The March 11, 2011 Tsunami Reaches Sausalito
Our prayers and thoughts are with the victims of the terrible tsunami in Japan. The most comprehensive list we’ve seen of ways to help these shattered communities is this Huffington Post article.
In that context the tsunami event in Sausalito was a curiosity, as a series of small surges swept into San Francisco Bay. Unlike Santa Cruz and Crescent City, where the shapes of the harbors focused the energy and created significant damage, we were largely sheltered by the mouth of the Bay. The wave also arrived at relatively low tide, keeping the maximum water levels low.
With great respect for the many lives lost in Japan, we have gathered videos of the tsunami reaching Sausalito and Richardson’s Bay so you can see how it all unfolded here.
As seen from “A” Dock: the Bay waters recede and then return, recreating the hours long tidal cycle in two minutes:
Richardson’s Bay receding and returning, as seen from the hills of Sausalito. Tiburon and Belvedere are in the background, Sausalito in the foreground.
Another view from the houseboats, this one facing southeast from Waldo Point as the surge comes in. You’ll hear people commenting that the surge did not float the houseboat off the mud of the Bay at low tide, not to mention the lament of someone who dropped their camera overboard into the mud. At almost six minutes this captures the entire time that the water was rising.
Another view from the houseboats, this one deep inside Kappa’s Marina as the water rises and bubbles around the boats:
This shot from a houseboat at the Yellow Ferry Dock in northern Sausalito shows the fourth — and weakest — of the tsunami waves, which had the same effect in 3 minutes as 3 hours of a normal incoming tide.