Friday Night Ferry

My significant spouse couldn’t make it to the ferry last night for our usual Friday night ride, so I went it alone. Left the office exactly an hour before the 8:25 p.m. sailing time of the day’s last boat, usually plenty of time to make the three-mile hike from the western slope of Potrero Hill to the Ferry Building. But in the interest of trying new routes, I wandered through the UC-San Francisco Mission Bay campus and then along the outside of the right-field stands at Phone Company Park and added about two-thirds of a mile extra to the trip, stopped to take a picture or two, and wound up having to run (or power-shuffle, as a casual observer might have called it) up the Embarcadero to the ferry slip. I made the boat with five minutes to spare.

The usual routine is to buy a glass (plastic, actually) of white wine for my shipmate and a beer for myself and sit under the heaters on the second deck. But the boat bar is cash only, so I climbed to the top deck, stood in the lee of the pilothouse, and watched the trip go by sans beverage. The light was striking, as always, with the low evening cloud cover moving in off the ocean and a much higher layer of clouds catching the last of the sun; the tide was ebbing in the Oakland estuary, moving so fast that it looked like a river current, though not as extreme as the flow you see in New York’s East River.

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