Monday, April 20, 2009

What is Jail Island, Alcatraz? -2

Alcatraz Island (map) is located on the northern part of San Francisco Bay, between Fisherman's Wharf and Marine County. As I mentioned, it is so close to Fisherman's Wharf that almost everybody wonder if it is really the infamous jail island which was called inescapable. If you are well prepared to the temperature of the water using diving suits and protected by emergency rescue boat or co swimmer, a good swimmer will be able to swim the distance. It was couple of years ago, 6 years old boy could swim from Alcatraz to Fisherman's Wharf this way.

Alcatraz Ferry Boarding Area
Then, why is this jail island is inescapable? Talking with some people, you will get several different answers. Water is too cold to keep swimming the distance without body temperature protection. San Francisco Bay looks serene in the surface. But there are violent tide deep in the ocean. And it changes directions so often. No swimmer can be out of influence of this violent tide. Swimming at night is almost killing yourself. Man-eating sharks are active especially at night. I assume all of these are true. These all factors are working together to prevent prisoners to escape from Alcatraz.

I will talk about it later in my article, but officially, there was no one who escaped from Alcatraz alive during its history served as a jail island.

Ferries to Alcatraz depart from pier 33. If you stay in San Francisco and hope to visit to Alcatraz, I would suggest to select weekday and make reservation 3-5 days before your scheduled visit. Weekends' tickets are sometimes sold out for next 2-3 weeks. In the ferry boarding area, there are exhibitions of infamous criminals jailed in Alcatraz, including Al Capone in the picture below.

Related Post:

Most infamous prisoner in Alcatraz is Al Capone
Display in Alcatraz Ferry Borading Area
Check my websites to find out what I am doing:

Feel free to contact me:
Shaw Funami
Fill the Missing Link

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Marketing Unscrambled, learn to earn 14 said...

Shaw, Thank you telling more about Alcatraz. It does not sound like a good place to be at all.
Dan and Deanna "Marketing Unscrambled"

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shaw .. I was pleased you included the map - albeit with Japanese annotations! - as I hadn't realised that the Island is just at the entrance to the Bay from the Ocean - which is why I guess there are enormous currents there ..

It does look a block of rock with a steep surrounding cliff .. I'll remember the tour goes from pier 33 .. & I'll need to book in advance.

Thanks for some insight & the fact that Al Capone was incarcerated there.

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters

Shaw said...

Dan and Dianna,

Thank you for your comment. It is not good place to be as a prisoner. It is interesting place to visit as sightseer. I hope you enjoy the posts.

Shaw Funami
Fill the Missing Link

Shaw said...


I thought the map is in English. I made a mistake in Google website. I corrected it today. If you still see Japanese, please let me know.

I think you are right about the current and tide. I will tell it next time somebody asked me about it.

I hope you enjoy the series.
Shaw Funami
Fill the Missing Link

Peter Baca said...

Hello Shaw,

Thank you for your continuing post about Alcatraz or Jail Island!

There are stories about men that escaped...they apparently tried to swim off the island. They were never heard from again!

Interesting place!

Best Regards

Pete Baca
The Car Enthusiast Online

Shaw said...

Dear Pete,

Some similar with Death Valley. It is dark history but something drives to think standing there watching jail cells prisoners lived and died.

Thank you for your comment.
Shaw Funami
Fill the Missing Link