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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 is this Huffington Post article.
In that context the tsunami event in Sausalito was a curiosity, as a small surge 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.
In that context, 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:
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 might have been the best of the lot had the camera just zoomed back and held still. Nevertheless, it has some good moments.
The last half of this one will just make your head hurt as the camera swings in all directions, but in the first half are some shots where you can watch the dock rise by a foot in about thirty seconds in a very visible way:
Finally, a really stable camera shot of the surge coming in from the part of Richardson’s Bay north of Sausalito, where it is especially shallow at the northern tip of this part of San Francisco Bay. You can start to see something happening at :30, and houseboats start to float off the mud at 1:30.
The final verdict: if you watch the Japanese video damage and then watch these videos, all you can do is feel very lucky and try to think of ways we can help the people who lost so much in Japan.