Sailing South of the San Mateo Bridge
by Robert Tekiela, February 2012
Have you been to the South Bay? I mean on a boat, not in a car. If you are looking for a change in scenery or are looking to “go were you have not gone before”, there are some interesting destination down there.
Feeling adventurous, a bunch of us took “Pink Slip” and “Monet” for a weekend cruise organized by Chris Owczarek. Our destination was the Peninsula Yacht Club (http://www.pycboating.org/uptown/) located in Docktown, the last marina up the Redwood Creek channel. It is a funky place. The marina has an eclectic collection of boats and house boats. The club house is in an old water tank which very likely was used to water steam ships in the days when Redwood City still had redwoods. It has a pirate mannequin with an obligatory parrot, a sign suggesting that this is a place “where sailors of yesteryear recount their adventures and tell tall tales”, and a mermaid mural in the head (a must to see for every visitor). I cannot say enough about hospitality of the Peninsula YC members. Judi, the Port Captain of the PYC cooked a delicious Kung Pao Chicken for the hungry visitors, we had great conversations, and learned a lot about sailing in the part of the Bay less familiar to us. We heard, for example, about sailing trips to Alviso, the southern most marina on the Bay. The trips require careful planning around the tides.
Going to Redwood City requires a lot of planning as well. Docktown is only accessible at higher water levels. We ended up staying overnight in the Redwood City Municipal Marina, less than a mile from Docktown but with plenty of water under the kill. Low, low morning tide would have kept us stranded for hours up the creek. Thanks to the tide however, on the way back we got a very clear view of USS Thompson, a World War I destroyer which was used during WWII as a target practice and lies in the mudflats near eastern shore of the Bay (http://redwoodcity.patch.com/articles/wwii-target-practice-ship-still-lies-in-redwood-city).
It was the most enjoyable trip. If you are looking for a new destination, it may be worth considering. We are very tempted to join PYC in their next Alviso trip.