Emeryville residents and neighbors treated to Panoramic views of SF Fleet Week

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Emeryville residents and neighbors were treated once again to a somewhat distant, but convenient view of the annual SF Fleet Week (SFFW) event. The Blue Angels announced their presence on Friday afternoon with a flyover, causing curious residents and workers to peer out their windows at the roaring jets.

While San Francisco still makes for the most thrilling vantage point of the event, our Emeryville Marina and shoreline offers a relatively stress-free alternative to packed BART cars and roads into San Francisco. Emeryville spectators were treated to pristine weather conditions for viewing the event from the East Bay.

Emeryville Marina onlookers watched with an expansive Golden Gate Bridge Background. Image: Nick Sebastian, WorldWide Communications.

According to fleetweeksf.org, SFFW began in 1981 when then Mayor Dianne Feinstein led the nation in celebrating America’s sea services. The intent of the annual public event is to honor the contributions of the men and women of the US Armed Forces and give the public insight and access into their day-to-day lives. It is said to be the largest and most significant event of its kind in the nation attracting millions of visitors and generating over $10M in annual revenue to the area.

Good morning, #BlueAngelsFans! It’s show day and here is a taste of what you will be seeing! Don’t blink!

A video posted by Blue Angels (@usnavyblueangels) on

Emeryville’s View of the SF Fleet Week action

All of this plays out in Emeryville over the glittering backdrop of the SF skyline, Golden Gate and Bay Bridges. The star attraction of the show is of course the Navy’s Blue Angels fleet who treat onlookers to synchronized maneuvers at speeds up to 700 mph. The stunts leave a trail of white smoke across the blue sky as they dive and roll across the bay. Other Air show participants include the Air Force’s F-22 Raptor, the Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 and the Breitling Jet Team.

The Emeryville Marina provides 180 degree views with an expansive lawn for family picnicking. A “VIP” view might be from the expansive windows of the popular Hong Kong East Ocean Restaurant over a cocktail and some Dim Sum. A more budget-conscience option might be to grab some deli-sandwiches at the Watergate Market or utilize the free first-come, first-serve picnic benches and barbecue pits at Marina Park.


2017 promises even more options for East Bay residents

For getting to the event, Bicycle and pedestrian access from the Bay Trail is flat and easy. Use of Emeryville’s free Emery Go-Round Powell/Shellmound line that runs from MacArthur BART is also encouraged. There is also free, but very limited parking.

Next year (presumably), E’villains and neighbors will finally have bicycle access to Treasure Island for even more viewing options. 2017 should also see the addition of private ferry service to San Francisco with two companies looking to provide service from our Marina.

Feature Image: Nick Sebastian, WorldWide Communications.

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Cindy Warner

lives in Emeryville after finding a Bentley 38 sailboat at Emery Cove in 2014. She learned to sail at Cal Sailing and covered the America's Cup in SF. She grew up in the East Bay and finds the shoreline home. She has written on San Francisco Arts & Culture since January 2009, using her bicycle and public transportation to cover stories all over the SF Bay Area.


  1. Saw them while on the water at Berkeley Marina today, and definitely HEARD them as they roared overhead across my boat in Emeryville Marina (startled my cats, too!). Sadly, I’ll be working in Oakland this weekend, but the do tend to fly across Lake Merritt as well, so I’ll keep my eyes peeled!

  2. Cap’n Dave yes a formation flew over around 1:00. V formation like flock of birds with a solo following. They soared toward downtown Oakland.

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