Following our hugely successful Sausalito Cruise Out, a trip to Angel Island is next on my list of favorite places to cruise, particularly at Thanksgiving. Now, this cruise out is a little different than others which visit a Club or Marina. This Cruise Out is to a State Park, and your stay is on a mooring ball, actually two mooring balls, one aft, and one stern. Getting to shore or visiting other boats, requires a dinghy. If you do not have a dinghy, it’s still possible, but you will be fully dependent on others to move you. There are docks at Ayala Cove, which are available for day use only! The docks do not have water or power. This cruise out, hanging on a mooring ball, is truly living independently on your boat (without having to anchor) – and it is fantastic. If you are not comfortable living on your boat or being independent on your boat, this cruise out is probably not for you – but we can help if you decide to join.
The plan… Grunion will head to Ayala Cove on Monday, November 22. Grab a mooring ball and hang out until Friday, November 26th. It’s important to note that ferries run all week, except on Thursday. There are no ferries on Thursday. For those joining us, we’ll plan a group dinner for Thursday, TBD. All other meals are up to you.
For this cruise out there will be no signup sheet. If you plan to go, please email me and I will coordinate with all of those going. We leave on Friday as other clubs arrive (Sequoia YC will arrive Friday) plus it’s a holiday weekend and the island can get very crowded.
Being on the island Thursday, with no ferry service, is truly a special experience – the island is all ours! The week will include many hikes, and surprises along the week (like sitting on a beach sipping champagne watching the sunset under the Golden Gate Bridge). We’ve done this trip for Thanksgiving for over 10 years. It is one of my favorites. I should mention, we’ve seen every sort of weather during this week, from sun and shorts, to non-stop rain, to absolutely freezing, winds that are strong enough to flip your dinghy overnight, to wildfire smoke and N95 masks.
Bonus, this cruise out is good practice for the delta (which we will plan to visit come summer). Because, you must live off your boat and should plan for all meals on your boat, and live on your boat for the week without docking. The mooring costs $30 per night. You will fill out a form, write a check and pay the ranger at the dock. I do believe there is a boat length limit, I think it’s around 60’, for the mooring balls. If you are a larger boat, say over 55’ and thinking of going, let me know and I will call the ranger to get the official length that is allowed. And, while the moorings are designed to have two boats raft up per ball, I highly recommend not doing that, unless absolutely necessary. The week can be filled with lots of very calm water, interrupted periodically with crazy ferry wakes – or a storm can bring wind and rough water. When two boats are rafted, it can be loud and rough. We’ve rafted many times in Ayala Cove – so it’s totally doable. If you plan to raft, do so with a boat of similar type and size so they have the same wave frequency, two boats rafted up moving out of sequence is awful, IMO. On the flip side, rafting up is fun as it makes it easy to share the week with another boat.
Please let me know if you plan to join us and I’ll add you to an email distribution with more information about the trip (for example, you will need a happy hooker, and I will explain what that means and your options and how to use one).
Shannon and Tod