Photo above - Fishing boats returning to Bodega Harbor on a calm winter day. Photo on opposite page - Bodega Harbor entrance and marked channel at low tide, with the marinas in the background. Point Arena and may be ready for a change of pace. As former longtime San Francisco Bay boaters, we have two favorite harbors along the coast of Central California that can serve all your needs. Bodega Bay The ﬁrst and most northerly of these is Bodega Bay, approximately 950 miles south of Flattery. The harbor is one of the best protected along the Paciﬁc coast and has both charm and function for the cruising sailor. The charm of Bodega Bay lies in its nautical history and atmosphere. Thousands of years ago the Coast Miwoks lived and apparently thrived along the shores of this bay; and in the early 19th Century, the Spanish and the Russians contested their claims to this useful port. Later, good of the area including dairy products, grain, ﬁsh, potatoes, and other produce were shipped from this bay. This enterprise resulted in the silting of the bay and nearby creek and the subsequent construction of a narrow gauge railway. Today, ﬁsh are the primary export, evidenced by the large numbers of ﬁshing boats docked at the marinas. But its past prominence as a potato harbor is honored in the name of the county marina, Spud Point. One of the pleasures you might take in
Bodega Harbor is to wander along the docks after the ﬁshing ﬂeet has come in. A number of the commercial ﬁshermen will have fresh ﬁsh for sale oﬀ their boats, although they usually sell if it is a tuna catch. Perhaps, though, you’ve had such good luck with your coastal ﬁshing along the way that you’ll prefer other kinds of walks. You can hike along Westshore Road,running alongside the marinas and up to Bodega Head, to take in the coastal
scene of rugged brown cliﬀs and boulders where the ocean breaks in crescendos of foaming white water. Between November and April you may well spot the spouts of the migrating gray whales, and, though in smaller numbers, of orcas, humpbacks, ﬁns, and blues. From Bodega Head, you can continue north to Bodega Dunes State Park, where a variety of shore and sea birds will greet you with their raucous calls, these birds made famous,
One of the several seafood eateries at Bodega Harbor.
or infamous, from Alfred Hitchcock’s suspense movie The Birds. The only remaining building in town that is recognizable in Hitchcock’s ﬁlm as the schoolhouse is the 150-year-old Potter School from about 7 miles from the marina, ﬁre having destroyed the other structures. On a sunny day—more common in the fall than in the spring—you may choose to enjoy a few hours on Doran Beach, either on the beach itself or on the hiking trails that pass clam ﬂats and a salt marsh. Bodega Harbor will also aﬀord you the opportunity of topping oﬀ your fuel tanks at Spud Point Marina and ﬁlling your refrigerator and lockers with fresh produce and meats in town. You can often purchase fresh ﬁsh, particularly tuna, oﬀ the ﬁshing boats in the marinas; from the ﬁsh market in the Tides Restaurant, about one mile from the marina in the small town of Bodega Bay; and from the North Coast Fisheries Market, adjacent to the Spud Point Marina oﬃce. The Spud Point Crab Company restaurant, across the street from the Spud Point Yacht Harbor, sells fresh crab. Approach Approaching Bodega from the north, continue approximately 53 miles south beyond Point Arena. NW YACHTING JANUARY 2016 43
Northwest Yachting covers yachting and boating on the west coast of the United States and Canada