Sunday, September 17, 2006

We are at Angel Island today. It is a large island that is located about 4 miles east of the Golden Gate Bridge. The island is a state park and there are paths all over the island that you can hike around on. We walked up to the top of a large hill, they refer to as a mountain, and it took us an hour and a half to walk up. There are spectacular views from the top, you can see all of San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz, the skyline of San Francisco, all the bridges in the area, (there are at least 4 very long ones) and all the surrounding communities, Oakland, Berkley, Sausalito. Tiburon, Richmond and a whole bunch more.
The island has a lot of history attached to it, in the late 1800’s to 1940 the U.S. tried to prevent Chinese from immigrating and the island was a place where Chinese citizens that wanted to enter the U.S. were kept until they could prove who they were. People were kept in jail like conditions for many months. A U.S. military fort was also built on Angel Island because troops stationed here could control who entered the harbour. In WW2 it was the staging area for troops to leave for the Pacific. There are a lot of military building that are still standing from that period.
Angel Island is now a popular weekend destination for Bay area boaters. You can have a picnic ashore and do some hiking around and then head home. The bay where we are moored is not that big and they have mooring buoys. It was like a Chinese fire drill when we came in here, for one thing it is very shallow and at 1.8 feet below the keel I baled and backed out of our first try at a mooring ball. Barry took over and we went in and dropped anchor and then some kind soul jumped in his dinghy and came over and tied our lines off, stern and bow to mooring balls and we pulled up our anchor.
We are going to stay here for another night and go into San Francisco tomorrow, there is a ferry that arrives right at the dock and goes to Pier 39 on Fisherman’s Wharf. We have to get in our cable car ride and see a few more sights before we leave. Not sure when we will leave but we are thinking probably Tuesday morning. We don't have internet access today so hope to put pictures on soon.