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That Sinking Feeling 

Wednesday, Feb 16 2011
When we think of shipwrecks, we think of Gordon Lightfoot singing The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. (Oh, be quiet, it's a good song. And it's also based on a real event on Lake Superior. It describes how shipwrecks often involve high drama: fierce winds, collapsed hatches, ripped hulls, lost lives, and federal inquiries.) San Francisco has had its share of shipwrecks, too, it being a port city with formidable winter storms. A brief web search turns up a site saying that some 300 ships have hit the rocks and sunk in the Golden Gate. The most recent on that list is the oil tanker Frank Buck, which in 1937 struck the President Coolidge and sank. (We'd like to see Mr. Lightfoot make a heart-wrenching song with those two names.) We're not sure what eventually happened to the remains of the Buck, but there are places in San Francisco where, at low tide, you can look into the water and see what's left of vessels that didn't make it. The Shipwreck Hunt Hike includes two of those. The four-mile trip takes about an hour and a half, according to guide Alex Genadinik. His website says the Sierra Club's difficulty rating for the hike is 1-A, and while we don't really know what that means, we think it probably isn't that hard considering the variation in elevation on the trip is 100 feet. Genadinik advises hikers to dress for the weather — and we'd say also bring a paper and pen, in case you get inspired and want to write a song or something.
Sun., Feb. 27, 12:05 p.m., 2011

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Keith Bowers


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