Day-Off Day Trip to Pier 1 ½ — 37°47.85 122°23.69

Article and Photos by: Monica Alicia Bland

Because of the unusual southerly wind on Tuesday, a trip to Pier 1 ½ was a beam reach most of the way. It took about an hour to get there in 8-10kt wind on a J/24 and two hours to get back in 5-8kt wind on a downwind run/broad reach. The small, outermost dock at Pier 1 ½ is closed indefinitely but the larger, more interior dock is open and simple to access. We–OCSC Instructor Bill Kinney skippered for the trip–tied up to starboard, peeled off our foul weather gear, locked the boat, and walked into the city. There are plenty of fun things to do around Pier 1 1/2.


  • The history walk in the Pier 1 building displays interesting facts about Bay Area maritime history.
  • Quotes about San Francisco are cast into the waterfront fences.
  • Window shopping/people/boat watching along the waterfront is endlessly entertaining.

For a FEE:

  • Ride BART, the trolley, or other transportation to another part of the city.
  • Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday shop the Farmer’s Market in the Ferry Building.
  • Eat at any of the many great restaurants in the area.

What we would have done differently:

  • Left earlier and stayed longer to do more sightseeing on shore and catch the Farmer’s Market.
  • Taken a few more minutes to discuss how the odd wind would change our marina procedures.
  • Brought along a birding book to immediately solve waterfowl identification disputes.

What worked for this crew:

  • Bringing lunch and eating on the boat saved money.
  • Wearing good gear from the OCSC pro-shop kept us dry through occasional showers.
  • Keeping a sharp lookout for ferry and shipping traffic protected us and the J/24!

Even if you don’t have a southerly-wind-powered beam reach to the cityfront, Pier 1 ½ is a great destination for full-day charterers, especially since the public dock is FREE. If you have any recommendations about visiting Pier 1 ½ that you’d like to share with other OCSC members and friends, let us know by commenting below—or just mention it when you call to set up your next charter. Hope to see you out on the water soon!

Monica Alicia Bland