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Crissy - launch near North Tower
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Windbomb



Joined: 29 May 2000
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The National Park Service has posted notice that launching "vessels" of any kind (including windsurfing equipment) from the West Beach at Crissy is forbidden. This is a designated wildlife habitat area (although it is hard to tell from all the cars, people and dogs in the vicinity). The endangered Snowy Plover nests in the dunes seasonally and thus the restrictions.

The Master Plan for Crissy Field and the associated EIR dealt with this several years ago when our current windsurfing/ launch area was established at East Beach, with the parking and showers, etc.

The restricted area is bound on the west by the fishing pier and on the east by the rocks past the far east end of West Beach.

Too bad, because I understand this beach used to be a great launch.
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Epenrose



Joined: 05 Nov 1997
Posts: 403

PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't see an issue if you jump off the pier and exit up the rocks West of the pier, super easy at low tide.
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pduff



Joined: 13 Apr 2001
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:24 pm    Post subject: North Tower Reply with quote

The NT is really a great launch site in the sense that it allows you to access the windy part of the bay with the proper sail size---might be 4.5 at the NT but to get out at Crissy, you might need a 5.5. One caution, pay lots of attention if you are launching and sailing on a flood. Secondly, you can launch by walking very carefully down the rocks, however, getting out the same way is difficult at best, particularly if you like your board. I usually blast through the opening of the harbor (at the end of the breakwater) and cut a sharp turn to the right and come to a stop on the lee side of the breakwater where there is zero wind to buffet your equipment while getting out of the water. Great place, really.
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blake64



Joined: 09 Mar 2007
Posts: 56
Location: Camping.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

definitely too bad. I used to park and sail around there all the time.

BLAKE

edc711 wrote:
The National Park Service has posted notice that launching "vessels" of any kind (including windsurfing equipment) from the West Beach at Crissy is forbidden. This is a designated wildlife habitat area (although it is hard to tell from all the cars, people and dogs in the vicinity). The endangered Snowy Plover nests in the dunes seasonally and thus the restrictions.

The Master Plan for Crissy Field and the associated EIR dealt with this several years ago when our current windsurfing/ launch area was established at East Beach, with the parking and showers, etc.

The restricted area is bound on the west by the fishing pier and on the east by the rocks past the far east end of West Beach.

Too bad, because I understand this beach used to be a great launch.
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mauiguy



Joined: 18 Feb 1997
Posts: 68
Location: Maui

PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I left the bay for Maui in 2003, but before I moved I was part of a small group of guys that was the first to launch from Ft Baker regularly, and I sailed there probably 150-200 times with no troubles whatsoever. The sailing there is superb, esp on an ebb with southwest wind. In these conditions Crissy is flat, and it rips on the north. I sailed 4.0 more than anything there (I weigh about 162). It is great as the summer goes on and will rip into early Oct. On late summer/early fall days when everything is hot and windless, the pressure gradients can change in a hurry and this place can go from glassy water to 25 knot wind in 15 minutes, while meanwhile nowhere else in the bay or sea has wind. I have no regrets about leaving the windsurfing scene in the bay, except I miss those days at the north tower, knowing everyone on the water, sailing til the wind died, and then enjoying a beer with the group as the sun sank over the bridge and the headlands.

That being said, once we started going out there others who weren't ready for it went out, and there were lots of rescues, so many that I had a meeting with the head of the coast guard and the SFBA to discuss this issue. So, here is some of my advice:

1) you must be a skilled sailor
2) if you sail on a flood, the wind has to be strong
3) you have to walk down the rocks of the breakwater to launch. At the time I was there we stacked up small rocks in between the bigger ones to create a pathway down. I don't know if this still exists, but I suggest asking the experienced sailors there the best way into the water. I used to sail barefoot, and knowing the way in and out could do this with no cuts to the feet.
4) most of us would take our rig apart in the water and buddy system out, one guy with the rig, the other with the board. If the wind is right an excellent alternative is to sail right into the harbor, turn around the point, and come in on a boat dock. If you do this, watch for guys fishing of the point of the breakwater. once I got snagged with multiple tiny hooks from a fisherman I didn't see until I made the turn.
5) the wind can die quickly there. Watch the fog over the headlands. Once it starts to come in, be careful. Watch the distance of the windline from the shore. If it starts moving out, beware. The wind can turn to nothing, and you're stuck swimming typically with an ebb current pulling you to the north tower, where the takeout is none too friendly. If the wind starts to die, head on in.
6) if you're heading in on an ebb, and the wind is light close to the launch, you have to aim well downwind from where you want to end up. It often will look like you're aiming for Richardson Bay, but once you hit the slog zone, the ebb pulls you west and you will end up back at the launch. If you aim for the launch, you will likely end up by the north tower.
7) more than anything ask the locals, and watch them. Rules that apply to Crissy don't work here. If they start to all head in, it's a good sign that you should do the same. And if you're not a good swell rider/jumper, try to stay out of their way in the best wave zone. Once more people started going out there, inexperienced folks would come out and just mess it up for the fest of us.
Cool it's always better to give up a few minutes of sailing and get back to where you started. In all my years there, I never once failed to get back to my launch point, but I remember many times where guys who tried to milk just another 5 or 10 minutes out of it ended up with long swims and sometimes a coast guard rescue.

Happy sailing:

Steve

Steve
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