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  • Capt. Eric

Bodega to San Francisco

The passage down to Bodega from Noyo was a little long, but otherwise unremarkable. Bodega Spud's Marina is tucked in all the way deep in Bodega Bay, at the end of a very long and narrow channel. Despite being wide, the bay offers no anchorage opportunities as it dries out at low tide, leaving only the channel to navigate. So far there have been almost no anchorage opportunities along the whole of the coast from Astoria to San Francisco, making marina planning a lot more important than when cruising the Pacific North West.


After 5 days waiting for the next weather window, Princess and I made our way from Bodega to San Francisco, to get reunited with Di, returning from visiting her family in Puerto Rico.

The city comes out of the fog

Fog enveloped Enfin all the way down the coast, so I had to keep extra vigilant in the dense traffic entering the San Francisco Bay.


I stayed outside of the Vessel Traffic Separation Scheme (VTSS) and could see on AIS and radar the various large ships entering the bay. I had planned on arriving with the currents helping since I didn't want to loiter here.


Enfin sounded her fog horn automatically, echoed by the much stronger, much deeper fog horns from the large ships all around us. It took me longer than I'd like to admit to realize that the Golden Gate Bridge also has its own (loud!) foghorn. As we were going under the bridge, almost unseen in the pea soup, we had this unnerving large fog horn going. Both the radar and AIS were showing many ships and boats, keeping me busy.



The bridge northern pile

We slipped under the Golden Gate bridge almost unseen, with a ghostly bridge figure only appearing at the last moment.


The Golden Gate bridge being not very golden in the dense fog. The fog horns can be heard in the video

Once inside the bay, things got easier. The fog started clearing and soon I could see Alcatraz in front of me, and the whole city of San Francisco to Starboard.


Alcatraz

I had been in contact with various marinas around the bay, with my favorite being Coyote Point Marina, both in terms of location -the closest south of SFO airport- and priced at only $20 a night. The problem was that they had electrical problems at the docks in July so weren't sure when they'd re-open their docks to transient boats again.


Luckily, by the time I reached out to them again they confirmed all was fine, and boats less than 40 feet were welcomed as transients. That's where being 39 feet 9 inches (official measurement) pays off!


In an extra welcoming gesture, the assistant harbor master checked Enfin's documentation I'd sent by email, and tracked down what a Nordhavn 40 looked like on the internet.


Realizing Enfin is a hefty strong little boat, he then called me back as I was nearing the marina to offer a tie-end dock in the newest section of the marina. I'd need a 50 amp adapter, which we obviously have, and next thing I knew Enfin was securely docked on a beautiful new tie-end, with 50 amps electrical service, fresh water, beautiful views and real close to the airport for Di's arrival. All for $20 a night. Probably the best marina deal we've ever had as transients.



This large container ship was just behind me as we went under the bridge

To add to the already great picture, the marina is part of a county park with nice trails snaking under cypress and pine trees. A good grocery shop is an easy 25 minute walk.


Enfin on a tie-end at Coyote Point marina. SFO airport can be seen in the far background

Princess and I spent 10 days waiting for Di, and Princess really enjoyed her new spot. With the temperatures finally being warmer, away from the coastal fog, cold and humidity we'd been having since Astoria, she started blowing her winter coat to make way for her whiter summer one. A lot of brushing in my near future!


Di's plane on final for SFO

The day we'd all been waiting for finally arrived, and keeping an eye on a flight tracker I was able to see Di's plane on final for SFO as it went over us.


A long hour later we were finally all reunited, to Princess' absolute delight, and big smiles, kisses and hugs all around.

The crew is back together, and after we let Di rest a bit from the long trip, we'll resume our trip South.


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