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.

 

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Just a little drive

Cars negotiate Lombard Street's famed twisty s...

Image via Wikipedia

Last night I had a gig with the San Francisco Freedom Band and the function was being held at the San Francisco Art Institute.  I had another band member go with me as my navigator.  So most of the ride was your normal cross city drive but we had some extra time so we drove down Lombard Street.  Lombard Street has the distinction of being the most crooked street in the world.  I have to say the houses on the street were beautiful.  Also you never have to worry about people speeding by your house.

The Art Institute was a nice facility.  There was a beautiful view from one of the terraces.  It was overlooking the bay.  There was a wonderful courtyard.  I would guess that they use the courtyard for events often.

On the way home we drove through the Stockton Street Tunnel.  My navigator told me that the tunnel is used for car chases and movie shoots.  It was kind of interesting driving under Chinatown and coming out next to Union Square.  It always amazes me how things like the Stockton Tunnel are over looked.  I guess it’s like seeing a cow in Ohio.

So that was my tourism in a couple of hours.  Just a drive from one part of town to another.  More to come as I make these little trips around the San Francisco area.