Wednesday, August 17, 2011

NoCa & San Francisco Day 9 - I'm sailing

I'm sailing ....

Saturday - day 9 of my trip to Northern California and San Francisco could be renamed as "The Day of Joy" because it was amazing from the start to the end.

First of all ... I slept in a bit. Sleep can be such a nice treat after a long week. In the morning I did some writing for this blog in my bed with my fantastic view over the downtown skyline. After a while I started missing my Vanilla Latte and food, but I did not feel like getting up and dressed. Then I thought "Wait this is America, but ... no I cannot do that. Or can I? No, I can't. But maybe if .... ah screw it. This is America."  And so I got up and - the very first time in my life - I left my hotel room in my pajamas (!) to go to the Starbucks right in the hotel lobby. It felt weird, but I loved it and I even more loved to go back to bed with my breakfast. For the Americans of you it might be the most normal thing on the planet to do so - it very likely is since absolutely NOBODY did even look at me twice or took any attention on my dress-, but for an European it's such a NOGO. To my defense I have to say that my pajamas consist of long dark blue pants, a blue GAP Pittsburgh T-Shirt and I was wearing a long cardigan above all this.

After this wonderful start of the day, when the sunshine outside got really bright (YAY!) I started for a walk along the Embarcadero towards Pier 39. It's one of my absolutely favorite San Francisco walks and enjoyed it a lot again this time.


Downtown San Francisco

Lombard Mansion

Pier 39 & Fisherman's Wharf

And then ... starting from Pier 39 West I did something I wanted to do since I was in San Francisco for the very first time a couple of years ago:  SAILING THE BAY.

I already made a motorboat trip out the Golden Gate Bridge with some of  the bigger ships and a boat trip over to Alcatraz, but no sailing adventure yet.  I love the ocean, I am blessed with a stable stomach and I love boat trips since I was a kid ... the smaller the boat, the wilder the ride the better it was and is.
As you can imagine I was super happy and excited when Captain Hans (who looks EXACTLY like you would expect a guy to look like that makes his life sailing the bay) invited us to enter the catamaran "Adventurecat 2".

And WOW ... what a  trip it was. Blue sky, sunshine, nice winds ... a few moments after we had left Pier 39 we were flying towards Alcatraz, then over to Sausalito and right into the fog and bad weather below the Golden Gate Bridge and back again to San Francisco.
When we were out at the bridge even a couple of dolphins followed the boat in some distance jumping in and out of the water - AMAZING!  I did not make pictures, because they were hard to catch and I had my camera in my pocket to protect it from the spray water, but they were there and I loved it. 

I took LOTS of photos and I can only post very few highlights here, but you can go to my Facebook album to see them all.

The tour with the Adventurecat 2 can be booked with Extranomical Tours, San Francisco. I went with Extranomical to Muir Woods last year and on the sailing adventure this year - both tours were fantastic. 

Captain Hans & The Adventurecat 2

Sailing the bay ...

Bad weather at the Golden Gate

A cloud creeping over the hill to Sausalito

Certainly not the best pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge I ever made (last year was much better), but the most mystical ones.

Coming back the warm sunshine was much appreciated:

Back at Pier 39 to visit the sea lions.

Right after the sailing adventure I went back all the way to Embarcadero BART station and took a train to the East Bay to meet some lovely friends for tapas and drinks at Bar César in Berkeley (great fried potatoes, delicious ribs, nice drinks - only the bread pudding was a little too massive).  We had so much fun :)

And then we got  .....

Pittsburgh, CA - Part 4

When I was waiting for my train to the East Bay down at the BART Station a voice suddenly announced:

"Next train to Pittsburg[h] in 7 minutes. 7 minutes for Pittsburg[h]."

Ahhhh - WHAT?
Not that I would not jump on a train to Pittsburgh any time, but from Embarcadero BART Station????
To my excuse I have to say that being blessed with a downtown office I did not use BART in about 4 years and so I was not aware of this:

Pittsburg, CA

So there is actually a Pittsburg in California. It's right by San Francisco, but it has to live without the fancy h at the end. Poor guys ;)

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