San Francisco is home to many things: a Fisherman’s Wharf scattered with playful sea lions, quirky architecture along steep, hilly roads, and year-round fog (that for some hilarious reason is known as “Karl” amongst locals and tourists alike). This vibrant city has so much to offer, but one of my personal highlights from my recent trip was a sunset sailing cruise of the San Francisco Bay.
During this cruise you’re able to catch sight of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridges, Fort Mason, numerous breath-taking shorelines, and the infamous Alcatraz Island. Between the years of 1934-1963 this island housed some of America’s most dangerous criminals in the prison that was built there – many of whom tried to escape, all of whom failed.
It truly is spectacular to see in person, especially when you imagine the countless secrets, tales and mysteries that would have formed part of this haunting place. Eek.
On the afternoon of the cruise, all 30 or so of us dressed up in our finest fancy dress costumes and headed to the bustling Fisherman’s Wharf where we would be boarding our sailboat. Despite the looming rainclouds and crisp breeze, our excitement and anticipation was enough to keep us all warm. We were greeted by the friendly crew, who welcomed us to the boat and gave us a little information about San Francisco and the sights we were about to see.
Once we had set sail some people headed to the bow of the boat to get the full “Jack-and-Rose-Titanic” experience, whereas others kicked back in the cockpit and enjoyed a beer or glass of wine. As for me, I had my eyes set on the hummus platter from the moment I saw it, so when I wasn’t catching the breeze on the bow I was hovering around the beautiful assortment of snacks that were prepared for us.
Out on the bow the fog was beginning to surround us, making our view of Alcatraz even more eerie and mysterious than I could have imagined. The breeze may have been fresh, but we were all kept toasty warm with the weatherproof jackets that were provided for us. All it took was for “I’m on a Boat” to start playing over the speakers to get everyone out onto the bow for a sing and dance sesh.
One of the most epic moments of the cruise was the moment we went under the Golden Gate Bridge. The view was absolutely breathtaking, and getting to see it from a completely different angle to normal was spectacular. As we approached it started to rain, but this only added to the experience!
After nearly an hour of showing off (and by that I mean hopelessly attempting) my best Beyoncé moves, I took a much needed HB (hummus break). As I sat and watched my fellow travel companions laughing, dancing, singing, smiling and joking around together, I was overcome with pure happiness. Seeing people I didn’t know 12 days prior now having the time of their lives on a boat together and making memories that will last forever, was a truly beautiful thing.
Seeing and learning about such a significant, historic part of San Francisco, whilst being able to celebrate and have a great time with friends is a memory, I will treasure for the rest of my life.
Emily is a recent psychology-graduate-turned-travel-enthusiast, who loves nothing more than spending her days basking in the sun, chasing waterfalls and a warm, freshly-baked falafel. She is currently planning a trip to Hawaii and Mexico (where she will of course be doing all of the above activities!).