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What to Do if You Miss the Last Ferry from Angel Island
If you miss the last ferry from Angel Island (which happens to people fairly often), your certain solution is to call a water taxi to take you back to Tiburon or San Francisco. Expect to pay at least $100 by the time you’re done all in for Tiburon. more for San Francisco.
Neither Angel Island State Park nor the Angel Island Ferry Co. offer a “get out of jail free if you miss the last ferry from Angel Island” solution. Before spending that money on the water taxi, however, here are some other ideas to try:
Does a different ferry company still have a sailing after you miss the last ferry back to the city where you started your trip? Check both the Tiburon Ferry and the San Francisco Blue and Gold Ferry schedules. There is some direct ferry service between Tiburon and San Francisco to get you back to SF, and buses connect Tiburon with both Larkspur and Sausalito, where more ferry sailings to San Francisco are scheduled. This is by far the best and least expensive option, even allowing for ending up in the wrong city, so jump at it if you have the chance.
Is there a chartered ferry in the harbor at Ayala Cove? There are different shapes and sizes of boats and it’s not always clear what boat’s been chartered and what boat has a private owner. Sometimes charter groups will let you pay to hitchhike back on their vessel if you miss the last ferry from Angel Island, so don’t hesitate to ask.
Find someone whose boat is docked there who will show pity after you miss the last ferry from Angel Island and give you a ride back to Tiburon, San Francisco or wherever they’re going. Sometimes this will be done for free by people, other times they’ll ask you to pay them something. This will not work if someone in your group looks or acts like a villain in a slasher movie, so have them discard their hockey mask and machete in a trash can before asking.
Ask a Park Ranger. They usually won’t have any way that they can help after you miss the last ferry from Angel Island, but if they happen to know a charter boat is coming in later they may be able to give you some on-the-spot advice.
If you’ve used up all the choices on this list, it’s time to call the water taxi. The waters around Angel Island are famous for being especially treacherous and cold (hint: that island nearby is Alcatraz), and don’t even think of trying to improvise a solution to get back to Tiburon, let alone San Francisco.