Each winter, professional surfers migrate to Half Moon Bay to try their luck at riding the massive waves of the Mavericks area. During the competition, the coastline waters are dotted with bobbing surfers and spectator boats. For an up-close look at the waves, Bait & Switch Sportfishing, a bait shop located on nearby Pillar Point Harbor, transports guests on one of six vessels ranging between 29 and 56 feet. Staff captains organize boat tours to watch the surfing, snap photos of jumping humpback whales, or fish for salmon and rockfish. They also schedule walking tours of Half Moon Bay’s wetlands, which are home to more than 200 species of birds and at least 10 airborne crossing guards.
Captain Josh Waldman has steered vessels over more than 35,000 miles of international ocean, but as the head of Captain San Francisco, he sticks to the homier waters of San Francisco Bay and coastal California. In luxurious sailing yachts outfitted with bunks and lounge areas, he leads chartered voyages for special events, private parties, and whales too lazy to swim their daily commute. The multitalented captain keeps his yacht in tip-top condition with his own maintenance expertise and can converse with both Spanish- and English-speaking customers.
A 9-foot statue of Willie Mays looms over fans at the entrance to AT&T Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants since 2000. Along with the team’s many other Hall of Fame inductees, Mays is part of a team heritage that spans more than a century and has garnered 21 National League pennants, six World Series championships, and the most overall victories by a franchise in baseball history. Up to 41,503 fans cheer on the Giants as they swing for the tides, splashing home runs into the waters of McCovey Cove. On the field, players dig their cleats into the kentucky bluegrass blend and slide on the crushed-volcanic-rock infield, dodging the gloves of tagging basemen and onyx claws of lava worms.
For more than a decade, Team Bay Tennis's founder and director Igor Savanovic has fine-tuned the swings of athletes ranging from beginners to pros. Savanovic and two other instructors tailor their instruction to varying levels of play. They work with graduated court and racket sizes while forming a personal rapport and motivational relationship with students. Adults hone strokes in clinics or one-on-one lessons that focus on technical aspects of the game, such as how to deal with hecklers.
GoKart Racer safely curbs the need for speed with its fleet of Sodi RX 7 European racing karts, which come equipped with hydraulic brakes, a four-point racing harness, and a 9-horsepower Honda engine that can reach up to 35 miles per hour. The speedsters weave through the facility's three indoor European-style road courses, including the 3/8-mile SuperTrack, which has more than 20 turns, an elevation change, and the occasional hotshot, road-jumping frog.
Before the green flag waves, the staff members equip racers with a racing suit, a helmet, and a brief rundown of the kart's abilities and dietary regulations. They tailor races to different age groups by offering kids’ karts, a driving school for minors, and racing leagues for experienced drivers, and they augment traditional racing with a laser maze. The facility also welcomely opens its doors for birthday parties and other events.