Working Waterfront: Peter Dailey, Port of San Francisco
I Lunch for a Living
Bay Crossings Journal
Bay Crossings Poetry
Springtime in Paris Sweepstakes
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The Steam Will Rise Again
Bay Area Libations
Working Waterfront: Laurie Miskuski
Boating Calendar
Taste on the Bay on its Way
Bay Area Sailors Win National Acclaim
Cover Story: Waterfront Living
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City Welcomes New Sculpture "Cupid’s Span"
New Hookup Links 511 Service With Hearing-, Speech-Impaired Travelers
WTA Pages: All Aboard for Martinez
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Tables by the Bay
Flight of Fantasy

Flight of Fantasy

Is This a Camera Trick or San Francisco’s Newest Air/Water Toy?

By Ann Cooke

Imagine flying above the San Francisco waterfront in a winged vehicle smaller than a compact car.
On a beautiful Tuesday morning I did just that with Bodhi Kroll, owner and operator of the San Francisco Hang Gliding Center as my guide.

After less than five minutes of instruction, we took off from the Richmond Marina with me strapped onto my pilot. Whatever trepidation I felt before departure was replaced by overwhelming awe and delight as we soared into blue skies over San Francisco Bay. There was remarkably little engine noise produced by the single propeller located in the rear of the ultralight seacraft and even without the "squawk box" which was off being repaired, we were still able to communicate with one another.

Flying 2,000 feet above the water afforded a 360-degree view of unimaginable beauty. At one point, we were witness to the 78,000-ton Panamanian container vessel NYK Leo as it sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge. Even from our eagle’s perch, this ship looked huge, completely dwarfing all other ships in the bay. Talk about up close and personal. My fears of getting soaked on take-off or landing proved groundless as the pontoon running gear and expert piloting negated any real splash effect. I was as comfortably dry upon returning to dock as I was when departing.

Mr. Kroll and his staff boast a perfect safety record over eighteen years and will not hesitate to postpone in the face of high winds and rainy conditions. Mr. Kroll also offers unpowered high altitude Tandem Hang Gliding from Mt. Tamalpais, the state park located only ten miles north of San Francisco.

San Francisco Hang Gliding Center is the first and so far the only company to be granted a permit from state and local government to offer commercial tandem hang gliding lessons to the general public. Visit or call 510-528-2300 for more information.