“Sittin’ in the morning sun
I’ll be sittin’ when the evening comes
Watching the ships roll in
Then I watch them roll away again, yeah
I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Watchin’ the tide roll away, ooh”
As the story goes, the lyrics for Sitting on the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding (1967), were written by Redding while sitting on a Sausalito houseboat on the San Francisco Bay. Once you land here you will discover that San Francisco Bay inspires all of us who live or visit here.
Aside from its natural beauty, San Francisco Bay is considered one of the most challenging waters by sailors and yachtsmen from all over the world. On one of the sunniest mild days on the Bay, the winds all of a sudden heat up, as they usually do every afternoon, and you find yourself enveloped in the San Francisco fog, trying to stay ahead of it back to your berth. Always wary of the elements, with “layered” as the dress code, Bay Area residents and visitors participate in every imaginable watersport on the Bay, including sailing, windsurfing, paddling, boating, kite boarding and for those of strong will and heart – swimming. The SF Bay is home to some of the most outstanding sailors in the world.
There are at least 40 marinas on the San Francisco Bay (map) and some have guest slips. The San Francisco Bay also is home to 41 yacht clubs encircling the Bay and offering sailing and power boat racing and events. There is also the San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail, which is a planned network of launch and landing sites around the Bay for non-motorized small boats, providing easier access for kayakers and other human powered boaters (brochure).
The San Francisco Bay Trail encircles the edge of the Bay. It is a planned 500-mile continuous trail for pedestrians and cyclists that moves through 47 cities on the San Francisco Bay, providing access to nature, birding, fishing, views and more.
The San Francisco Bay is the gateway to wonderful natural, cultural and eclectic shopping experiences with eight bridges spanning its waters and one Transbay Tube (the BART subway passes through this underwater tube) connecting SF to Oakland. Before all these passageways were built, Ferries would move visitors, residents and commuters from one side to SF and back. We still have a robust Ferry System today. San Francisco Bay Ferry, Blue & Gold Fleet and the Red & White Fleet. Learn more about San Francisco Bay history and resources.
On the Bay and all its Visitors Hubs have a deep appreciation of the Bay and are dedicated to keeping the San Francisco Bay free of pollution, so it can continue to be the beautiful, safe and enjoyable watersports play land that it is.