Views from the San Francisco Bay (Estuary)

The Kitty Kat
So my latest travel was with San Francisco Whale Tours.  It was a ninety minute tour out on the San Francisco bay and Eva was the marine biologist that was with us on the trip.  Being from Ohio it just amazes me every time I go out on the bay.  This is my 3rd trip out on the bay I believe and I still love the view from the boat.  This boat in particular is named the Kitty Kat.  The boat takes you out and under the Golden Gate Bridge and returns going around on the back side of Alcatraz island.

While we were out on the water we saw some Harbor Porpoises playing in the water, some seals swimming and sunning themselves, and various birds.  The Harbor Porpoises are a smaller version of a dolphin and they are black.  The seals were all in the water so the best guess is that they were harbor seals.  The birds I saw were sea gulls, pelicans, and a black bird that looked like a loon.  Oh and I shouldn’t forget about the famous seals that you can see at the end of Pier 39.  I have some pictures of them below.

Growing up as a kid we were only two and a half hours from Lake Erie, which would rival the bay in some sense but we never went there.  In case you don’t know Ohio is surrounded by land (the Ohio river on the southern edge) on 3 sides.  Only the northern side of the state is about 75% lake front.  So now that I’m living next to the ocean again (I was living next to the Gulf of Mexico while living in New Orleans) I just love being able to go down to the piers or even out on a boat like this.

If you live in the city or you’re coming to visit I recommend going on a boat ride.  It is a great way to spend an afternoon.  You can take MUNI down to Pier 39 and then have a nice casual lunch at any of the restaurants along the piers.  Then take the cruise at 3:30 PM and be back at 5 PM.  There are a lot of tourist that go there but I think the boat ride is well worth it.  The boat rides are fairly inexpensive and if you go down to Fisherman’s Wharf there are some that you can do on the fly so you don’t have to schedule ahead.  The one trip I took was only $15 a couple of years back and was on a smaller fishing boat.



Week One

The corner of Market, Castro, and 17th on 06-S...

Image via Wikipedia

So I’ve been here a week and I’ve been pretty relaxed and not doing too much running. As you may know from my other blog I’m unemployed. So I’m living on a limited income. I thought I would share some of the things I’ve done thus far.

Sunday I did a casual trip to the Castro.  I was going to a bar that I’ve been to several times before. It was fun because there was an event going on and there was a lot of people in the bar.  The event was a fundraiser with the Ducal Council as the sponsor.  There were some “ladies” all dressed up in their finest.  I love those kinds of days where you just go on a simple trip and fall into something far bigger then you had planned on.

Today I had a doctor’s appointment so I used public transportation.  Now you wouldn’t think that would be such a big deal but what would have taken 20 minutes to drive to, took almost 50 minutes on the bus.  So I had to get up extra early and make sure I was out waiting on the bus to come.  Now that’s not to difficult but I had to transfer from one bus to another.  So I got off the first bus and I saw a sign for the bus stop that I needed to catch.  Well I thought I would just walk up the street since I didn’t see the bus coming.  Well that’s not the best idea when you don’t really know the bus route.  So after standing around for a little while I noticed that the bus hadn’t come along.  So I walked back to the bus stop I had seen down the street.  Then wouldn’t you know it, along came a bus.

After the doctor’s appointment I needed to run some paperwork to a downtown office.  So I had already mapped out my route and I went to get on that next bus.  I came quick and I didn’t really have any problems.  The funny with this bus was it was going across several hills in the downtown area.  So it was very odd when the bus had to come to a stop at a cross street on one of these fairly steep hills.  The bus had to pass through Chinatown so that was fun catching a glimpse into some of the shops along the street.  I have to say it was a pretty interesting ride.

OH after dropping off the paperwork was a real comedic experience because I got on the bus going the wrong direction.  It was one of those historical street cars (from Philadelphia).  I thought it was no big deal because it would just have to go down to the ferry building and turn around.  Once again I thought I knew the route the bus would take and I didn’t.  The street car went down to the Ferry Building like I had expected but then it continued to run along the piers.  It was interesting because I did see some different places that I would like to go check out on another day.  Then the bus came to the end of its route.  This shows my ignorance about public transportation.  I thought it was just a never-ending loop.  That’s not the case.  So the driver announces the last and I think to myself “What am I going to do?”  Being a person who travels pretty easy I just think I’ll catch another bus in that area.

I mean that couldn’t have been the only bus going there.  I can say that with some certainty because we had pulled up behind another street car.  So I get out throw away some trash I had in my pocket and notice that the street car, parked in front of the one I had gotten off, starting to load people.  So I jump on and ride it back up Market Street to a point where I could catch the bus to my house.

Now some may not think that riding a bus is exciting and maybe they’re right but I had a good time.  I’m waiting on my bus pass to arrive in the mail (Clipper card).  Once I get that there are several major lines that I want to check out.  They look a little more trains.  They even run underground in the downtown area.  I’ll try to take some pictures to post of the “interesting” things one may see on the bus. Till then you’ll just have to revel in this story.