Sailing on the Frisco Bay.

On Sunday morning I thought I had come up with the perfect plan! I wanted to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge on my way out of San Francisco, but I need to be on my way on Monday morning, and the thought of battling with the early morning city traffic did not seem at all appealing. I had been invited to go sailing on the bay on Sunday afternoon, so I thought I could drive across the bridge on Sunday morning, leave the RV in Sausalito, and catch the ferry to the city.

The drive across the bridge went well, and the view from Marin Head was spectacular, but as I drove into Sausalito, and the police car lights flashed on, I realised the day might not go as well as previous adventures had. After a bit of swift talking, and the use of my best English accent, combined with an Australian driving licence, and I was let off with a caution (for failing to give way to a pedestrian on a cross-walk). I think the paperwork may have been a bit too complicated!

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When I finally found the ferry terminal, I discovered that the first ferry didn’t leave for another hour, despite the lengthy delay with the police, so I had to turn around and drive back across the bridge, through the city, to the appropriate pier.

There I met Isabel, and other members of BAADS, the Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors. A fter a couple of coffees we headed for the boat, a 36 foot Islander called “Orion”, and headed out into the bay. The view of the city and the Bay Bridge was fantastic, and we headed upwind towards Alcatraz. The winds were light, so it was a pretty relaxed afternoon, and I got a turn at the helm for a while.

What an absolute privelidge to go out with these wonderful people, who despite the difficulties they face, still enjoy an incredibly active lifestyle. Wandering around the deck among the other sailors, lifejacket on like everyone else was Genoa, a labrador guide dog belonging to Ed, the fleet commodore, who is completely blind!

The rest of our crew consisted of skipper Ray, Tom and Jean, Isabel and myself. After we returned to the dock, we enjoyed a couple of drinks at the yacht club bar, followed by a lovely meal at a local restaurant. A fantastic day!

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On my return to the carpark where I had left the RV, properly parked in a slot, parking fee paid for the whole day, carpark 10% occupied at the most, I had a parking ticket! Apparently RVs are not allowed to use the carpark. Had I inconvenienced anyone else? Probably not, there were at least 200 other empty spaces! Welcome, visitor, to San Francisco, the least RV friendly city in the US.

Time to head northwards. Thanks to all in San Francisco, Susan, Cindy and family, Isabel and all at BAADS, and of course the wonderful San Franciso parking militants!

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