I normally do not do a one day trip on my web site of my World Travels but some places are interesting on their own merits.  Alcatraz is one of them and the history and moods of the prison and various weather patterns are interesting.   I work as a volunteer with the Community Access Ticket service and the Central YMCA and make arrangements with the agency to obtain free tickets to events for seniors.  We get free cruise tickets to Alcatraz from time to time so I thought I would take advantage of the free service.  Such a job at the YMCA with benefits.

I have lived in San Francisco for 50 years this fall.   I came in the fall of 1963 and now it is 2013, who would have thought!  I did go to Alcatraz for the first time on November 7th, 2007 with my friend Viviane who then was living in Beverly Hills.  She visited me and said she had a surprise for me! She laughed and said it was a night cruise to Alcatraz.  Well it was foggy as you can see by the montage I created from that visit!  Check out the link below to access the photos of the cruise to Alcatraz.

Native Americans kept well away from the island, calling it "Evil Island" and believing it to be cursed. The first Spaniard to document the island was Juan Manuel de Ayala in 1775, who charted San Francisco Bay and named one of the three islands he identified as the "La Isla de los Alcatraces," which translates as "The Island of the Pelicans,"from the archaic Spanish alcatraz (in English: "pelican"), a loan word from Arabic القطرس al-qaṭrās, meaning Albatross. Over the years, the English version "Alcatraz" became popular and is now widely used. In August 1827, French Captain Auguste Bernard Duhaut-Cilly wrote "...running past Alcatraces (Pelicans) Island...covered with a countless number of these birds. A gun fired over the feathered legions caused them to fly up in a great cloud and with a noise like a hurricane."  The California Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis californicus) is not known to nest on the island today. The Spanish put a few small buildings on the island, little else.

Sailing from San Francisco to Alcatraz

Our boat to Alcatraz left at 11:30 a.m.  We were worried if it might be cold as is normal for our summer weather.  We got to the island and the sun came out and no wind!  We couldn't believe it.  We had a great time and I even ended up getting sunburned!

This was my morning view from my apartment on the 28th floor!  A full moon to start out the day!


Trish, Daniel, Helen and Chuck

Our trusty Captain

Leaving Pier 33

A Cruise Ship in Port

San Francisco & Alcatraz from the Boat

The Beautiful City by the Bay

Approaching Alcatraz around 11:00 A.M.

Landing at Alcatraz Pier ~ Tiburon Island in the Distance

Alcatraz from the East

Looking North to the Island of Tiburon - In Spanish Shark - this is where the expensive homes are with great views!

Entering Alcatraz - Main Cell Block - Gardener's Shack

Entrance to the Jail

Looking North, the Main Jail Cells

The original Gardener's shack, still used today!

Main Jail Cells - West Side of Island

The Main Cell Block

Broadway by the Bay

I didn't realize the cells were that small!


Let me out of here!

Golden Gate Bridge and American Cup Boats Practicing

The Golden Gate Bridge with the American Cup boats Tacking in the Wind, what a sight!

We live in such a Fantastic City by the Bay!

Beautiful Schooner Sailing By.

Sailing by the American Cup - End of the Finish Line When Racing

This is the Home Base of the American Cup.  This will replace the old Ship Terminal.

These are some of the racing boats!

More of the racing boats!

The Italian Boat

The American Cup & Chuck!

After a Day Tour of Alcatraz and the American Cup Exhibits, We took a break at the Wine Cafe!

I love this area of the American Cup Finals, real leather upholstery, Trish said this is like a chair in Alice in Wonderland! 

Created on: 2013.09.06
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Updated on: 2020.09.10