city by the bay

San Francisco is just a mere forty-nine square miles. There are seven major hills that represent the overall topography of the city. San Francisco and its hills sit between the San Francisco Bay, the Pacific Ocean and south of the opening of the Golden Gate. The Golden Gate Bridge spans the steep cliffs of San Francisco on the south, the incessant churning waters that connect the bay and the ocean in the middle and the Marin headlands on the north.  Early explorers missed San Francisco Bay several times due to the heavy fog that
usually guards the opening of the Golden Gate.

Entering San Francisco Bay is an obstacle course testing the skills of the finest  seafaring captain. Before GPS just finding the Golden Gate kept the sailors guessing. Today, the shipping lanes are marked a few miles outside the strait with buoys. It is amazing to have so much room and so little margin for error. The ships making the final approach to enter the Golden Gate have to miss the rocks greeting them on the Pacific Ocean. There is a fog horn screaming its warning and flashing its rotating light while perched on Mile Rock outside the gate. The warning sights and sounds just outside the narrow waster passage make the perilous rocks known to any wayward ship. To stay on course in the narrow strait, captains of ships also use Point Bonita's lighthouse and several fog lights strategically placed in the steep hills, north of San Francisco in the Marin Headlands .

San Francisco