Friday, August 7, three of us met at Horeshoe Bay, near the North end of the Golden Gate Bridge with a plan to paddle to Point Bonita and back. These paddles are locally referred to as OTG (out the gate). Predicted conditions looked good, since we’d be paddling out on slack water (no current), and riding back in on the afternoon flood. Wind was predicted to be 6 to 8 knots from the South in the morning, with 15 to 20 knots in the afternoon.
We were on the water at 10:35, with the wind blowing from the south, but a bit fresher than we expected. Nevertheless we decided to peek around Lime Point, the point under the North end of the bridge, to see what was in store for us. Once around the point conditions were favorable, and while we found ourselves paddling into the wind, we opted to continue along the coast.
About halfway to Point Bonita is Point Diablo, the reckoning point for today’s paddle. Inside the point the water is calm and protected, outside you catch the full brunt of the wind and waves. I paddled a short distance beyond the point and decided that battling the three to four foot waves with a 15 knot headwind was not the best plan. We made a unanimous decision to paddle back to Kirby Cove for lunch.
Kirby Cove is quite protected from today’s wind and waves so we had an easy landing. We hauled out boats up the beach wary of the rising tide and broke out our lunches. We found a log about 12 feet long that gave us the proper social distancing. After lunch we returned to our boats just as the waves were starting to lap at them. Back on the water it was an easy return paddle, although we did find an eddy under the bridge that was moving counter to the incoming current. You can see Eoin and Michael just inside the tide line of the eddy in the photo below.
I opted to paddle outside the eddy. We were back on the beach shortly after 1 pm, having completed a very pleasant paddle covering 4.5 miles. I’ve included a map that shows the track of our paddle. I’ve been enjoying using Gaigps, as my method for tracking activities on and off the water. The phone app synchronizes with the online service which I find convenient. You’ll note that I am wearing a GoPro camera on my helmet. Stay tuned. One of these days I may actually post some footage.