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Bodega Bay
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Bodega Bay is a tiny unspoiled coastal village on the Sonoma county coast with 6 very different sailing sites within one square mile. At low tides, Hart's Beach offers very strong winds and a totally flat water speed channel. Doran Beach offers ocean speed sailing near shore and bump and jump sailing outside and one of the world’s fastest wave sailing spots. The Yacht Club and Spud Point offer shallow water and mild bump and jump sailing. Bodega Rock offers advanced to expert wave and open ocean sailing in big wave conditions.

All the sites have clean sandy beaches except the Yacht Club which has a muddy launch but a sand bottom in the sailing area.

The Yacht Club is a great place to learn since at some tides you can sail in waist deep water. In the morning, beginners can sail long boards in shallow water with a firm sand bottom. Later in the day intermediates can hone their high wind skills with the same security…you can always walk back to the launch site. Lessons can be arranged here through Windwalker Board Sports at 707-874-2331. A weed fin is mandatory. Kiteboarding lessons now available at norcalkites.com 707-849-5865

Bodega has the longest season of any site in the Bay Area. From early spring to early summer there are many strong NW days in the 4.0 to 5.0 range. These winds start very early in the day. By late June, fog often covers the bay in the morning. If it burns off, then there is a good chance of 7.0 to 5.5 winds in the afternoon. Sites inside the Bay get very weedy by mid-summer but Doran stays weed-free.

In the winter, Bodega and Doran Beach have epic storm sailing. At Doran, the SW to SE winds are side-onshore with long period swells in the 4 to 10 feet range. Best of all you can get out without having to go through a shorebreak if you launch at the base of the rock jetty. Storm winds are in 3.5 to 5.0 range and can die fast. SE winds are most reliable. The sensor will read 5-10 knots low in southerly storm winds.

There is lots to do in the Bodega Bay area. There is a good windsurfing school. This area abounds with beaches. There is also claming, restaurants, B&Bs, surfing, fishing, party boat fishing, and whale watching. You can camp right at some of the launch sites and carry your gear from your tent to the water.
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 Season: December - August 
 Water: Cold & Clean 
 Ability Level: Beginner - Advanced 
 Familiness: Camping & Lots to do 
 Parking: Lots of parking 
 Launch: Most sites have a sand beach 

From Berkeley, Point Isabel, and the East Bay: Go across Richmond/San Rafael Bay Bridge. From Crissy, Larkspur, and Peninsula, go across the Golden Gate. Then head north on Highway 101 for 30-40 minutes to Petaluma. Take Washington Street off ramp in Petaluma and go over the freeway heading west. Go through downtown Petaluma. Road turns into Bodega Avenue. Continue west for about 30 minutes. Veer right going on to Petaluma Valley Road going through the town of Two Rock. When Petaluma Valley Road meets Highway 1, veer right heading West. Pass the turnoff to the town of Bodega (you want to go to the town of Bodega Bay). Continue on Highway 1 until you get to Bodega Bay. To sail Hart's Beach, Doran Beach, or The Rock take the Doran Park turn off just as you approach the Bay. Pay at the park entrance. To wave sail at the rock, park at the first dirt parking lot on the left, rig and head out through the shorebreak. For Hart's Beach speed sailing continue for a mile. Just past the Coast Guard Station look for a boat ramp on your right. Park at the lot just past the ramp. This place is good only on a low tide while it is ebbing. For Doran Beach speed sailing continue to the end of the road and launch at the end of the jetty in strong offshore winds. To sail the Yacht Club go past the turnoff to Doran beach and go 1/8 a mile and make the left at the first cluster of buildings. Park next to the Post Office and rig.

For Hart's Beach, the sensor is dead accurate for normal NW winds. The winds will be about 5-8 knots lighter at Doran Beach near shore and at Spud Point. If the wind is a bit North of true NW, the wind will be lighter at the Yacht Club than at the sensor. If the wind is WNW, it will be bit windier at the Yacht Club than at the sensor. During southerly storm winds the sensor will read low by 5 to 10 knots. With the greater error factor for SE winds.

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