Doing Time on The Rock, See?

With apologies to Edward G. Robinson.

Carol and I push off from Pier 33 in San Francisco for our first trip to Alcatraz Island. As it turned out, we used four modes of transportation that day: boat, car, train and airplane.
Carol and I push off from Pier 33 in San Francisco for our first visit to Alcatraz Island. As it turned out, we used four modes of transportation that day: boat, car, train and airplane.
Alcatraz is 1.5 miles into the San Francisco Bay first documented by Spanish explorers in 1775 who named the island "La Isla de los Alcatraces" (The Island of the Pelicans). It stands 135 feet out of the water and was a military garrison, then a military prison, then a federal penitentiary, and now part of the National Park System.
Alcatraz is 1.5 miles into the San Francisco Bay first documented by Spanish explorers in 1775 who named the island “La Isla de los Alcatraces” (The Island of the Pelicans). It stands 135 feet out of the water and was a military garrison, then a military prison, then a federal penitentiary, and now part of the National Park System.
A lingering sign from the 1969–71 Native American occupation.
A lingering sign from the 1969–71 Native American occupation.
Apparently, Alcatraz was the only federal penitentiary which provided hot showers for its inmates.
Apparently, Alcatraz was the only federal penitentiary which provided hot showers for its inmates. The theory was, with the warm water, inmates could not get acclimated to cold water, aiding their chance of escape. Inmates were limited to 10-minute showers. Al Capone famously practiced the banjo in the shower block.
Living conditions were not plush at the prison. Cells came with a bed, sink, toilet, seat and table. Ceilings were 7' tall.
Living conditions were not plush at the prison. Cells came with a bed, sink, toilet, seat and table and were 9′ deep, 5′ wide and 7′ tall. Alcatraz housed some 1,576 of America’s most ruthless criminals including Al Capone, Robert Franklin Stroud (the “Birdman of Alcatraz”), George “Machine Gun” Kelly, Bumpy Johnson, Rafael Cancel Miranda, Mickey Cohen, Arthur R. “Doc” Barker, James “Whitey” Bulger, and Alvin “Creepy” Karpis (who served 26 years – more time at Alcatraz than any other inmate).
Alcatraz had four cell blocks, A-D, each with three stories.
Alcatraz had four cell blocks, A-D, each with three stories.
The Golden Gate Bridge in fog.
The Golden Gate Bridge in fog.
The exercise yard outside the cell blocks.
The exercise yard outside the cell blocks.
The Alcatraz Island Lighthouse was built in 1852 and was the first lighthouse on the U.S. West Coast. The one that exists today was built in 1909 - it replaced the original which was fatally damaged in the 1906 earthquake.
The Alcatraz Island Lighthouse was built in 1852 and was the first lighthouse on the U.S. West Coast. The one that exists today was built in 1909 – it replaced the original which was fatally damaged in the 1906 earthquake.
The basement of Alcatraz contained some showers and a dungeon (solitary confinement) accessed from A-Block. The green stairway to the basement is on the ride side of the photo
The basement of Alcatraz contained some showers and a dungeon (solitary confinement) accessed from A-Block, and was only used for a few years. The green stairway to the basement is on the ride side of the photo.
The Fog Gods were generally cooperative, but every so often, they would tease us.
The Fog Gods were generally cooperative, but every so often, they would tease us.
San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood.
San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood.
Building 64 were residential apartments, first used by the military, then by the prison.
Building 64 were residential apartments, first used by the military, then by the prison.
Of the many guard towers which existed on Alcatraz, this is the only one remaining.
Of the many guard towers that were on Alcatraz, this is the only one remaining.
As a bonus while visiting The Rock, we got to see part of the Fleet Week San Francisco air show including the Blue Angels.
As a bonus while visiting The Rock, we got to see part of the Fleet Week San Francisco air show including the Blue Angels.
More Fleet Week movement under the Golden Gate Bridge.
Fleet Week movement under the Golden Gate Bridge.

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