|A gorgeous day on the bay proved to be just a bonus for our paddling group|
A kayaking class on tides, currents and rough water….
…recently reminded me that I took up writing as a vocation because higher mathematics was a deep, dull subject to me. And by “higher mathematics,” I mean stuff that your average fifth grader can knock out between video games. Not me -- words be my thang.
|Jennifer Yearley translates chart|
But the class shed a whole new light on practical applications of math, such as avoiding being sucked from San Francisco Bay under the Golden Gate Bridge in a very small boat and out into a very large ocean.
Our daylong paddle provided clear examples of how to judge current speed and time low and high tides to good effect, as well as interim periods of slack (water). I am a huge fan of slack, in the slang-ish sense that I would like more of it in general, not to mention minimizing physical exertion in the form of paddling. On this day, we spent a bit over 5 hours on the water with a mid-trip break of more than an hour, just my speed.
We launched from Horseshoe Cove at Fort Baker, on the Marin side of the bay, tucked into a natural hip pocket behind the Gate. Instructor Jennifer Yearley’s plan: Start off around slack tide (I was happy already), work our way up the coastline toward Sausalito, hang a right across Richardson Bay to the point at Belvedere, and finesse the cross current of Raccoon Strait over to Angel Island.
|Preparing to launch from Horseshoe Cove at Fort Baker|
There, we’d break for lunch, then start our return on maximum ebb tide. In other words, go with the bay flow instead of fighting it. Paddling in these parts is not always so easy, considering the playful -- and sometimes treacherous -- personality of the bay.