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Point Isabel
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This sensor covers two launches: Point Isabel and Marina Bay. Point Isabel is the most popular and is located near the Costco store in Albany. Marina Bay is in the city of Point Richmond and is at the dead end of Marina Bay Boulevard off of Highway 580 several miles east of the Richmond San Rafael Bridge.
Both of these sites often blow when Berkeley is too light inside. The sailing area is huge and uncrowded. You can cruise near shipyards, explore the old, crazy Berkeley pier, and sail out to the big swell of the Olympic Circle.
At the Point Isabel site, you rig on packed dirt or dead grass. Watch for doo doo. There is good wind right at the rocky beach. There is a very long fetch over shallow water making swell and white caps even in very light winds. Go down to the beach and do a reality check of the wind before rigging that 5.0.
The launch is over broken rock and asphalt with some broken glass. Booties required. The wind is side-onshore and strong at the beach so getting out is easy. On the water you will find 1-2 foot swell inside and 2-3 swell way outside on a windy day. There is very little chop here just lots of rollers. Good place to practice jibes and slashing. You can roam for miles here upwind and even do a circumnavigation of Brooks island. A long tour to or through the Berkeley Pier is a treat as you run parallel to big swells rolling in all the way from the Golden Gate.
One caution! The wind dies first near the launch site. And when it dies, it really dies. Head back near shore every once and a while to check out the wind. This is a great place to do wild screaming broad reaches from way outside to the launch. Avoid getting downwind of the launch near since the wind is lighter here. Do not sail too close to the leeward side of the island since there is lots of underwater debris.
Marina Bay with manicured lawns is a much nicer place to rig. But the wind is very light near shore here. To get down to the water you have to walk down stairs then walk across some rocks. The swells break on these stairs at higher tides making it difficult for some. When the tide is low you will have to go through about 100 feet of mud before you can sail. The winds near shore are light and straight onshore so it can be hard to get out when the wind is light.
There is a second Marina Bay launch at the end of the road next to a kiddie park. It's an easy beach launch (no rocks or steps to deal with) and seldom if ever in a wind shadow unless the wind is north. The only hazard is fishing hooks - be nice to the fishermen and they'll be nice to you.
At both sites, there are restrooms and sources of fresh water. It is very cool at both sites when it is windy and the action is too far outside for watching so not much of a place to bring the family. There is a long bayside walking path connecting the two sites. Hanging around after dark is not recommended.
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 Season: April-September 
 Water: Swell, little chop 
 Ability Level: intermediate  
 Wetsuit: 4/3 
 Familiness: Small park, Cool Temperatures. Bring your dog 
 Parking: Fills up quickly 
 Launch: Rocky beach or stairs 

Bay Bridge Route: Cross the Bay Bridge. Take the 580 off ramp. Head north. Just past Berkeley, take the San Rafael / Richmond off ramp. Go North about a mile along the bayshore. Take the Central Avenue offramp heading towards the Bay. Continue past Costco until the road ends in the Point Isabel park. Golden Gate Bridge route: Go across the Golden Gate Bridge. Several miles later take the exit towards RICHMOND BRIDGE / SAN ANSELMO. Keep RIGHT at the fork in the ramp. Merge onto SIR FRANCIS DRAKE Boulevard East. Go under railroad bridge for 1/3 mile. Look for the ferry terminal on the right. For Larkspur: Park along gravel parking near cypress trees and rig. If you are not tempted because it is light or holey keep driving. Continue on SIR FRANCIS DRAKE Boulevard.. Merge with the 580 freeway to San Rafael / Richmond Bridge. Cross the bridge and continue on the freeway several miles. When you see a huge blue building on right look for the Central offramp. At the intersection, turn right and go to end of the road at the park and rig up!

The sensor is located at the sewage treatment plant, thus it gives a fairly "clean" reading. When the sensor reads SW the wind will be 3-5 knots stronger on the water than the sensor indicates. Generally, a SW reading of 14-15 knots means good sailing on a 5.5 to 6.0 sail. When the wind is SSW or S on the sensor, the reading will be 3 to 5 knots high. Driving info: first get a traffic report then go either Bay Bridge or Golden Gate route. If the forecast for Larkspur is better than for Point Isabel, the Golden Gate route is better because you can check out Larkspur sailing before you commit to Point Isabel.


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