Sunday, November 29, 2009


Nov. 9, 2009---Boats like the one on he right take visitors to Alcatraz Island every 30 minutes from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Alcatraz is about 1 1/2 miles from San Francisco. It only takes about 12 minutes to make the trip.

Golden Gate Bridge can be seen in the distance.

The island was purchased from the spanish in 1846 for the US Government. It was originally for military use to protect the bay from intruders. Alcatraz was used to house Civil War prisoners as early as 1861. Alcatraz became a federal prison in 1934. Many notable prisoners were kept there until the prison was closed in 1963. It was closed because of the expense to operate. The island is now a part of the National Park Service.

Alactraz island is nearly covered with concrete structures that make up the prison complex. The lighthouse constructed in 1854 was the first one constructed on the west coast and is still in use today.

Living quarters for families that worked on the island.

Carol is happy to be on the outside of the bars.

There is a lot of history to learn about on the island. Prisoners here were not allowed to speak when in their cells. Conversation between inmates was only allowed when they were outside for a short time in the exercise area on weekends.

San Francisco seen across the bay.

Cells are very small. Measuring 5' wide x 9' deep and 7' high allowed little room for comfort. It is no wonder that many escapes were attempted. This cell is one where the prisoner used a broken spoon handle to dig through the wall behind the vent.

Guard tower on the left was occupied by armed guards when the prison was active.

On the right another view of the island as we returned to shore.

The well known bay bridge that goes between San Francisco and Oakland could be seen on the return trip. Looking closely a crane was observed where repairs to the bridge were being made. A cable had broken causing the bridge to be closed for several days.

Skyline of San Francisco seen from the bay.

Another view of the Golden Gate Bridge as we headed north on the 75 mile trip back to Santa Rosa.

Made a little side run through the town of Sasalito. The homes seem to cling to the hill sides.

There are all kinds of boats in the huge marina.

Lots of people live in homes on the water.

1 comment:

All American Packaging said...

Today, the island is a historic site operated by the National Park Service as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and is open to tours. Visitors can reach the island by ferry ride from Pier 33, near Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. Alcatraz has been featured in many movies, TV shows, cartoons, books, comics, and games.