“Rockin” in the free Bay

As printed in: Latitude 38 – Sightings
June, 2009

In San Francisco Bay, there are rocks and then there are Rocks.
Alcatraz has long been known as The Rock, even though it’s an island.
Likewise, racers often refer to the Farallon Islands as the Rock Pile, or Southeast Farallon as the Rock. We’ve also heard Red Rock called ‘the Rock’ even though – again – it’s really an island.

Now that that’s out of the way, we can address the interesting query from a reader about where the ‘hazard to navigation’ rocks are in San Francisco Bay, and which ones sailors should be particularly concerned about. Oddly, this is the first time we’ve ever gotten this question and it took a bit of head scratching to come up with a list, since not all of the ‘hittable’ rocks are noted on charts, and not all notable rocks are hittable. Anyway, here’s what we came up with.

The Berkeley Reef – While the entire area from Cesar Chavez Park to Brooks Island is hazardous and off-limits there is a particularly nasty rock located Northwest of the Berkeley Marina, about a third of the way to Brooks Island. Normally just below the surface, it’s exposed only during extreme minus tides. The rock itself sits just East of the green piling marker (FL G 2.5s 13ft 3M “1”). At night, this light can be quite dim and is very easy to miss among all the background city lights. Warning: a strong westerly combined with current and tide can put you into the reef right out of the marina!

The Berkeley Pier – It presently extends 2.5 miles with a very dim and nearly indistinguishable red marker that blends into the cityscape at night. Currently, only the first 3000ft of the pier are maintained.
Beyond that is a 50ft gap for the passage of small boats then broken pilings between the ruins and beneath the surface that could impale your boat.

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OCSC goes to Tanzania!

One of the few things that appears to be on the ‘list’ for everyone I talk with is an African Safari.  And, so it was for the 2012 OCSC Tanzania Safari we just recently completed.  16 OCSC friends and members struck out together to experience the wilds of Tanzania with our Partners, Blue Odyssey, Mango Safari and the Tanzanian outfitter, Nomad Safaris.

We traveled from Arusha, THE jumping off point for most Tanzanian Safaris, through Lake Manyara, an incredibly dense game park a short plane ride away.  Then, to Serena Lodge on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater, one of the largest calderas in the world; thence to the Serengeti Plains and five days in the bush, finishing our trip in mysterious Zanzibar on a beach overlooking the Indian Ocean.

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Oracle and the Americas Cup

By April Thygeson

Larry Ellison’s Oracle Racing Team won the America’s Cup in Valencia in 2010. Although the challengers were undoubtedly disappointed to not bring home the cup themselves, in the long run they and their sport may end up benefitting dramatically from the Oracle win. Spurred by his victory, Larry Ellison has invested $300 million in the next America’s Cup.

This America’s Cup will be different from anything the sailing world has seen before. First, the boats will feature wingsails instead of fabric mainsails, which will allow the catamarans to accelerate from zero to 20 knots in just a few seconds. The speeds with which the carbon-fiber catamarans will whip around the race course will ensure a high level of crowd-pleasing drama.

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Welcome David Gross and his J105 “Nirvana” to the OCSC Family!

So you can learn more about David, Tim one of our Club Managers led the following interview…
Hello David, when and where did you learn how to sail?
I learned to sail in the San Francisco Bay when I moved here from Los Angeles in 2004.   My father-in-law, Peter Heilbrun, was a partner in aCatalina 36, so that was the first boat I ever sailed.  He later
bought a 1962 Rhodes Meridian pocket cruiser, before he caught the racing bug and purchased Nirvana.    I was unemployed at the time, and Peter was retired, so we spent a lot time sailing the Bay on the Catalina and the Meridian (and later on Nirvana). Two of the more memorable trips were sailing down the coast to Monterey, and up to Petaluma through the San Pablo Bay and Petaluma River. I was hooked, and I’ve been sailing as much as I can ever since, mostly on the Bay, but I’ve also chartered in the BVIs and the Med.

How long have you owned Nirvana?
I’ve owned Nirvana with my wife, Sarah Kate, and her family since 2006.
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