Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Treasure Island

A northern California sailor will tell you that between April and September you can sail every single day somewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area if you are willing to drive. Since the 4th of July weekend, it's blown everyday at the Delta so I've had no need to travel for wind, until now.
Watching Iwindsurf on Sunday, it was apparent that a few other spots were going off while the Sherman Markers 12 and 14 danced around, well, 12 and 14mph. The out look was the same on Monday, and with the day off I called a friend and headed toward the Bay in search of wind.
Treasure Island sits under the Bay Bridge, smack in the middle of the San Francisco Bay. As you exit off the freeway onto the island you descend down a hill, looking at an almost unobstructed view of the world famous skyline. The road then levels out and rides along the clear green water and a side walk paralleled with white sand and lined with palm trees. The island appears tropical with all the lush green vegetation, and then you get out of your car only to go running back for a sweat shirt as the words of Mark Twain "The coldest winter I ever spent..." echo in your head.
With very detailed instructions, Lisa and I navigate our way through the restored, now civilian, military barracks until we see another sailor parked in front of a set of boarded up apartments, rigging on the brown, unmaintained front lawn. He escorts us behind the building and through an opening in a chain link fence toward the launch, on which hangs a sign that says "Sailboarding Prohibited." He kindly gives us the low down on the spot, then we head back to our cars to rig.
 Catapulting Aaron pulled in next to my van just as we finished setting up, so I waited briefly then followed him into the water, around the Jetti that enclosed the launch and immediately out to the middle of the bay. Winds in the solid mid twenties were sweeping the water outside the launch into knee to waist high chop,we were both well powered on 4.2's and began a bit of a freestyle session.
Spinning through a Shaka I could see everything in one glance, Alcatraz, Crissy Field, the Skyline, the Bridge, Treasure, Oakland, Berkly and then Alcatraz again. The feeling of sailing in the middle of the San Francisco bay is so surreal in the sense that one can find solitude smack in the middle of one of the largest, busiest metropolitan areas in the world. 
We sailed for maybe two hours then headed back in. I was stoked. There was no wind in the Delta, yet here I was, an hour away, just getting off the water from a 4.2 session at one of the most astounding windsurfing locations I'd ever been. Tuesday isn't looking good for Sherman, but I'm a believer that if I'm willing to fill my gas tank, I'll be sailing some where not too far away.


  1. Yeah dude! Was a fun little session! I probably shouldn't have swayed your sail choice, but it all worked out.

  2. I love the no windsurfing sign. Did you steal it?

  3. i think my mission should be to go back and get that sign...