7 Things to Know About Mooring a Boat at Angel Island


We’ve been dreaming about mooring overnight at Angel Island from the moment we bought The Catalina Wine Mixer. And a couple weeks ago, that dream came true! It was even better than we’d imagined.

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With a couple of friends in tow, Brian, Indy and I set off on a new adventure – and learned a few things along the way. Here’s what we wish we’d known before our first mooring experience.

Bring Long Lines

Like, really long. We were able to get by with 75-foot lines, but it was a little tight. After our first overnight adventure, we decided to stock up on a couple of 100-foot lines for next time.

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Pay Attention to the Colors

It can be a little tough to spot an open space – especially on a crowded weekend. Just remember that the cans are color-coded for a reason. Red goes with red and yellow with yellow. So, if you’re pulling into what looks like an open space and you’re between a yellow can and a red one, it’s not actually a spot.


There’s Help!

Within a few minutes of pulling into Ayala Cove, a friendly neighbor hopped in his dinghy to help us tie off. At first, we thought he was a ranger! But, fellow boaters understand that mooring can be a bit of a challenge, so they’re happy to help. We saw this friendly gesture repeated over and over again – you’ve got to love the boating community 😊 Once you’re all settled in, keep an eye out for fellow boaters who could use a hand.

The Dinghy Plays

If you don’t have a dinghy, a kayak or paddleboard will work just fine, too. It’s nice to have the option to go ashore, say hello to the rangers (and pay your overnight fee), or jump in to help another boater tie off. Plus, there’s live music and food on the island, and you can hang out until the last ferry leaves for the day. So, it’s worth checking out!

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You Have to Jump in the Water

It’s the rules.

Not really, but you’re there, so you might as well. The cove is well-protected, so the water is typically pretty calm. And cold. But it’ll make you feel alive! Seriously – skip the morning cup of coffee and just jump in. Plus, it makes for a great Boomerang.

Watch for Wildlife

We spotted pelicans, seals, harbor porpoises, and deer on the island! So, keep your eyes peeled and a pair of binoculars handy. You never know who you’ll see.

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Get Ready to Relax

The vibe in Ayala Cove is super laid back. Throw on some music, grab a frosty cold beverage, and take in the stunning scenery. Technically, you’re just a few miles from San Francisco, but it feels like you’re an entire world away. And it’s spectacular.

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Ayala Cove is a magical place. The setting is truly stunning! And waking up in our home with a totally different view was such a cool feeling. I can’t wait to do it again.

Jaclyn Westlake