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San Francisco Bay sailing charters!

What we’ll do:

Experience fast, action-packed exciting sailing, or we can slow things down for a leisurely cruise on the Bay. We offer private sailing charters so you get to choose! Our rate is $95/hour for the boat, for up to six people. We recommend a three hour tour. Bring beers/wine and snacks if you wish.

We depart from Sausalito, with free parking available. San Francisco pick-up and drop off may be possible upon special request.

Get a taste for what an awesome experience living, working and voyaging on a classic sailboat can be. Get a little salty while we sail and chat about what it’s like going far from land and crossing oceans, from endless waves and wind, to calm nights under starry skies. Get a feel for what it’s like to live and thrive in a constantly moving small space, in a beautiful but unforgiving environment.

Hear what it’s like to battle land Tuna, Mahi Mahi and Sailfish while under a full spread of sail and have the freshest sushi minutes later, to anchor in tropical anchorages, bathe in the sea, and surf endless, uncrowded waves right from the boat.

Ask as little or as much as you like about surviving storms, living in foreign countries, meeting great cruising friends, and unplugging from normal living to find another path.

Spend time aboard a unique, rugged, beautiful boat with numerous Atlantic Ocean crossings and a Panama Canal transit under her belt, that has provided a safe and peaceful haven for her crew over the span of five decades.

 

About the Captain:

I’m passionate about voyaging and the sailing lifestyle, and living and working on boats around the world. I grew up sailing and racing small boats, and I have just returned from a year long cruise in Alsager to Mexico’s Gold Coast and the Sea of Cortez with my wife, young son, and dog Noah on board. In the last year and half I have sailed over 10,000 miles, including a passage from Hawaii to Seattle. Prior to departing, I spent many years working around the world for America’s Cup Race Management, setting courses for the race yachts. I am licensed by the Coast Guard.

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EMAIL: GOLDENGATESAILING@GMAIL.COM

Half Moon Bay

Our last stop before returning home, was a very sweet one. Our sail from Santa Cruz to Half Moon Bay was relaxed, I honestly can’t remember much of it anymore. What I do remember very well was the excitement I felt, to see some very very good friends again!

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Not living that far away from Half Moon Bay, they made an effort to come and have dinner with us. Kerstin and Silvia and there precious daughter Mia, which I had only seen once before, when she was just a few weeks old! I had a bit of a teary eye when I saw all of them. Just so good to see friends, especially these guys I thought a lot about when cruising Mexico, as we used to kite and vacation together in La Ventana. 🙂

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On the next morning leaving Half Moon Bay I could not help taking a few pics of this boat, which we already had seen and “admired” a year ago. Quite a collection that guy has there…

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Our final leg had come. Next stop… HOME!

Santa Cruz

When we left Monterey Bay in the morning, the sky hazy and the water glassy, it was almost impossible to make out where the greyish water and sky met. Birds were gliding so close over the bay waters, their wings almost touched. All of a sudden a huge humpback whale appeared on our port side and I grabbed the camera. But the moment had passed already, it was the largest humpback and closest I had seen on our entire trip. Funny, so close to home!

The evening before we left Monterey, Robbie, who just returned from his Sailboat delivery and Marisa managed to stop by for a quick “Hello and Good-bye”. We had felt ready to depart, but when all of a sudden that whale appeared and we saw spouts in the distances, I never wanted to arrive in Santa Cruz and just continue to cruise inside the Bay.

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Our arrival in Santa Cruz was a bit strenuous. We had to dock first to get a slip assignment, which usually sucks, especially if you had a long sail and just want to get settled in. The wind and current were not in our favor approaching the dock and in the eyes of the Captain I wasn’t acting fast enough. I quickly handed the lines to him, so he could do it the way it needed to be done.

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If you look closely, you can spot Alsager on an end tie to the left.

Also this happened in Santa Cruz. After almost a year of cruising and buying ice to run our fridge on the sailboat, which wasn’t always an easy task in “hot” Mexico, the Captain managed to find an almost new electric Coleman Cooler on Craigslist. With addition of a solar panel, this would have been a great addition for the trip. It was nice to have for the reminder and will be appreciated for future trips.

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Mats had a blast at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. There were so many new rides since the last time I had seen it. Of course he ended up in a “boat” .

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But he said, he liked the plane the best.

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His bike helmet certainly came in handy. 🙂

Monterey- Dali and much more!

It’s funny sometimes, you are worried about something and than it passes by way better than the portion you had not wasted a thought about. That’s how it was with the night sail. It started off from San Simeon with this gorgeous moon. The Captain did the first shift and I snuggled with Mats. He later told me, that 10min away from San Simeon, he already saw the fog and our whole sail was through fog and heavy dew. BUT, when my shift started, I could not believe it. I started seeing a big green patch in the water. All of a sudden green lines were shooting like and arrows through the water towards the boat and when they got closer, I discovered the outlinings of dolphins. AMAZING!

Bioluminescence is a chemical process in which an enzyme breaks a substrate down and one of the products of this reaction is light.

It was insane. I stared at the water for hours. Yeah, of course I also paid attention to my duties at night. But it was such an amazing show and I had not seen it like that before. Well, this is what I looked like after about 4 hours.

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The night passed and we continued to motor through the foggy morning.

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We watched the radar closely and spotted someone getting closer right on collision course!

What are the odds! It was our friend Robbie. We had met on our cruise in Mexico. Him, his wife and two sons are great surfers and enjoyed the same spots we did. Robbie is a knowledgable sailer and has a lot in common with the Captain. Too bad we couldn’t hang with him much in Monterey, as he was on opposite course.

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BUT, we did get together with his wife Marisa and her family, she picked us up a few days after our arrival, showed us there place and invited us for a fantastic dinner! Thanks again, girl!

 

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MONTEREY! Last night sail, if the rest of the trip towards ‘home’ would go well. We checked into a nice Marina in walking distance to everything and enjoyed a shower and a cold beer.

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We found a nice playground for Mats, who is always in our thoughts for being such a good boy with so much patience on those long sails, sometimes getting seasick and never complaining much. We are very lucky to have such a cool kid!

My heart made a little jump, when I saw this sign on the playground. 🙂

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A big highlight being in Monterey was the fact, that I was able to get together with my friend Sarah, whom I met long time ago through a craigslist add “Looking for friends” . That was when I was living in San Francisco and she lived in Berkeley, both originally from Germany. She now lives in Australia and showed her fiance where she had spend an important part of her live. It was great to see her, she has grown so much. Also it was nice to be able to meet the man who makes her so happy. They are now married. 🙂 ❤

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Due to a car show Monterey was a little busier than usual. Is was fun to spot how slowly more and more awesome vehicles entered the town.

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IMG_3338Lastly we passed a Dali Museum and I was eager to check it out. I had forgotten, that he had lived in Monterey and learned new things about my former favorite artist.

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The idea below is just the coolest, two pics in one. Photo doesn’t do it’s justice, real affect is with bare eyes.

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Monterey was the last big stop for us!

Morro Bay to San Simeon

 

We still had one overnighter ahead of us. However, there was a possibility to get rest at an anchorage in San Simeon. That sounded like a good idea. Well, the stretch from Morro Bay to San Simeon wasn’t fun! Again we started to motor and had no wind to pull the sails up. Very common in the mornings. In hopes that the wind would pick up later in the afternoon, the Captain steered away from shore. The swell got bigger and choppier and the crew wasn’t happy. Poor Mats got seasick and I did not feel well either. Knowing that we would only have a few hours rest and would continue in darkness, I was pretty cranky when we finally arrived in San Simeon.

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We were anchored close to this break, which was cool to watch, but also made me a bit nervous.

The moon was simply beautiful and I took that as a good sign for our last— LAST , HOPEFULLY LAST, night sail!

Morro Bay – a well deserved rest!

We left Avila Beach soon after and headed towards Morro Bay. Mats was still asleep, when we got off the mooring and steered into the fog. Around 10 am we turned the motor off and pulled the jib out. We made 5 knots down the swell, the jib was not able to compete. It was not comfortable and the closer we came to Morro Bay, the thicker the fog appeared. The Captain rolled the jib back in. We were not able to see much at all, just the sound of the fog horns here and there. We watched our navigation system and Navionics carefully. Our senses were wide awake!

 

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There was no space at the pier of the friendly Yacht Club for us. We first docked at a temporary station and than found out, that the Yacht Club was able to give us a mooring. We picked one which was closest to the Yacht Club, indeed a very short rowing distance. We received keys for the showers and soon after took advantage of it, before heading out for dinner.

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The sunsets were amazing and we just took it easy for a few days. Went to the beach, worked on some blogs and also the bank machine ate my card. Thank you, bank machine. It’s nice that you will send me a new one in only a few days. Well, I am not home just yet.

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Morro Bay is a cute little town. We liked it and collected some strength for the next passage to Monterey.

Fog and lots of action- PT. CONCEPTION – Movie x 2

First a little clip about our windy sail from Santa Barbara to the Cojo Anchorage. The last possible stop before heading passed Pt. Conception. A good possibility to seek shelter or break up the passage.

Here we come! As soon as we saw a little bit of light, we made our way out through kelp fields to motor passed Pt. Conception. This is the forecast we had the night before.

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Even some south winds, but overall very light. Looked like we would have a lot of motoring ahead of us, but no battle against the usual north winds.

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The sunrise was beautiful and I was aware, that this might be one of the last ones I would watch from being in the ocean on our sailboat for a while. But the thought of “home” and what we had accomplished so far, made it a sweet one. Pt Conception was surrounded by fog and soon we would motor right into it.

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After lots of hours motoring, we were able to start sailing. Another boat popped out of the fog and it was a nice token knowing having one around on this passage. We noticed that they were watching something….

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There were lots of splashes in the water, at first the owners were watching but all of a sudden they turned there boat around. Not sure what had happened there, maybe a crab pot. We had seen many ourselves and had to watch out sharp. Soon it was us having  company!

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It was really insane, dolphins racing with us at first, but than all of a sudden seals everywhere. They were racing together and we had a blast watching. The wild life on this passage was amazing and due to the fact of a great weather window, as comfortable as it could be for us on the boat. Pt. Conception – woot -woot -woot! 🙂

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We arrived at Avila Beach around 3:30pm. Managed to get a water taxi to shore and took our rowing dinghy deflated with us, as it was the last taxi for the day. We were exhausted from an early morning start and did not want to row both ways.

There was a nice lady who let us store our dinghy-package before heading to town. We took a shower first and than found a playground and some ice-cream for Mats.

When we got back to the dock, we inflated the dinghy and had quite a long row ahead of us. What a day. We were all glad, when we hit the pillows! A mile stone was lying behind us.

Race with WEATHER!

Channel Island Harbor – Santa Barbara – Cojo Anchorage

Since we had left Catalina island, we had started watching weather around the Pt Conception area. We were in no rush to get home to foggy San Francisco Bay and thought we would stay a little bit in Santa Barbara. The Captain had a lot of fun in SB when we were on the way to Mexico a year back, as there is a surf break close to the Marina he was able to paddle to. Santa Barbara is also very pretty and fun for everyone.

But first we wanted to check out Channel Island Harbor. We heard about free usage of a pool and that was tempting. Our ice-run fridge needed a refill, so we left cool Malibu beach and headed to our next destination.

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There wasn’t much around in walking distance, but being able to hang out at the pool at  an apartment complex and taking care of laundry, was worth staying 2 days. And then there was this great weather window coming up. We had watched it for a while now and since forecasts sometimes change rapidly, we were cautious to make a decision. But that window started looking really good and that on different weather apps. So we headed to Santa Barbara the next morning. Passed oil rigs and even caught a little Mackerel. He was too tiny to keep and we wanted him to enjoy his life. We let him free again.

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Our stay in Santa Barbara was short. We arrived around 2pm in blazing heat. Luckily they had a spot left for us, a race was happening that evening. Once again we checked the weather and given the fact that Pt Conception is a rough one, we couldn’t pass it up to ditch our planned stay at Santa Barbara, but use the weather to have an uncomplicated passage.

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Yeah, isn’t it crazy that a storm in one area creates a good window in another?

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Due to a nice guy we met on the dock, we were invited into the Yacht Club, had a cold beer and watched the race, where Sailboats appeared ghost-like through fog clouds. Even though we didn’t have a lot of time, we made the most out of it.

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Our plan was to sail to the Cojo Anchorage right around the corner of Pt. Conception and sleep until sunrise. We arrived at sunset, picked our way around kelp fields and anchored. It was a nice evening and we were happy to be able to get some rest and especially that the forecast held up with even some south winds.

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Pt Conception, we are ready for you.