From San Francisco, a yachtsman may cruise for weeks without exhausting the area’s variety of stopovers — Sausalito, Alameda, Oakland and Redwood City — and interesting backwaters. A total of fifteen rivers — the two largest of which are the Sacramento and San Joaquin, which form the delta of the same name — and creeks drain into the Bay, and many of these are navigable for a substantial distance inland. This city earned its fame from many things — the Gold Rush in 1848, devastating earthquake of 1906, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Pier 39, “Summer of Love” countercultural movement of the 1960s, great music and seafood — but yachtsmen love it for the challenge of boating on the Bay. The hills, mountains and large bodies of water in the Bay area create a significant variety of microclimates. Near the Pacific Ocean, variations in temperature are slight during throughoutthe year, so foggy and cool summers followed by mild and rainy winters are the norm. Inland, the temperatures in summer can be as much as 40 degrees warmer than on the coast. This causes strong pressure gradients and brisk winds, and when the wind blows through gaps in the coastal mountain ranges, it picks up speed — a boon tot stalwart sailors on the Bay. Currents, too, run swiftly, especially as the tide ebbs and floods through the narrow Golden Gate. The unusual climate, varied waters and Mediterranean ambience of San Francisco touch a yachtsman’s soul.