In a way it was the convergence of the planets – Americas Cup 2013, Fleet Week with the annual Air Show, a Giant’s game, a 49er’s game, Castro Street Fair, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival and the Italian Heritage Parade! You could really take your pick of your favorite kind of activity and the City by the Bay was intent upon delivering you a great time!

Our choice was to enjoy the final day of Fleet Week and the America’s Cup World Series events which both took place on the bay along the Marina Green, Aquatic Park and Fisherman’s Wharf. This worked out well as BART was the transport of choice from our east bay home.

Upon debarking at the Embarcadero Station and stopping at the Ferry Building for a morning coffee and breakfast sandwich, it was a relaxed walk through some of San Francisco’s busiest tourist destinations –  the Embarcadero, Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf – to find a location where both the America’s Cup World Series and the Fleet Week Air Show could be enjoyed.

Aquatic Park had a good sound system and not too many people, but we wanted to have the added bonus of the Golden Gate Bridge in the pictures we would take today, so walking further – over the hill to Fort Mason Center there were great vistas of the area.

From this promontory above Fort Mason’s complex of buildings, we could see that the Marina Green was already jam packed with people, blankets and bicycles. So, we opted to walk out on one of the piers at Fort Mason Center where we were able to spend several hours enjoying the show and taking pictures.

The scene was one of pleasure boats at anchor, awaiting the start of activities; rescue vessels, a perimeter set up on the bay by the U.S. Coast Guard – leaving an open flyway for the air show that would also double as the route for the America’s Cup World Series race.

The fog persisted in its embrace of the tips of the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge, but cleared sufficiently to make the day sunny, breezy and fresh. Since we dressed in layers, jackets and sweaters came off and on at various times during the day!

And what a show it was! A virtual ballet of sea and air! The roar of the planes accompanied by a chorus of languages – Chinese – Korean – French – English and laughter (which sounds the same in all languages)!

There were many excited exclamations as locals and tourists shared the viewing areas to enjoy the incredible panoramas of San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and Angel Island. It was a perfect stage for the America’s Cup World Series and the final air show of the weekend’s Fleet Week.

Everyone really appreciated the America’s Cup vessels as they raced their course – seemingly flying over the water with speed and grace. Were the boats trying to mimic the sleek moves of the airplanes, or were the airplanes envious of the quiet speed of the sailing vessels?

Unfortunately, we had to leave a bit early and the Blue Angels air show was moved back in the day so we weren’t able to see their show over the bay. But it was an exciting walk back to BART with them thundering not too far over the City as they rolled in and out of the main demonstration area.

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Jim was born in Oakland and with the exception of his 7 years in the Air Force, has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area his entire life. He is an avid fan of San Francisco and its surrounds and enjoys the beauty, culture and diversity it affords. He enjoys being able to take day trips to the ocean, the desert or to some of the highest peaks on the continent. He likes having the ability to travel from a metropolis with millions of people to a quiet spot with only nature around him within a few hours of driving time.