A three-hour sail begins by traversing under the Bay Bridge and heading north along the San Francisco waterfront, where we get a great view of the city's downtown, Telegraph Hill, the city's historic piers and Ferry Building. After passing Blossom Rock, we head for Alcatraz, usually passing east of the iconic Rock.
After we pass Angel Island, we set a course toward the wealthy Marin County enclaves of Sausalito, Belvedere and Tiburon. Soon we pass into the calmer waters of Raccoon Strait, which separates Angel Island from Marin County. There we will likely experience calmer winds and smoother sailing. After we round Point Campbell, Angel Island's northernmost tip, Angel Island's historic immigration station comes into view. We pass that and Fort McDowell and soon begin to see the Golden Gate peeking out from behind Point Blunt.
Here we experience the bay's full wind thrust as we bend our course south toward the east side of man-made Treasure Island. After passing the northeast corner of Treasure Island, the full extent of the Bay Bridge's new eastern span comes into view. As we sail south toward the bridge, we experience some of the smoothest, fastest sailing of our trip. Wind blows unimpeded toward us over Treasure Island, but the land mass prevents wind-driven waves from disturbing our motion. In a few minutes, we reach the Bay Bridge, passing east of Clipper Cove, where Pan-Am's famous flying boats once landed, bringing travelers back from Hawaii and points beyond in the Pacific.
As we pass under the bridge, we get a chance to greet the Bay Bridge Troll, a steel figurine created by iron workers to symbolically protecct the bridge from catastrophe. The troll is only visible to visitors on the water or on the bridge's pedestrian passage. We wave goodbye to the troll and get a view of Yerba Buena Light, the picturesque aid to navigation marking Yerba Buena Island's southernmost point.
From here we set our course westerly and settle onto a close reach toward South Beach Harbor and home.
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