think. My phone number is[masked] Please call me now.

    October 25, 2013

  • Tatyana

    Steph, I apologize for falling off the conversation. No, I found I can not rent a kayak at Emeryville Marina. Also, everyone I know have recreational kayaks for lakes.

    October 25, 2013

  • Tatyana

    Hi Bert, I was very pleased (and still dreaming abut it) with your Looksha IV. Do you have any other than Looksha or A double that "needs" to get wet? Would love to join the group this time.

    October 20, 2013

    • Steph

      hey max, I have another friend who is interested in joining but needs a boat...did you find out if you can rent a boat from emeryville marina?

      October 23, 2013

    • bert

      Tatyana, did you see Bobs post? He has a boat and is coming from Marin. (See above)

      October 25, 2013

  • John M.

    Forecast is for a clear day Saturday. Let's plan on being there and dressed at 9.

    1 · October 24, 2013

  • Peter Y.

    I'd hate to miss this, even if we have to wait for fog, so I'm keeping yes for now, but I need to do some other rescheduling to be able to make it now.

    October 23, 2013

  • Jonathan

    I mean it was so dense that it would not be safe to go out in it, in my opinion. I hope it is a clear day.

    October 23, 2013

    • Jomar

      Yeah, I've noticed it too. It would clear up by 11am - 12pm here in Richmond. We paddled this past sunday at Ferry Point and launched at 9:15am by the time we're headed back, the fog got thicker. It cleared by 12pm. Hopefully it's clear this Saturday.

      October 23, 2013

    • Peter Y.

      It was pretty thick: http://www.flickr.com...­

      1 · October 23, 2013

  • Seek

    I may park here...

    http://www.iwindsurf.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=17473&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0&sid=10bfc7bdd93c29e334b3c0eca271692a

    Distance RT is ~8 miles from this point. I will look at this place before deciding to head over to Emeryville. If the place looks doable and I stay, anyone is welcome to stop here with me for a ride back to Emeryville.

    October 22, 2013

    • bert

      There is a boat ramp at the Emeryville Marina. I'd call and ask if it is open to the public.

      October 23, 2013

    • bert

      bert
      I have a radio and plan to bring a tow rope as well.

      Like · just now

      October 23, 2013

  • Jody G.

    Sounds great! I'd certainly come along if I weren't such a chicken - that and the Bridge School Benefit is that evening. Have fun! I'm really looking forward to hooking up with you peeps again soon!

    October 20, 2013

    • John M.

      We'll certainly do Elkhorn Slough, since that changes with the seasons. We could also tack on a diversion into the bay for a bit, to give folks a taste of open water paddling.

      1 · October 23, 2013

    • John M.

      Note that the way you'll get comfortable on the open water is to spend time there.

      2 · October 23, 2013

  • John M.

    Further thoughts about gear security at Pier 1.5 in SF, while we might be out of sight? One solution, if security is iffy, would be to have a volunteer who would stay (and eat lunch) with the boats. Other thoughts (especially from those who've been there)?

    1 · October 21, 2013

    • bert

      John, a very good option. at the end of the pier there is a swanky looking restaurant with outdoor seating that looks out at the pier. Between the restaurant and the water there is a walkway with public benches along the side where in the past I have had my bag lunch. On the floating pier, there are generally 1-2 boats tied up there (with or without their crew) and kayaks. when it has become too crowded, then we have tied up a few in the water. I think that we should probably be fine.

      October 21, 2013

  • Peter Y.

    This morning's forecast was fog to clear by 9am but it didn't really clear in Richmond till about 11:30-12.

    1 · October 20, 2013

  • Anthony S.

    I would love to go but can't because I have prior commitments

    October 20, 2013

  • Tatyana

    Hello everybody, I am looking to borrow a sit in kayak for this crossing bay trip. If someone has one and want to lend I would love to talk to you. My email[masked][masked]

    I really wanted to make this trip in August this year, when only Bert and John made it.

    I also looking into a possibility of renting one, and left a message to Don Glassier (Harbor Master in Emeriville Marina), but have not heard back yet.

    -Max

    October 20, 2013

  • kathleen b.

    I hate to be negative, but I would worry about the gear! We cable our kayaks together (through the seats and the armholes of the PDF's) and carry our paddles and drybags.

    October 20, 2013

  • John M.

    Let's make this definite, assuming the weather doesn't torpedo us. Departing from Berkeley Marina; paddling around Yerba Buena to Pier 1.5 in SF for lunch at the Ferry Building; return around Treasure Island. Open issues (that Bert might help us resolve):

    1. The exact launch site at the Berkeley Marina. For example, there appear to be several Cal Adventure sites there.

    2. How to recognize Pier 1.5 from the water (esp. is Seek The Navigator isn't giving us vectors) :^)

    3. Security for our boats at Pier 1.5, while we traipse off to lunch.

    4. Any "surprise gotchas" about the paddle?

    You need to be able (and equipped) to self-rescue, and having a buddy is highly desirable.

    If anyone is planning on paddling that day and has taken this trip before, you're invited to lead.

    John

    October 8, 2013

    • bert

      From Don the Harbor Master: There is free 4 hour parking & pay to park @ $3 for 4 hours $5 for 8. If you are a member with a pass the parking is free.

      Don Gussler
      Emeryville Marina[masked]

      October 16, 2013

    • John M.

      Great.

      October 17, 2013

  • October 16, 2013

  • October 16, 2013

  • John Morrison changed the location from Berkeley Marina to 3199 Powell St

    October 16, 2013

  • bert

    From the Emeryville Marina: There is paid parking & free parking. The free parking is limited to the west side of the western lots and is limited to 4 hours during daylight hours only. The paid parking is $3 for 4 hours and 5 for 8 hours.
    Don Gussler
    Harbor Master
    Emeryville Marina[masked]

    2 · October 16, 2013

  • Peter Y.

    hello, new to the group! I'd like to join in as well. I'm new to kayaking although I'm used to being in the bay itself for swimming. I spent a few hours (11 miles) last Sunday around Richmond, but my goal is a Richmond Marina to SF (China Basin) trek (it would basically be my work commute). I'd be trailering from Richmond if not trying to get there by water. Is there trailer parking at the proposed launch sites?

    October 9, 2013

    • Peter Y.

      Yeah, for some reason I've gotten used to not thinking about unhitching but I guess that is an option if security is ok.

      October 15, 2013

    • Seek

      You could either lock the tongue latch or cable the wheels for security when unhitched.

      October 16, 2013

  • Jomar

    New member and beginner paddler. Can't wait to meet all those attending. I'll be prepping for this paddle until the day of. Any tips/advice as far as what to bring and mostly likely weather condition?

    October 12, 2013

    • bert

      Hi Jomar, welcome to the paddle. come properly dressed (prepared for immersion), have the equipment and ability to self rescue. Should be able to paddle 5.5 miles in each direction. if need be, able to paddle in 1-2 ft wind waves and winds up to 10 kts. The way it's predicted so far, it should be a nice paddle. Bring lunch or $ for lunch at the Ferry building, water, camera, etc.

      October 12, 2013

    • Jomar

      Cool! Thanks!

      October 14, 2013

  • Joanne

    Ahhh. Think I'll wait for Santa to bring me that sleek fast boat...
    Have fun. Sounds great.

    October 12, 2013

  • Liz

    Craig and I have decided to pass on this outing, although it sounds fun. We decided, as slower paddlers, we'll wait and do this next summer when the days are longer. I hope someone takes pictures so we can see what it was like!

    October 11, 2013

  • Steph

    Hi all, my husband and I would love to join this trip, but it's been a few years since I've paddled frequently...for the past 4 or 5 yrs it's been mostly one easy overnight a year on tomales bay. we do both have experience with self-rescue, and are comfortable in the conditions you guys are talking about), but it sounds like we might be the least experienced of the group so let me know what you think about us joining...and any suggestions for a good place to rent or borrow boats much appreciated!

    October 9, 2013

    • Liz

      Hi Steph, I read about this trip on here but also wasn't sure if I'd be able to keep up with the group on this, or whether the conditions were something I was up to. I'm generally one of the slowest paddlers on the group outings, and I also stop to take pictures, slowing myself down further.

      October 10, 2013

    • Liz

      BTW mine is a 11.5' sit-on-top.

      October 10, 2013

  • Jonathan

    One thing I would like to ask...I have a sot wide Hobie and can keep up with most of the club but it is no racing kayak...it's stable and great to fish...so can we agree this is not a race and we will stick together more than normal due to the distances and currents

    October 8, 2013

    • Seek

      according to this... http://watertrails.in...­ ...you can put-in, but it's the tides that we have worry about. Either location is good with me. Just putting the options out there; both have free parking, but it's 7 vs 11 miles.

      October 9, 2013

    • bert

      This is not a race and we should definitely stay together. When paddling with persons with different levels, abilities and in such dynamic conditions, it will be best to stay together. Easier to have conversations as well!!

      1 · October 9, 2013

  • bert

    I just did this paddle again Yesterday from Cal Adventures in Berkeley to Yerba Buena, then on to Pier 1.5 (Just north of the ferry building). Parking near Cal Adventures is Free, Emeryville is $6-$7. Yesterday the conditions we're very mild. the flood current was going to be 1.5 kts. but as we crossed under the bridge near Yerba Buena, it seemed a little stronger. The current between Yerba Buena and SF was not noticeable. On the way back, we paddled from pier 1.5 towards pier 39 then crossed rounding Treasure Island, then back to Berkeley. 5 kt. winds produced a refreshing breeze and 1 ft. wind waves. Current is not too much of an issue on the way back but wind can be. Usually it is from the West, North west so depending on where you started , it might assist you on you're return.

    Our route was 15 miles total. If you went straight over, around Yerba Buena, to Pier 1.5 and back in would be about[masked] miles.

    I might still join you if I don't do the ETC regatta.

    October 7, 2013

    • bert

      I don't remember exactly but I just remember using my debit card to pay for parking. I don't think it was anything more than 7 bucks.

      October 8, 2013

    • bert

      Seek, I clarify, I parked near the boat ramp which had parking fees. There might be other places nearby that has free parking.

      October 9, 2013

  • bert

    Hi guys and gals,
    Coordinates for Cal Adventures is: Coordinates:[masked], -122.31225999999998. As you are traveling west on University, you will see signs for Cal Adventures on your left. Turn left at the signs and you will see a large lot and further out, two floating docks where they put in their boats. It's not too difficult to find.

    If you want to check out the new western section of the bay bridge, I suggest paddling there in the morning. Between Emeryville and Yerba Buena, the max ebb at 9:50 is about .70 kt current. Should be easy enough. On the west side between Yerba Buena and SF, the max ebb current at 9:55 is 1.2 kts. With less wind in the morning, you should make it to Pier 1.5 without too much added effort.

    October 8, 2013

    • bert

      Cont... Pier 1.5 is just north of the ferry building. The pier itself is about 6 ft wide and the front pier is only 2ft off the water. Easy enough for kayakers to get out/ in. I even think there is a sign... (but don't hold me to it). If you google it you can get a pretty good idea of where it is. When I been here by myself or in groups, there has never been a problem with the security of equipment/boats nor have I heard of any problems. You should still be careful and bring valuables with you.

      Slack is about 1:30 and max flood is at 3:40 at .72 kts. John, I agree with you that everyone needs self rescue experience. Persons should also be comfortable with 1-2 ft waves and winds up to 10 kts. The unknown is weather and wind and I'm sure will be closely watched as the time draws near.

      October 8, 2013

    • bert

      Cont... This really is a fun paddle and those going on it will have some wonderful new perspectives of the new bridge, Yerba Buena and San Francisco!!!

      I hope some of this helps. I'm gonna try to change my plans so I can make it

      October 8, 2013

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