Why call it “UpBay”?

Jack London on the RoamerWhy are a bunch of hipsters branding Vallejo “UpBay”? Many Vallejoans grew up calling it “Northbay”, yet news media and outfits like Craigslist lump Vallejo in with the Eastbay. “Northbay” means Marin in popular usage, and “Eastbay” means Berkeley-Oakland-Richmond. “Northeast Bay” is more accurate, but too wordy to catch on, so we borrowed an old sailing term: UpBay.

Sailing upBay is like sailing upstream, only up a bay.  Sailors bound for Vallejo said they were going “up Bay”.

 San Francisco Bay Area Water TrailAnd once a sailor, always a sailor. The savor of the salt never stales. The sailor never grows so old that he does not care to go back for one more wrestling bout with wind and wave. I know of it myself. I have turned rancher, and live beyond sight of the sea. Yet I can stay away from it only so long. After several months have passed, I begin to grow restless. I find myself day-dreaming over incidents of the last cruise, or wondering if the striped bass are running on Wingo Slough, or eagerly reading the newspapers for reports of the first northern flights of ducks. And then, suddenly, there is a hurried packing of suit-cases and overhauling of gear, and we are off for Vallejo where the little Roamer lies, waiting, always waiting, for the skiff to come alongside, for the lighting of the fire in the galley-stove, for the pulling off of gaskets, the singing up of the mainsail, and the rat-tat-tat of the reef-points, for the heaving short and the breaking out, and for the twirling of the wheel as she fills away and heads up Bay or down.

Jack London, from The Joy of Small-Boat Sailing

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed

  • We do our best to keep event listings current, but sometimes they are rescheduled or cancelled after being posted here. Please confirm with the venue when making your plans.