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San Francisco in San Francisco City and County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Fast Tides, Frisky Winds & Wet Sails

 
 
Fast Tides, Frisky Winds & Wet Sails Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, December 18, 2014
1. Fast Tides, Frisky Winds & Wet Sails Marker
Inscription.  "It has been said that all great cities of history have been built on bodies of water - Rome on the Tiber, Paris on the Seine, London on the Thames, New York on the Hudson. If this is a criterion of a city's greatness, surely San Francisco ranks in the first magnitude among cities of the world. For never was a metropolis more dominated by any natural feature than San Francisco by its bay... Anywhere within the city's forty-five square miles a view of the water is only a few steps away - to the head of the block, or the roof of a building, or the top of a hill." -- Harold Gilliam, Natural History of San Francisco Bay

(photograph 2)
Master Mariners Beat Across the Golden Gate, July 4, 1884... The strong west wind blows out the topsail of the lumber schooner Occidental as she makes a sharp turn, heading for Fort Point between two scow schooners. Parades and speeches took up the morning, picnics and watersports the afternoon, as thousands lined the wharves, covered Telegraph Hill, and placed their bets repeatedly on the 20-mile workboat race. The Champion Rooster Banner (along with a ton of coal)
Fast Tides, Frisky Winds & Wet Sails Marker (detail) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, December 18, 2014
2. Fast Tides, Frisky Winds & Wet Sails Marker (detail)
Photograph #1. Caption: C.A. Thayer ghosts home. For horns guiding her pilot. She salutes Balclutha - two 19th century ships meet on 20th century San Francisco Bay -- Photograph by Karl Kortum, Founder and Director of the San Francisco National Maritime Museum.
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was awarded that night at the Mariner's Ball, where musicians were hired to play until dawn.

(photograph 3)
"Banjos, Beer by the Keg, and Homemade Pickles for the Launch of the James F. McKenna, 1902... We loved that boat, My father and uncle took our neighbors out for excursions all the time - big picnics. Sometimes we stayed overnight at McNear's Point, slept on the boat with all our friends. In hot weather we put the galley stove out on deck. The bucket came up over the side to wash our dishes, but we carried drinking and cooking water with us. The people in this view are neighbors from Butchertown, near Islais Creek. Scow schooner-men lived there because they had to go out with the tide - even if it was 3 a.m. - they could walk to the wharf, easy." -- Mrs. Arend Horstmeyer, niece of owner Charlie Waack, recalls 1902 in 1967.

(photograph 4)
Jack London and Charmian on Board the Snark, Built by Pop Anderson in India Basin for their Round-the-World Cruise... In 1906, London dedicated his book, The Cruise of the Snark, to his wife with these words: "To Charmian, the Mate of the Snark, who took over the wheel, night or day, when entering or leaving port or running a passage, who took the wheel in every emergency, and who wept after two years of sailing, when the voyage was discontinued."
Fast Tides, Frisky Winds & Wet Sails Marker (detail) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, December 18, 2014
3. Fast Tides, Frisky Winds & Wet Sails Marker (detail)
Photographs #2 and #3.


(photograph 5)
A Wet Sail on San Francisco Bay in 1885... William Letts Oliver has to cling to the bowsprit of the yacht Emerald and balance his studio camera with a glass negative, to photograph this wet ride, nosing the surf, riding the fast tidal surge from the Golden Gate. It you mean to move along on San Francisco Bay, the annual local tide book is as essential as your set of sails. Bay tides are so powerful that even a strong breeze cannot move a sailboat against the flow. A frisky wind and a fast ride combine to give you a ride to remember. Emerald won the first San Francisco Yacht Club regatta in 1869, when the clubhouse stood on pilings in Mission Bay.
 
Erected by San Francisco Art Commission for the Waterfront Transportation Projects.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Waterways & Vessels.
 
Location. 37° 47.51′ N, 122° 23.397′ W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. Marker can be reached from The Embarcadero near Folsom Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 281 The Embarcadero, San Francisco CA 94105, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 20,000 Years Ago (within shouting distance of this marker); Captain Shorey (about 300
Fast Tides, Frisky Winds & Wet Sails Marker (detail) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, December 18, 2014
4. Fast Tides, Frisky Winds & Wet Sails Marker (detail)
Photographs #4 and #5.
feet away, measured in a direct line); Howard Street (about 400 feet away); Folsom Street (about 400 feet away); The Big Strike (about 600 feet away); Fireboats on the Bay (about 700 feet away); Hills Bros. Coffee Trademark (about 700 feet away); Hills Brothers Coffee (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Francisco.
 
More about this marker. This marker is in Rincon Park, on the north side of Cupid's Span.
 
Also see . . .  The Cruise of the Snark. The voyage that was intended to last seven years saw the Snark sail to Hawaii, the Marquesas Islands, Tahiti, the Solomon's and ended on the Island of Guadalcanal, where ill health forced Jack to sail commercially to Sydney, Australia for treatment of a skin problem feared to be leprosy, but diagnosed as psoriasis.
Jack London Historic State Park entry. (Submitted on March 5, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.) 
 
The base of the Fast Tides, Frisky Winds & Wet Sails Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, December 18, 2014
5. The base of the Fast Tides, Frisky Winds & Wet Sails Marker
Tomorrow lies west. Its visible symbol is the Golden Gate at the edge of the continent. In the era of the Pacific... this will be the bay of destiny.
Fast Tides, Frisky Winds & Wet Sails Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, December 18, 2014
6. Fast Tides, Frisky Winds & Wet Sails Marker
Cupid's Span is in the background.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 21, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 5, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 344 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on March 5, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Oct. 2, 2022