Captain Dennis Garrison always felt more at home in the water than he did on land. He was born in the beach town of Playa del Rey, where he spent his days fishing, jet-skiing, and sailing along the coast of Southern California. His love of the open sea and knack for navigation eventually led to stints with the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard.
Unable to ignore the roaring of the surf and the call of gulls after retirement, Garrison founded his own sailing company?Imagine Sailing Tours. Drawing on 30 years of nautical experience, he shuttles passengers towards scenic coastlines and popular sites throughout the San Francisco Bay area. He helms a majestic Irwin Citation 34 yacht, pointing out passing dolphins and seals as he steers towards Angel Island, Half Moon Bay, or AT&T Park. Upon arriving at destinations, Garrison leads activities such as snorkeling trips in Monterrey Bay, wine tastings on Treasure Island, and pottery-spinning classes on top of the Golden Gate Bridge. The skilled seafarer also offers sailing lessons for passengers who?d like to try their hand at steering the ship themselves.
At Tradewinds Sailing School & Club, the American Sailing Association?certified instructors teach a diverse array of skills, from the basics of keelboating and coastal cruising to specialty work such as celestial navigation. Their intimate classes, typically capped at three students, all pair guided learning with real-world practice on the water, ensuring students truly master their chosen subject matter. Veteran sailors can challenge the class and join the sailing club, whose convenient boat-sharing program allows for trips to Sausalito, Angel Island, and other local spots.
Live2kite's Richmond and Greenbrae locations facilitate wave-riding instruction while also supplying maritime hobbyists with billowing chutes, sturdy boards, and stylish apparel for kitesurfing, standup paddleboarding, and wakeboarding. Canopies by makers such as Ozone, RRD, and Slingshot float upon air currents, free from the interference of kite-hating trees. Rental gear equips wave riders for hours at sea, and lessons impart kiting and paddling basics as well as more advanced tricks and tactics for surfing atop dolphins.
The evening fog hangs heavy over San Francisco Bay, engulfing the boat in a cloak of opaque mist. Just as the sightseers are ready to head home, the thick brume begins to roll away, revealing the city skyline glittering across the water. Dedicated to showcasing the Bay Area’s scenic waters regardless of the weather, the crew of SailNOW facilitates moments such as this via cruises and lessons based out of East Bay. Skipper Jonathan Ganz—an American Sailing Association and United States Sailing Association-certified instructor with a U.S. Coast Guard Masters 100 GT license—founded SailNOW to impart his passion for aquatic pursuits unto pupils of all ages and experience levels. On any given day, Captain Ganz can be found leading group and private lessons that teach the essentials of sailing, such as how to navigate inclement weather, how to properly anchor a ship, and where to store your sea legs once back on terra firma. In addition to conducting instructional sessions, the savvy mariner helms cruises around San Francisco Bay and sailing adventures to far-flung locales including New Zealand and Baja.
It's not just that they don't mind?visitors to Omescape actually want to be locked into a room for an hour. These, however, are no ordinary rooms, but tests of mental prowess. They're an online room escape come to life, chock-full of puzzles and mind benders that lead to the way out.
Teams of up to eight players scour the room for clues and then try to find their way out in just one hour. In Room Omega, they're working to uncover the reasons for time travel researcher Professor Stanley's mysterious disappearance; in Forgotten Treasure, the team must search for a pirate's secret stash of gold and blinged-out eye patches; in The Penitentiary, players try to go through an action movie-esque laser tunnel.
Because Omescape's staffers recognize the games are challenging, they allow teams to ask for help one time during the game, and they keep the entrance to the room open at all times in case anyone feels uncomfortable (each room has an entrance and an exit). The fastest teams to escape through the exit get an invitation to return to test new rooms.
The Golden State Model Railroad Museum brings the nation?s bygone steam-powered days back to life in miniature form, recreating the trails run by the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe Railroads. Trains snake through three huge model layouts, which depict the varied terrain of Northern and Central California lovingly recreated and operated by the East Bay Model Engineers Society. Sundays in April?December from noon to 5 p.m., some of the 70 behind-the-scenes conductors imbue the tracks with energy, transforming the 10,000-square-foot facility into a locomotive wonderland alight with the sounds of bells and whistles not heard since the days when phone numbers only had three digits. The museum is also open on Wednesdays and Saturdays for viewings or on select days for themed events such as Amtrak Day or Steam/Transition Era Day.