Sausalito, California

Thursday I ventured in to Sausalito for the first time.  Sausalito is located along the shore of Richardson Bay, north of the Golden Gate Bridge.  There are many neat (and expensive) restaurants in town, as well as some beautiful homes.  There is also a huge marina housing a wide variety of boats.




Crowds gathered along the marina to watch this guy work.  It was fascinating to watch him raise and lower the big poles (extreme right of photo, and another at the far end of the platform) to anchor his platform and use the arm of the huge backhoe-type machine to position his rig.  He was apparently scraping the bottom of the Bay to provide additional clearance for large boats to dock.  His trusty dog had a wonderful time scurrying along his platform chasing seagulls and watching him raise and lower the mechanical arm and dump water and mud.


Now this is what I call a true houseboat!



And here is another one:


I hope these mobile homes don’t get too mobile…..


A good reason to come to Sausalito in December:



When I left Sausalito to drive to my next destination I discovered that it actually wraps around the southeast corner of the peninsula giving a great view of downtown San Francisco and Alcatraz Island.  I didn’t have time to take more pictures from this vantage point but returned on Sunday to get more photos which I will post later.




Here is the city skyline.  You can see the iconic TransAmerica Pyramid and to it’s right the new Salesforce tower, which will soon be the tallest building west of the Mississippi.  At the far left is Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill.


I was hoping to make it out to Alcatraz for a tour but didn’t make a reservation (and tours are booked through the end of July) so it will have to wait for my next trip to the area.


The Bay Model

One of the more interesting things to see in Sausalito is the Bay Model, constructed by the US Army Corps of Engineers in the mid-1950’s.  This 1.5 acre hydraulic scale model of the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta was designed to help scientists and engineers study the effect of various weather and man-made scenarios on the local environment.  Little metal strips are scattered throughout the model to help accurately simulate tides and the flow of water.  With the advent of computer-assisted technology this model is no longer used.

Here is a small (dry) sample of what the Model looks like up close:


And here are some photos of the actual Model.  It is housed indoors in a large building which covers more than two acres:



There are little signs indicating where cities, bridges and various landmarks are:


If you look closely there are two people standing just to the right of center in the following photo:


There are also large signs hanging overhead which name the general regions of the area:


I went over this bridge (the real one) Thursday morning when I drove from San Rafael over to Berkeley:


Golden Gate Bridge

There are numerous spots on both sides of the bridge where there are overlooks affording the viewer some great photo opportunities.  Thursday afternoon I went to several on the northwest side.




Friday morning I crossed the bridge to get over to the southwest side.  While Thursday was sunny and warm, Friday morning was very different – overcast and chilly with a stiff wind – much more San Francisco-like.  Mark Twain is once thought to have observed “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco” (although historians are beginning to suspect that he never actually said it.  It is a great line, regardless of who thought it up).