I’ve lived in Northern California for six years now and visit San Francisco frequently. I am also a huge lover of being out on the water. Learning to sail will probably make my before forty list, but in the meantime one thing I’ve wanted to do for years is going sailing on the San Francisco Bay. Recently I had the chance to hop on the Schooner Freda B and check it off my list.
Leaving from Sausalito and heading under the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most beautiful things I’ve had the chance to do yet. It was a perfect experience from the ship to the crews to the views. Sailing on the San Francisco Bay is something everyone should do at least one in their life.
It was the perfect day out on the bay as we took the Sunday morning Eco Sail under the Golden Gate Bridge and up along the Marin Headlands. We saw seals and harbor bay porpoises swimming along the ship. An up close and personal view of the Golden Gate Bridge. And a breathtaking site of the San Francisco skyline. You’ll find this post a little more photo heavy than normal, but these shots are what can best explain the experience.
The Freda B Schooner is an 80-foot ship with a 17-foot mast. Basically, for those of us who don’t sail it is huge and can actually sleep six people. Underneath the deck, you’ll find cozy accommodations. On our trip, a handful of the kids hung out down there. The deck itself is pristine. With enough room for 40 or so folks on the tour to sit down, but to be honest, we were too excited to sit for most of the ride.
I absolutely love the glistening blue of the ship. It stood out among all the classic white of many of the ships in the harbor.
The interior was filled with beautiful wood and more than enough bookshelves to keep me entertained over a long sail. The ship itself definitely made me want to go on a long sailing adventure.
There are few things I enjoy more than sitting up on the bow of a ship. You can’t beat the view and can often feel a little closer to the water.
The crew was welcoming from the get go. They were friendly and knowledgeable. Whether you were asking them questions about the ship, the history of the bay or the wildlife in the area they seemed to have an answer for everything.
We learned about the historical geography of the bay, like how there is a river flowing underneath the bay itself. Then how the wildlife gathers around it and that is right where we saw the porpoises.
They talked about the ship, about their lives sailing and more. They made you feel instantly welcomed and walk away with a better experience than I even expected.
Under the Bridge
While I liked the Golden Gate Bridge, I don’t think you can appreciate it until you get up close and personal underneath. Truly appreciating. Being able to see the bridge in it’s whole, but still up close is amazing. I was in awe as we went under it, unable to look away.
We were also lucky to have a perfect morning, with the sky clear and the sun shining I was able to get some astonishing shots of the bridge.
The stark red of the bridge really stood against the clear blue sky. You have the chance to see the nuisances of the bridge. The details of the individual pieces that make up this landmark, and the complexity of its architecture.
UP TO THE HEADLANDS
On top of the bridge and the skyline, we got to see the beautiful hills and coastline that make up the Marin Headlands. This piece of coastline is hard to see unless you’re out on a boat. We sailed all the way to Point Bonita. The lighthouse itself was adorable, especially the story about having to build a suspension bridge to the lighthouse, since where they originally put it always ended up in the fog.
We also passed spots like Black Sands Beach, which looked like the perfect spot to explore and was added to the places I want to explore in the area.
Checked Off the Bucket List
As much as I’ve now checked sailing on the San Francisco Bay off my bucket list I have a feeling it will quickly be added back onto it. I had such a good time, and the Schooner Freda B was the perfect way to go about it. The trip included breakfast snack, and they had french pressed coffee and cocktails to purchase. The Eco Tour ran at $65 per person, and for two and a half hours out on the ship it is worth this bucket list item.
I can’t wait to have some friends or family visit the area as an excuse to go back out on the Freda B. Make sure to check out their different tours, including rides over to Giants games during the season. I might have to schedule a trip, since what’s better than sailing and baseball.
For more information about San Francisco check out these great books on Amazon including 111 Places in San Francisco That You Must Not Miss, Lonely Planet San Francisco, and Fodor’s San Francisco.
Have you had the chance to go sailing on the San Francisco Bay, or have other bucket list items you’ve checked off in the Bay Area?