To my knowledge, no one has ever swam to Bolinas from San Francisco’s Land’s End and lived to tell about the experience. It is conceivable that no one has ever attempted the feat. Named “Land’s End” because that is exactly what it is – the northwest corner of the San Francisco Peninsula ending at the intersection of the Golden Gate, the entry into San Francisco Bay, and the not so frequently pacific Pacific Ocean. The ocean collides, often in extreme turbulence, with the drainage of California’s gold country rivers from the Sierra Foothills into the world’s largest estuary – the San Francisco Bay. Tides rise almost eight feet during extreme alignment of the sun and moon. The water is a numbing 48 degree average with currents running south from Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. Sailboats stall struggling against the currents and the eighteen-knot average winds, the 8th highest average velocity in the United States. Large ships carefully have to navigate the separation of two masses of land, Marin County on the north and San Francisco on the south, often shrouded in fog so thick you cannot see your hand in front of your face. Dozens of shipwrecks running aground against the rocks and the sandy shoals have been recorded. Great white sharks troll the shallow sandy reefs along the coast from Ocean Beach at the west end of San Francisco, to Muir Beach, Stinson Beach and Bolinas north of the Golden Gate. It would take a herculean effort to accomplish swimming to Bolinas from Land’s End. It may be impossible.
San Francisco, a real live OZ with its own yellow brick roads, fantasy characters and dream-like existences, is the apex of this story where I will let you be in my dream. Bolinas is a dream all its own. A small village of bohemians and hippies located on the San Andreas earthquake fault several miles northwest of San Francisco. Bolinas is literally slipping northwest at a rate of about three inches every couple of years. It used to be 800 miles south near San Diego a several million years ago. San Francisco careens into the future at a pace unmatched anywhere in the world creating a utopian bubble that has spawned some of the more significant historical epochs that have created and changed the world. It has picked itself up in the fashion of Phoenix after being destroyed at the end of the 19th century and will undoubtedly have to do so again one of these days.