Posted by: forgingahead | January 10, 2011

Preparing for Alcatraz

Bert and I did a lovely bike ride through the city, over the Golden Gate Bridge and down into Sausalito on Sunday.

The original plan was to ride on Saturday but the cold heavy fog dissuaded us and we drove to Oakland for some fried chicken instead. Fair trade.

Sunday, however, dawned clear and cold. And I do mean cold. Must have been 40 degrees but not a breath of wind. So piled into every scrap of cycling clothes I have, we set off.

There are two ways to drop into Sausalito from the bridge. Alexander Drive (the yellow road) is fast and steep and filled with zooming cars.

The alternate is the daisy trail (red line), closed to cars. Not many people take it because once you drop down to the water you have to climb back up again to go down into Sausalito.

Ah, but the beauty is unmatched. Horsehoe Bay at Fort Baker is a pretty little cove of water, especially on a rare day with no wind, which we had.

It’s also the home of the Golden Gate Station of the US Coast Guard. A couple of the sailors walked by as we were enjoying the view and Bert asked if they were the ones who worked the Escape from Alcatraz swims.

They were! And one of them had even done the race two times! We peppered them questions and asked advice.

They said some people do get seriously swept off course but it’s less than 5%.

Also that earplugs are a must because cold water over time can really mess with your equilibrium and ability to swim straight.

And he highly recommends swimming with Pedro at Water World Swim. I’d run across this site when I started seriously considering doing Alcatraz. Nice to know the program comes highly recommended from a real USCG Search and Rescue guy!

Now, to get my new Zoot wetsuit and start swimming in the Bay to prepare for this puppy on June 5th!


  1. New Zoot wetsuit?? I want to see it, how fun!

  2. Awesome! You are doing Alcatraz!! And your sonoma pics and the trophy pic – so fun!!

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