stillhowlyn's travels 2008 travel blog

Our Coast Guard friend, Bobby

Our "ride"!

OK, Howard, you can drive!

Along the waterfront

Alcatraz Island

Taken from the Presidio Yacht Club

High above the Golden Gate

Looking down toward the CG facility & yacht club

Not just any boat ride, mind you! This was aboard the 47 foot aluminum Coast Guard cruiser for the Golden Gate Station's search and rescue team, compliments of our friend, Bobby, Norm's next door neighbor.

Station Golden Gate is one of the Coast Guard's nineteen designated surf stations and the busiest search and rescue station on the West Coast, averaging over 600 search & rescue cases and more than 300 law enforcement boardings each fiscal year. The station is one of several San Francisco Bay Area units responsible for offshore or open ocean response, with an area of responsibility covering fifty nautical miles offshore from Point Reyes to Point Ano Nuevo, including the Farallon Islands, and within San Francisco Bay from Bluff Point in Marin County to Pier 39 on the San Francisco waterfront.

With twin 425 HP diesel engines which, incidentally burn about 28 gallons each per hour and are replaced every 3000 hours, they can power through some of the roughest surf and high wave conditions imaginable. The boat is constructed to withstand a total "knockdown" at sea and right inself! Bobby says this particular feature has come in handy a few times!

With a full crew of 6 plus us two lucky passengers aboard, we left the Sausalito dock on an unusually warm and calm Sunday morning. Just outside the harbor Bobby announces that Howard will take the helm and then proceeds to steer him out the Golden Gate for a short distance then returning for a cruise along the San Francisco waterfront, past Pier 39 and around Alcatraz

Island. We got to go below decks and see the engine room and interior compartments. Afterwards, Bobby gave us a tour of their beautiful Sausalito facilities which are situated on park property for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and next door to the Presidio Yacht Club and Fort Baker.

Afterwards, we walked around the Yacht Club and Fort Baker then drove out the steep, windy road on the north end of the GG Bridge that goes out to Fort Barry and loops down to Point Bonita and its lighthouse.

We had a wonderful day!

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