Ever since I heard of the concept of swimming Bay to Breakers, rather than running it, I have wanted to do this swim. Given the conditions outside the Golden Gate, and the breakers at Ocean Beach, you have to get a little lucky with the conditions, and we did. As foggy and windy as Saturday morning was, Sunday morning was calm, sunny and clear. Of course, the winds picked up as we got outside the Gate, as the day went on, which made it exciting. Once we got out at Ocean Beach, it got really rough and too exciting for everyone to make it all the way in.
The other moment of drama was when the Washington Voyager (a tanker weighing 16,941 tons, 627 feet in length, 50 ft hull depth, and 96 ft wide) was coming straight at us from underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, as we swam in a line from Alcatraz to mid-span. As it became clear that we were on a collision course, we turned inquisitively to our pilots, who radioed the coastguard. If you have never found yourself swimming at the prow of an oil tanker bearing down on you from half a mile away, don't. It conducted the naval manouver known as the emergency 45degree right, and passed by us close enough for us to wave to their bridge. Produced a few waves too. However, I would highly recommend swimming underneath the Golden Gate out into the ocean. Quite a feeling. Only matched by surfing into Ocean Beach with a feeling of achievement.
Bay to Breakers, baby!