Friday, September 12, 2014

Clipper Cove and Alameda

We left Berkeley after a couple of days. We really wanted to find someplace to drop anchor for a week or so and get some much needed rest. We relax best when we are at anchor. So we headed out for Clipper Cove – a nice little cove nestled between Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island. The cove is right next to/under the Oakland Bay Bridge. We were concerned about the noise from traffic, but that turned out to be the least of the problems! Sure, you could hear the cars, but that noise was pretty much drowned out by the pile driver right outside the cove. Now there is some noise for you! And to top that off, the blessed wind is NEVER ENDING! It blows between 20 and 25 knots every day from about 11:00AM until at least 3:00AM. I just don't know how the locals do it – I cannot wait to leave San Francisco. Like most sailors, I like a little breeze, but enough is enough!

Aside from the wind and noise, Clipper Cove was not all bad. We met a very nice couple on our second day there. I noticed someone on a neighbor boat leaving on his way into shore. So I went outside to see if I could get his attention and chat him up a bit. Not only did I get his attention, but he came by and asked if I had any trash that he could take to shore for me – wow! What a nice thing to do. I chatted him up and found out he is a retired school principle. We traded contact information and then he was off. A couple of days later we had them (Chad and Caroline) over for a beer in the cockpit. A real nice couple. I do have to wonder about their sanity however... they are planning to go cruising up north. Not just “up north”, but WAY up north where the icebergs roam. Yikes! Can you say BBBBRRRRRRRR?

One day I was reading in the cockpit and noticed a small ski boat come into the harbor. The lone passenger went up to the bow and put out an anchor. I thought that was strange – it is not a place to fish and you don't generally see ski boat's anchor up like that. Then it got exciting. He got out a kite and a wake board. But not just any wake board – this one had a hydrofoil. He spent a couple of hours racing around the bay. It was a lot of fun to watch (especially when he biffed it right next to our boat), but definitely not my cup of tea.

From Clipper Cove we had a bird's eye view of the east span of the Oakland Bay Bridge. It is a new bridge only built a few years ago. It is really a cool looking bridge. They are dismantling the old span just to the south of the new bridge. The bridge is really lit up at night. Unfortunately the picture doesn't do the actual sight justice – sorry.

Oakland Bay bridge east span at night

The two spans of the bay bridge meet on Yerba Buena Island. You can't see the west span from Clipper Cove. But we got a shot of it when we left heading for Alameda.

After 5 days we had pretty much had our fill of the constant wind. We really didn't want to go outside because it was so uncomfortable. So we left a day earlier than we had planned and headed for Alameda.

Alameda is an island that is separated from Oakland by a very narrow waterway. It feels like you are driving on a road in the middle of town but you are in your boat. It is really kind of strange. As we approached Marina Village Yacht harbor where we are going to stay for 2 days we came across some “boat” houses. There are similar structures on Lake Union, but these were colorful to say the least. It is really kind of a stretch to call them boats in my opinion.

We came across this boat along the way. Glad I don't have to take care of her bright work (wood for you non-boating readers)

We also went by Scott's Seafood Bar and Grill. We had no idea about Scott's little secret. We thought he was just the accountant for the Port of Kingston. Scott, you sly devil you. If you had told us we would have planned to stop in and say “hello”.

We came to Alameda for a “crew list” party put on by the Lattitude 38 people for the Baja Haha. It is the rally that leaves San Diego at the end of October heading for Cabo. We joined the rally at the behest of some of our friends. We thought it would be a good idea to see if we could find some crew to help out with watches while on passage and also thought it would be a great place to start getting to know people. The next day after the party we plan to leave San Francisco and head south again.

Alameda has turned out to be a really nice place! It doesn't have the best docks we have ever seen (that would be Anacortes) or the best shopping within walking distance (once again Anacortes), but the people here are incredibly friendly. We hadn't been tied up more than a few minutes before someone walked by and said "good afternoon and welcome!". Later in the day a couple was getting on their boat several boats down from us and made sure to get my attention to welcome us to the marina. That is what I call some friendly folks! If I was ever going to be tempted to put down roots and be a live aboard tied to a dock, Alameda would be  a great place for it.


  1. All sounds like a real adventure. Where is your next planned stop? Did you get a crew member? House boats have always fascinated me ever since I visited one in 1970 in Sausalito. Very Bohemian chic.
    Happy sailing, Carol

  2. Hey Carol - great to hear from you! Well, yes we did get a crew member, but unfortunately she didn't work out. So we are on the hunt again. We are also considering just doing it on our own. We can certainly do it, but the first leg is 3 days and 2 nights so we will be very tired at the end. We just think it will be more fun if we can find some help.