Looking for fun local activities to add variety to your bay sailing adventures? Sail the Oakland Estuary to Jack London Square and explore historic landmarks and celebrated establishments near you! This 1-day itinerary blends exciting outdoor excursions with engaging indoor diversions.
The Oakland Estuary is especially lively for birdwatchers during the fall bird migration. While sailing or motoring up the channel, you and your crew will appreciate the up-close view of the looming dock cranes used to load cargo ships. Urban legend has it that the cranes inspired local filmmaker George Lucas to create the ominous AT-AT Walkers in Star Wars!
Jack London Square is named after the intrepid adventurer and author of The Sea-Wolf, White Fang, and Call of the Wild. The Sea-Wolf was allegedly inspired by tall tales told by patrons of the legendary Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon. This small bar with its tilted floor, where sailors had their first drink returning from a sea voyage and their last drink before departing back out to sea, is festooned floor-to-ceiling with nautical and vintage curios dating back to early California.
Stroll the waterfront and Square to visit shops or tour two historic vessels: the Lightship Relief, a floating lighthouse which aided navigation along various U.S. coastlines from 1951 to 1974, and the USS Potomac, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s historic yacht. Dine at inviting options like Scott's Seafood Grill & Bar, Pasta Pelican, Kincaid's Oakland, or Plank for bocce, beer, and bowling. After sunset, the sparkling lights of San Francisco, the Bay Bridge, and the Golden Gate Bridge will take your breath away as you sail across the bay back to Sausalito.
Approximate Distance: 12 nm
Estimated Time: 2 - 3 Hours
Navigation Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Sailing Skill Level: Beginner
Maneuvering/Docking Skill Level: Intermediate
Oakland Estuary Navigation
- Departing from Modern Sailing, head straight out the Richardson Bay Channel.
- From Day Marker #2, head 114 degrees magnetic or just north of Alcatraz.
- From Alcatraz, head 106 degrees magnetic to a point just south of the West Span Bay Bridge tower closest to Yerba Buena Island.
- From the West Span Bay Bridge waypoint, look for the line of red buoys leading into the Oakland Harbor, starting with #2, which should be .6 nm directly in front of you.
- Follow the channel into the Oakland Estuary.
- Jack London Square is 2.5 nm from the mouth of the Estuary, identifiable as the first large marina complex for pleasure craft on the left side/north bank of the Estuary.
Approaching the Scott’s Seafood Guest dock from the North
- There is a guest dock in front of Scott’s Seafood. Enter east of Scott’s between Scott’s and Kincaid’s.
- This dock will give you access to all the restaurants and attractions in Jack London Square.
- Dock availability is first come, first served.
- There is no charge for docking.
- Overnight docking is not allowed.
- Another option is Pasta Pelican, which is directly across the estuary on the Alameda side, which has its own guest dock.
- The dock at Pasta Pelican is only for Pasta Pelican customers.
Kincaid's off the Starboard Bow 261 days of sun a year and Lungomare
- Scott's Seafood Grill and Bar
- 2 Broadway Oakland, CA 94607 Phone: (510) 444-3456
- Pasta Pelican
- 2455 Mariner Square Drive. Alameda, CA 94501 Phone: (510) 864-7427
- Kincaid's American Dining
- 1 Franklin Street Oakland, CA 94607 Phone: (510) 835-8600
- 98 Broadway Oakland, CA 94607 Phone: (510) 817-0980
- 66 Franklin St #100, Oakland, CA 94607 Phone: (510) 268-3200
- 1 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612 Phone: (510) 444-7171
- 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland, CA 94607 Phone: (510) 238-9200
- Heinold's First and Last Chance Bar
- 48 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94607 Phone: (510) 839-6761
Plank - Bocce, Beer and Bowling Heinold's First and Last Chance Bar