Catalina 400 MKII
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Santa Cruz, California
Thanked 72 Times in 68 Posts
Rep Power: 7
Re: Golden Gate entrance
Ah yes, San Francisco entrance. Sounds like Rover has met the famous "South Channel". This is the southern brother of the famous Potato Patch. Shallow water and currents and wind and tide all working together to make a confusing maelstrom. Let's see if I can attach the chart ...
Like a big horseshoe surrounding the entrance. So the deal is to go WAY out. Like to channel marker R4. Then turn left. The South Channel is a good distance offshore - over a mile - and seems like a good idea. But on a falling tide, with a large swell over about 6 feet, the channel closes out into breaking waves, with no way out. A lot of boats have gone aground along that section of coast. I've used the south channel on calm days, with a rising tide, if there is good visibility. If not, then going out to the (almost) end of the shipping channel is just fine, thank you.
Closer to the Golden Gate, there are so many currents and counter currents. Add a bit of swell, mix in a handfull of tidal currents, a dash of wind, and voila, you get some pretty interesting water movements. I have to be honest, one of the worst (mistakes) I ever incountered was the wake from a large container ship. I was close because I was tucked in behind the south tower of the bridge. The wake looked so small as I headed into it. It hit the boat and shook it like a terrier with a rat in it's teeth. Opps. Let's not make that mistake again!
Last edited by Scotty C-M; 12-05-2018 at 05:34 PM.