Sitting on the side of the dinghy, I take a long pull from a cold beer and look out at Yahtzee bobbing just off the beach at Angel Island. White sails dot the San Francisco city front and the Bay Bridge looms over it all with the bright sun beaming overhead. Meanwhile, the boys dig a big hole in the hot sand while waves lap in and out of their creation. Then, almost simultaneously, Jill and I look at each other, crack huge smiles and chuckle with a cheers. Nearly a month later, and it’s still a little hard to grasp that we’re here, and how far we’ve come.

It was the last official day of summer, which, in previous years spent cruising the Pacific Northwest and Alaska meant we were about to dig into the long seasonal change and winter ahead. Are there things we’ll miss about cruising the offseason in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska like we did for so many years? Yes, of course, but it was time to go. Time to head south, to chase summer and keep exploring this big watery world in a way that we love. And we’re doing it.

Since arriving in the Bay Area we’ve soaked in the sights and sounds of the cities, taken time to travel for family and work, and have slowed the pace of life down so much that we’ve often found ourselves wondering what day of the week it actually is. Now that we’re about to pull ourselves away and continue the journey towards Southern California and Mexico, it’s fun to look back on what we’ve enjoyed about our time here.

Highlights of cruising San Francisco Bay:

  • The weather. This is an obvious highlight for us, especially when we think about rain and colder temps farther north. September is one of the nicest months of weather in the Bay Area and we’ve certainly been taking advantage of it. Average daytime temps have ranged from the upper 60s to low 80s with nights cooling down into the 50s, and we’ve only had one or two short spurts of rain. Even a two-day stretch of 90s while we were in Sausalito was nice.
  • It’s WINDY! If you love sailing, this is certainly the place for you. A sailor’s watch can be set to the sea breeze everyday around noon when the Sacramento River Valley heats up and starts drawing cool air in off the ocean and under the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s a thing of beauty. Day sails are fun and easy, and destinations are close, but the breeze also dissipates much of the fog and cuts through the heat a bit, especially in the east bay.