Archive for September 4th, 2009

Angel Island

Friday, September 4th, 2009

After the fast pace of the the Marina District we were looking for a quiet place to spend a few days out of town. We were on our way to Treasure Island after a brief stop at the local pump-out dock for water and a hose down when we diverted down the west side of Alcatraz to a roadstead anchorage on the east side of Angel Island

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We had the place to ourselves and it may be due to the ship and fast ferry traffic in the traffic lanes a few hundred feet from our anchor spot. The wind alternated between calm and 25 kts and the current conspired against the wind to hold us beam-to at the windiest part of the day. We spent several hours a day heeled over at anchor during the max ebb. But the fast ferry wakes finally drove us off after two days. These wakes happen to be on a resonant frequency for our hull causing a magnification of our rolling to the point that we felt like we were off the coast of Oregon. The first couple of nights it seemed like no big deal after 8 days of heavy seas, eventually we regained our inland water indignance and moved on.

Angel Island itself is a very interesting state park (with a fairly aggressive staff of uniformed rangers who tend to shake down visitors with the understanding that they are funding a good cause).  It was a military base from the mid-1800s to the 1960’s. It also served as a West Coast customs entry point for immigrants from 1910 to 1940. We saw:

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Eucalyptus trees, flowering bushes, and associated bees

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The base PX, where I insisted that S confirm the closure of the former tap room.

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A hospital building that reminded me strongly of the hospital where my Dad worked in Gaza. 

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It is almost a mirror image of the Gaza English Hospital.

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Immigration Station where ~ 1 million primarily Asian immigrants were housed and sometimes detained along with Axis merchant mariners during WWII. We wondered if our friends the Wongs came through here or knew people who had.

It’s hard to imagine what is was like for these people. Did they see this place as a formality prior to reaping the harvest of the New World, or was it a scary concentration camp with no clear outcome? The grounds show evidence of both.

37°51.52’N 122°25.19’W   03-Sep-09 22:06 PDT