By Roberto Gutierrez
You arrive at SFO and load all your gear into a Lyft and get dropped at The Ferry Building. First stop Blue Bottle Coffee, grab your preferred brew and then stroll through the Ferry Building Farmer's Market and grab fresh cheese, mushrooms, risotto and of course a bottle or two of wine. Don’t forget to buy your ferry ticket to Sausalito at this point either.
Once you have collected up all the groceries and food you might need for your trip, catch the next ferry to Sausalito. Once you get to Saus, head along the water to a public launch. From here you will set up your Oru Kayaks and head out for a 2.5 mile paddle to your beautiful campsite! It may be helpful to use the Bay Area Sea Kayakers Trip Planning tool to time your trip. Once you leave pay attention to the seals and sea lions in the water, there are usually quite a few! You will paddle through live-aboard boats and a giant floating home known as the Floating Taj Majal. Head towards Belvedere point, cross Raccoon Strait and you will be at Kayak Campsite on Angel Island before you know it! After a glass of wine and some good stories around the campfire, you call it a night and get ready for Day 2!
Head north along Raccoon Strait to Ayala Cove, this is the ferry terminal for Angel Island and it is quite beautiful. If you are feeling strong you could easily paddle around Angel Island, but keep an eye on the tides and currents, which can make that paddle more difficult. Find a quiet beach along the walls of Angel Island and set up for lunch. After a bit of food and some relaxation, head back to camp and get ready to go on a hike!
Get some food prepped and make sure you cameras are all charged up, the view from the summit of Angel Island is spectacular. Weather permitting, head out from Angel Island and aim for Alcatraz! Unfortunately, you can not access Alcatraz via kayak, but it is still a beautiful and historic thing to see. From here, you will want to mind the shipping lanes as you navigate back to the Ferry Building. This is a 4 mile paddle and will take a couple hours, but it is well worth it to see a side of San Francisco that very few get to see. You will be aiming for Pier 14, which has a hidden set of stairs (obvious from the water).
Once you land here, fold up your boats, pack up the gear, and head into Hog Island Oysters and have a celebratory sampler plate of oysters and a cold beer, you have earned it! Get sorted with a Lyft back to the airport or take BART, say goodbye to your compatriots and off you go.
Paddling questions? Give us a holler @orukayak. We’d be happy to help you out.