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Alert: Several SF Bay Spots Threatened! Take a look at these graphics.

The Pillar Point Harbor is the best place for Peninsula sailors looking for high wind winter storm sailing in flat water. The harbor is totally exposed to SE to SW storm wind. The rock breakwater blocks ocean swells but not the wind. The wind here can gust well over 40 knots during storms. This is high wind speed sailing at its best.

Be certain to give right of way to any boats in the channel. It is very important to be on your best behavior here since the posted maximum speed in the harbor is 5mph. The harbor master has hinted at enforcing the limit in the past when there has been problems with windsurfers.

The strong winds can rip your gear off the beach and send it into the tree tops so keep gear secure. Watch for reverse winds bouncing off the wall of the business near the main rigging area -- not a good place to rig the sail right up against the wall there. Storm winds come up very fast, blow of a while and die very fast. So watch your pager while driving here and make certain the low readings are not too low. Generally SE winds will blow longer than SW winds.

There is some concern about pollution. Note the sign along the path to the launch. But the public Health Department has never blocked access for sailing. HMB is a picturesque town, but during the winter, there is not much for the family to do but find a harbor view restaurant, get some chowder, and watch you rip.
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Shops, Schools, Clubs, Events, Food, Lodging, More,
 Season: December through March 
 Water: Cold 
 Ability Level: Intermediate to Advanced 
 Familiness: Restaurants & Shops 
 Parking: Limited 
 Launch: Sand to mud 

From North and East Bays cross either the Golden Gate or Bay Bridge and go to Highway 280. Head south to the Highway 92 off ramp the go east on Highway 92 over the coast range to the town of Half Moon Bay. Go north on Highway 1. As you get close to the harbor side town of Princeton, look for parking near the restaurants at the southeast end of the harbor breakwater. This is the preferred launch site, however it is important to respect the private parking. If it is crowded do not park in this lot. Instead go to the public beach parking lot 400 feet to the south and carry your stuff to the pathway winding down to the water. If the tide is low walk along the narrow beach at the inside edge of the breakwater to get a better angle to the wind. If you are good at pointing there is another option: continue on Highway 1 and go left on Capistrano Street to Prospect Way. Make a left on Broadway and pick a parking lot near the beach. Watch out for a sand bar at lower tides and rocks close to the headland downwind. The sand bar at this site has some fun tiny breaking waves at the right tide.

Sensor is located on the Harbor Patrol building in the marina itself and about 45 feet above the water. There is a total 360-degree clean wind with the only obstruction being the Pillar Point upwind. This sensor will not represent what is out in the open ocean but should be right on for sailing inside the breakwater. Accuracy is unknown and no correction factors have been made.


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