Angel Island

Ayala Cove
Ayala Cove on Angel Is. (click for full-size)

Angel Island is an appealing destination for rowers, for some  obvious and some not-so-obvious reasons.

  • It’s close by and about the right size and distance for a great workout
  • It’s a beautiful parkland in the midst of a beautiful bay
  • A rower is sure to encounter a wide variety of wind and water conditions on the way around
  • A circuit of Angel can be experienced as a series of smaller “pieces”, going from point-to-point, or bay-to-bay.
  • There are many ways to use the landforms and small scale tidal flows (and back flows) to get a faster (or, if you wish, a tougher)¬† row around Angel. Rounding the island is an exercise in reacting to conditions many times within the circuit.


We’ve broken the discussion of this popular route into several sections:

Why a separate section for slack and flood tides? There will generally be less turbulence at slack or on a flood tide, thus these are good conditions for a novice. A big ebb current presents a challenge, and thus there is a separate description and route proposed for it.

Point Blunt
Point Blunt (click for full-size)

Point Blunt is a spectacular location, and occasional home to some of the roughest water inside the Golden Gate. The best route around the point is easy and fun if you know the “tricks” associated with this location, so we’ve devoted a separate page to this part of the row.

OWRC rowers have found plenty of interesting variations on the basic Angel Island circuit, some of which will help when conditions are difficult.

If you are new the Angel Is. route speak to the staff about rowing around with an instructor or about getting paired up with some of the experienced rowers headed that way. The club also schedules Angel Island classes at various times in the year, and especially before our club Angel Island Row in the fall.