I have this idea of kayaking to work in SF one day, I just love the idea. Looks to be about 8 miles to the marina where I would land in SF from Berkeley. Everyone thinks I'm nuts who I mention this idea too. Hoping to find someone on here who would be more encouraging. Unfortunately it looks like the tides would not be in my favor, although its hard to tell how strong they are, have to look more on the map I found. Also those massive freighters would have to be avoided. Ok it does seem difficult. I am very fit though and am confident that I could cover the miles without a problem. I do have the sail kit which I would bring to use if it looked feasible. Any input would be appreciated. Haven't found any kind of record anyone doing this online. Thank you.
Dr Steelhead Catcher has some excellent advice.
The SF Bay can be dangerous in big ships to kayaks. You have fog, ripping tides/currents and howling winds to deal with.
You might want to try a Sat or Sun trip and plan to leave Berkeley in the morning with an outgoing tide, and return with the incoming tide and the usual westerly winds. Your sail would help on your return.
Before you do it by yourself, check with the local yakking clubs, they may have trips planned with a group and or you can hire a guide.
Below is a list of tides and equipment suggestions and clothing suggestions. I would suggest the PFD jacket listed and Kokatat Kayak pants with feet or bibs. You can use the jacket later during cold or cool weather. My wife and I have the Kokatat Kayak pants, and we wear them year round. She has wading shoes, and I use my fly fishing boa adjustable boots or wading sandals. I would recommend taking a drive to Clavey's in Petaluma to be fitted with the Kokatat kayak waders and foot gear. If the Kokatats can be fitted and the footgear doesn't work at Clavey's, take your new Kotatats to a Big Five, put them on and get fitted with foot gear.
Below is a list of gear my family and I use for yakking/power boating and outdoor activities to make our trips more enjoyable and to have some safety backup systems. Put your PLB and VHF in your float jacket and have a whistle attached to the jacket and an attached knife. The GPS is to help you find your way back if an unplanned fog catches you. It will also let you know where you are on the trip over and on the way back.
Remember no gear can save one if they put them self in a severe dangerous position. Or their gear is at home or goes away or down with the yak with the former yakkers in the water.
You might wish to try your new gear in the Berkley/Richmond/Oakland protected areas a few times to get used to the gear. Bodega Bay is a fairly safe and fun place to try yaks and yakking gear. You can launch your yak on the west end of Doran Beach Park just south of Bodega for both the bay and a protected ocean mini trip.
A good whistle and kayak knife to attach to your floating jacket. Also, a Princeton Tec Eco Flare Locator to attach to your float jacket; available at Clavey's: http://shop.clavey.com/princeton-tec-ec ... -p603.aspx
San Francisco Bay Tide Table and current table. Currents are important to yakkers: http://wolfweb.unr.edu/homepage/edc/tid ... _fr14.html
ACR SARLink PLB - Personal Locator Beaconhttp://www.shopepal.com/p-3516-acr-sarl ... eacon.aspx
Uniden Atlantis Maritime VHF floating 2 way radio 2506http://www.amazon.com/Uniden-Atlantis-1 ... B000E99WOC
First Watch Hi-Vis Flotation Bomber Jacket - Hi-Vis Yellow/Black - X-Largehttp://www.scubastevesmarine.com/index. ... cc15bd4759
Kokatat Men's Hydrus 3L Tempest Pant with Socks or whirl pool bibs:http://shop.clavey.com/pants--bibs-c100.aspx
Waterproof handheld GPS unit. The one below is my son’s and my favorite. He uses his for remote bow hunting and boating on the Delta and Bay, and I use mine for hiking and yaking. They are easy to use and have a ton of tidal data including points around the SF Bay. They are the best handheld GPS units we have found. They have been discontinued, and those still around and new can be bought at great savings.
Garmin Oregon 550T 3-Inch Handheld GPS Navigator with 3.2MP Digital Camera (U.S. Topographic Maps) http://www.amazon.com/Garmin-Handheld-N ... waterproof
List of Clavey Kayak Classes that might help like the Golden Gate Class:http://shop.clavey.com/kayak-classes-c114.aspx
Misc. Safety accessories from Clavey. http://shop.clavey.com/kayak-safety--rescue-c66.aspx
REI has excellent kayak safety accessories.http://www.rei.com/c/paddling-safety-equipment