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  • Susanne Bruesch & Nora Manthey

A Jolly Good Ride with John Travolta On Board in Spirit

Electric Bikes about to board the boat of John Travolta

We took a different mode of transport today, very different. We took the bikes with us, too, on a boat, a jolly boat to be precise. Legend has it that it once belonged to John Travolta and served as dinghy for the Hollywood actor's yacht. We wondered how big that yacht must have been as the jolly boat fit our crew of five and two bikes rather easily.

Captain Sue with her crew of e-bike and wo-men

Sue, our filmer, who just made her boats license served as our captain.

The boat was fast and the scenery even more stunning. The first few minutes were so impressive that we were busy installing GoPros and taking pictures of the magnificent city skyline with its steep hills. While we headed towards the Golden Gate Bridge I could have cried over how thankful and happy I am to see all of our dreams and plans becoming a reality.

What was most stunning were the animals of the bay. Seals casually popping their shiny black heads out of the water, tilting to see what we were doing. Dolphins we saw too but they swam quickly towards the open Pacific behind the Golden Gate bridge.

Selfie and picture frenzie in front of the Golden Gate bridge

Selfie and photo frenzie in front of the Golden Gate bridge

Behind angel island we chilled in the quiet sea under a cloudless sky. Sue and I used this favourite spot with the Golden Gate bridge in the background for an interview that will later be incorporated into the feature film of the tour.

However, when we wanted to leave our quiet bay the motor did not start any more. After trying everything we could, still without success, we followed boat owner Eric’s advice to open the machine room to let in cool air.

It took us a while to locate the motor compartment, after all, we are bike not motor boat people and that got Eric really worried, we believe. It worked, but Eric kept calling us. When he saw an emergency helicopter above San Francisco Bay he even called them as we did not pick up. We were too busy cruising around the former prison island Alcatraz in an increasingly rough sea before sailing along the San Francisco skyline.

Alcatraz as seen from John Travolta's boat

Alcatraz, the former prison island also called the rock and surrounded by a sea busy with sharks

Heading towards a more open section of the Bay we could feel the wind blowing harder and the waves splashing higher. Thanks to waterproof equipment on the bikes, bodies and GoPro cameras getting wet did not matter at all.

San Francisco is stunning

San Francisco and its line of piers

The stunning views of the city were worth almost anything and they were even topped by a sea lion on a bouy with a bell like in a church tower.

Chilling seal in San Francisco Bay

Chilling seal on a man-made ringing buoy

When we returned the boat, Eric speeded up for another cruse along the Piers before we finally got off the boat. Disembarking the speed boat first felt surreal. The body is anticipating the next wave and is ready to balance so firm ground feels as if it moves without an earthquake. Time feels decelerated as well. The wind and waves convey such a constant rush, the land seemed too solid to walk straight.

We returned into our hotel room camp to take another cruise later, this time by bike to the Dolores Park near Mission district. Back on our electric Haibikes, the rush was reviving. The wind from the sea paired with the airstream from velocity is now our crew’s constant companion.

Travel tip of the day:

Rent a boat! John's you can hire here,

Also watch Susanne's full account of the day via the video journal. Recording was made straight off the boat.

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