Posts Tagged ‘vessels’

Introducing the “Sunset Duck Tour” from Ride the Ducks San Francisco – What It’s Like to Ride an Amphibious Vehicle on the Bay

Monday, July 14th, 2014

IMO, writer Tony Hicks has got things spot-on right here in the San Jose Mercury News:

Taking the Kids: Quacking up and around the city by the bay

I just took the media cruise for the new-ish “Sunset Duck Tour” from Ride the Ducks San Francisco - it starts at 7:30 PM.

Here’s Captain John:

Quacking away with people in another duck boat while passing by:

So that’s how things start in Fisherman’s Wharf. Then you begin a circuitous trip to the launch ramps down south of AT&T Park. I’ve never been up so high in an open vehicle, so this was a new experience, kind of like what I imagine the “hop-on hop-off” city bus tours are like.

So off you go, past the working part of Fisherman’s Wharf…

…past the Gary Danko (perennial No. 1 in the Bay Area for “Food, Service and Popularity” per Zagat)…

…through North Beach and on to Chinatown, where you look down upon the #30 Stocktons as you pass them by…

…and then through the tunnel to Union Square and then through SoMA to the launch area.

I gotta say that that was the touristy part of the tour, so check out Beth Spotswood’s take on that in the Tourist Trapped Culture Blog of the San Francisco Chronicle’s SFGate.com if you want more on that.

So finally you get to launch – it looks like this:

And then you’re slowly cruising the bay, albeit near to shore for the most part.

This was the late-starting 7:30 PM sunset cruise so things were getting darker as we made our way past AT&T Park:

You might catch a little spray from the bay but most likely you won’t.

This riding-on-the-water part in a military-style vehicle with not all that much freeboard is an experience – I recommend it.

Then after puttering around on the water, you drive out of the water to take the Embarcadero back to the Wharf.

Looking back at the Bay Bridge through Doris and Don Fisher’s Cupid’s Span skate park / tourist hiking platform – plenty of oohs and ahs at this point here:

Interacting with happy passersby on the way home…

…while zipping past the historic F-Market streetcars:

These ducks look somewhat menacing at night, huh?

And there’s your trip:

So, you need to show up at least 15 minutes early to keep your reservation, I think.

And this tour can get quite cold and windy, needless to say.

If you want to see some more photos, there are some good ones on Yelp.

This was a great experience – I think it’d be good for tourists and locals alike.

 

Mayor Ed Lee Acts to Alter Poorly-Negotiated America’s Cup Deal – Fewer Massive Yachts Berthed at Rincon Point

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Just as dog murder threatens the image of our wasteful Central Subway, the plan to berth massive yachts at the wet end of SoMA does the same for America’s Cup 2013.

So, as he did with the Tom Otterness case, Mayor Lee is taking measures, as this late, late Friday afternoon press release shows:

“MAYOR LEE SUPPORTS SAFEGUARDING OPEN BAY VIEWS ALONG WATERFRONT DURING 34TH AMERICA’S CUP - Port of San Francisco & America’s Cup Event Authority Seek Approval from Bay Conservation & Development Commission for Revised Temporary Berthing Plan During America’s Cup Events

San Francisco, CA— Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced that the City, the Port of San Francisco and the America’s Cup Event Authority (Event Authority) reached an agreement on a revised plan for berthing America’s Cup spectator vessels along the waterfront that will safeguard San Francisco Bay views along the Embarcadero promenade. The Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) will need to approve the plan to temporarily accommodate vessels expected for the 34th America’s Cup events.

“We are working together with BCDC and the Event Authority to refine our plans, so that the America’s Cup special events enhance the waterfront in a way that balances the excitement of the races with the picturesque Bay views that are so important to our residents and visitors,” said Mayor Lee. “This temporary berthing proposal is another step in collaborating with our event partners and the residents of San Francisco to reach a consensus.”

The area is known under the San Francisco Waterfront Special Area Plan (SAP) as the Rincon Point Open Water Basin. The Port of San Francisco and the America’s Cup Event Authority are seeking approval from the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) to amend the SAP.

In discussing the concerns raised by BCDC and the public over the last several months with the Port, the City and the Event Authority, the space sought for the temporary docks for these private vessels has been reduced from the entire Rincon Point basin to an area that begins at the northern boundary of Rincon Park and stretches northward to Pier 14, leaving the area in front of the park unobstructed by vessels. To free up these open water views, the event partners identified additional berthing locations for these vessels along the Port’s waterfront, including at Pier 9, the water area north of Pier 14 and the water area between Piers 32 and 36 where the America’s Cup racing vessels will also be moored.

“Because our goal for the 34th America’s Cup is creating a great experience for those both on land and on the water, we really appreciate the opportunity we’ve had to hear directly from San Franciscans about what is important to them,” said Tom Huston, Chief Operating Officer of the Event Authority. “We are very pleased that our work with the City, the Port and BCDC has resulted in a proposal that will preserve waterfront views while enabling the City to benefit from the economic impact that comes with these vessels.”

These revised proposals reflect the City and the Event Authority’s commitment to listening to the concerns raised through the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) comment process and other public meetings about balancing the event activities with the needs of San Francisco residents and the environment.

If the vessel berthing proposals for the Rincon Point Open Water Basin and the Brannan Street Open Water Basin between Piers 32 and 36 are approved and implemented, the terms of the City’s Host and Venue Agreement for the 34th America’s Cup provide the Event Authority with the right to negotiate for a future long-term lease for the development of recreational marinas at these locations.

Any long-term marina proposal of this kind would require further amendments to the SAP before any lease could become effective, and are not directly contemplated under the current proposal. Any further SAP amendments would require a separate public review and planning process for the City, Port and Event Authority working in concert with BCDC.

BCDC will consider the issuance of a brief descriptive notice for the SAP amendments relating to this temporary berthing plan at its public meeting on November 3, 2011.”

O.K. fine.

Larry Ellison giving the finger to the people of the City and County of San Francisco with one hand whilst steering his boat with the other:

Click to expand

The Waters Beneath the Golden Gate Bridge Can Get a Little Busy Sometimes

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Thusly. Click to expand:

Empty tanker Polar Alaska heads out back up to I’ll-give-you-just-one-guess as full container ships arrive from East Asia.

Just another day in the busy 415.