Drake’s Bay Motor Cruise

Thanksgiving weekend, having no girls to feed or care for, I decided to go on a cruise.   My choices were Half Moon Bay, Drake’s Bay, a rounding of the Farallones, or some combination.    The troublesome factor was not wanting to reach a new-to-me anchorage in the dark, and the huge ebb tidal flow out the Gate in the late afternoons, which meant that once I left the bay I was not getting back in.    Winds mid-morning Friday were nothing-to-5 kts, so I started motoring up to Drake’s Bay.  There was a slight favorable current most of the time, but under engine I was faster than the wind coming from my transom.

The last few miles saw Pt. Reyes itself cloaked in a thick fog bank.   I found my horn and quickly refreshed myself on the signaling rules for powered vessels under way in reduced visibility in the COLREGs.   I was thinking also on how I might have spent some of the enroute hours in rigging my new radar reflector.  Visibility was about 100 ft as I groped slowly forward for the last mile, keeping a sharp eye out for the big mooring buoy near where I wanted to anchor — which is unlighted, and might not be where the GPS said it was.   Finally, dead ahead, a white sloop loomed into view.   It was S/V Tiger Beetle,  a friend from the SSS and Grand Marina.   I hailed Rob and Kristen aboard, and we rafted up for some drinks and snacks.


The fog lifted a bit shortly after I arrived (at about 1700) while there was still light in the sky.


Tiger Beetle and Temerity hanging out.


Rob and Kristen, good company and death on crabs.


I had thought to sail down to HMB on Saturday, or some other destination, but the weather was so perfect (and the wind still so light) that I figured that I was already in the best place I was likely to find.  Rob gave me a ride to shore in his dinghy, and I got to walk around for a few hours at the end of Pt. Reyes.


The elephant seals hang out and gargle at each other on the beach at the upper left of the photo.


Only three boats in the anchorage.  Holding was good, and the sandy bottom meant that the anchor came up clean and easy for a change!


The Farallones beckon from 17 nm through the haze.


Benchmark at end of point above Chimney Rock.


Chimney Rock.


Looking North toward the fishing dock.


The Coast Guard lifesaving station.


The fishing dock is a bit out of repair, and not officially open to the public.


Looking South from the anchorage.


Departing Drake’s Bay, about 0830.  Winds were for the most part light, and I was pretty focused on getting home before the ebb kicked in.


The Duxbury Reef buoy.


An interesting Croatian visitor at the iron scrap yard on the Estuary.  Plus, I noticed that the Matson Lurline, so long a fixture near Jack London Square, had gone!

2 Responses to “Drake’s Bay Motor Cruise”


  1. 1 breezetrees

    Looks very nice! Good pictures of the anchorage.

  2. 2 Buck

    Looks like a great time1 Some very nice photos there!

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