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Old as Dirt!
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Ok. I'm going to have to make a list of anchorages or I'm going to be shocked when I get there.

The Venice thing sounds nice, so this is a Labor Day weekend cruise for Mark?
The "List" already exists, click over to ActiveCaptain.com, register (it's free), and use the interactive cruising guide which includes notes/marks for facilities, anchorages, hazzards to navigation et al together with reviews and comments by users and other cruisers.

Further to the San Rafael Canal, I cannot imagine a "Pleasure Cruise" to that venue. The water is thin, murky, often foul and there are very few places where one might moor and no anchorages. At the bottom/west end of the canal there is the San Rafael Yacht Club which is a great little Club with friendly members and a roughly 300 foot long "visitors" dock although unless one is a member of a club with reciprocity one might not be able to stay very long, or at all. We did keep out first "real" boat, a 1957 era Thunderbird 26, in a slip behind a semi-run down apartment building on Canal Street for some while before we obtained a slip in Sausalito and found the area, ah..."exotic?". We often walked down to the Pier 15 Bar/Restaurant (still there with reportedly great food) and the denizens of the Canal District were a sight, particularly the multi-ethnic street hookers that trolled Francisco Boulevard, cheerfully waving to passing motorists and, often, "flashing" their "wears" as an "enticement" (for some). Something of a "Tenderloin North" although I have no clew as to whether that situation continues...
 
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