San Francisco is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. What better way to see the city and its environs than from your own cruising yacht?
Bob and Carolyn Mehaffy, using many photos, chartlets, and lush descriptions of the available attractions at each stop, have shown San Francisco Bay to be a multi-faceted sailing destination. Their new guide surpasses even their previous book on this topic.
The Mehaffys spend the first third of their book familiarizing the reader with the history and geography of the area and providing information useful to the mariner. For the benefit of visiting voyagers, they have a small section dealing with gear commonly used by local sailors. This is presented in a friendly and conversational tone that carries through to the rest of the book. At the heart of a cruising guide are descriptions of local anchorages and attractions. Here the Mehaffys’ new guide shines. Dozens of potential weekend or vacation spots suiting all moods and seasons are vividly described. I was delighted to find their descriptions of the places I was most familiar with to be quite accurate. This gives me very high expectations for the other sites I have yet to explore.
The one exception is that no mention is made of the often tumultuous wakes and strong currents that can trouble boaters anchored at Paradise Cove. Perhaps the authors felt these would be so obvious to experienced cruisers that they didn’t merit a mention, but it did make me wonder if anything negative might have been left out of any of the other descriptions.
On the other hand, the section on Tomales Bay, much of which appeared in Cruising World (June 1999), now carries a photo of the sobering “Notice to Mariners” about the Tomales Bar and additional information about the often-dangerous bar across the entrance to that bay. It also rhapsodizes less on the enticements of this cruising area than the earlier version does.
I would not hesitate to recommend that local boaters take a good look at adding this volume to their bookshelves. Voyagers planning to pass through the area should consider this book a must-have. They will find even more reason to spend time sailing San Francisco Bay once they are aware of all this area has to offer them.