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Treasure Island L6
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If you sail Crissy Field during the summer thermal winds you know that the best wind is way outside. All too often the beach is listless while a half mile out there is strong wind. If you have ever swung your binoculars to the east on these days, you have noticed the tantalizing white caps between Angel Island and Treasure Island.
In thermal conditions, winds from the Golden Gate first whip from the Golden Gate north tower area towards Blunt Point on Angel Island and quickly fill in to Treasure Island. Often, by noon this area has strong wind. Only much later in the afternoon does the wind fill in to the beaches at Crissy Field and Berkeley / Isabel. And on some days if never gets to the beach at either location.
Since the wind blows the latest in the area upwind from Treasure Island, and since there is a long fetch of water starting from outside the Golden Gate, this section of the Bay gets great swell. This is also the last area to die in the Fall.
In the past there were two ways to access this great sailing area. One option was to anchor a boat in the lee of Angel Island and launch from the boat. The other option was to try to gain access to Treasure Island. All too often you could get onto the island but would get caught and hooked by the authorities before you could slip into your suit, jump onto your board, and launch. Now that the Naval base has been de-commissioned, public access at TI appears secure.
Treasure Island is just that…an island. This means there is no place to land if you can not make it back exactly to the launch site. Combine this fact with the high wind and swell and you have a site only for advanced and expert sailors who sail with an emergency kit and/or VHF radio. Use only your best gear, and leave a note on your car window. Sail here only with a buddy.
The launch site is at the extreme northeast corner of the island. The parking lot at the end of I avenue has been closed. The SFBBA has obtained permission for windsurfers to park in front of abandonned houses ONLY!!! on North Point Street or Bay Point Street from where you can walk behind to the boat ramp. Rig ONLY in front of abandonned homes. We are vistors, and the Treasure Island Development Authority and the residents (as well as security guards and the SFPD) are watching us. No driving on grass or open apres-sail bottles, please. Because of the tricky return if the wind fades, you should rig one sail size bigger than what the wind calls for and pull your downhaul hard. To launch, swim your rig out in the lee of the boat ramp jetty until you get to the windline. If the wind is at all borderline and you have booties carry your rig upwind from the boat ramp and put in at the pipe fallout. Once on the water, point hard several tacks until you are well upwind of the launch. Then, stay upwind!
The chop and swell gets wilder as you get closer to Blunt Point on Angel Island. Like most places, the chop is best on an ebb tide. One nice thing is that you do not have the voodoo vertical chop that you see off Crissy Field. Sailing Treasure Island on a strong flood is only for sailors who are *extremely* good at pointing. Unlike Crissy Field, there is no walking back to the launch if the flood sweeps you downwind. So in flood conditions either don't sail or rig big (this has it's own problems of course, so in general - remember that sailing smart sometimes means not sailing.) Since the wind is strong right at the jetty it is tempting to rig small. Don't!
When you are done for the day, head back to the launch keeping upwind until you are sure you can make it back. Then bear downwind and coast into the light wind inside the jetty.
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 Season: Late March to end of October 
 Water: Cold, Good Swells on Ebb 
 Ability Level: Very Advanced ONLY 
 Wetsuit: 4/3 5/4 
 Familiness: Great Scenery too windy tho 
 Parking: Check for no parking signs 
 Launch: Boat ramp or rocks 

Getting to Treasure Island is easy. From the Peninsula or San Francisco, head across the Bay Bridge and take the Treasure Island offramp on the left hand side. From the East Bay, head across the Bay Bridge and take the Treasure Island offramp again on the left hand side. Enter Treasure Island and take any road towards the north end of the island. Look for any large road that goes east and connect to North Point Street or Bayside Street. Park only in front of abandonned homes.


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