Meet Captain Maggie

As one-of-a-kind experiences go, Tiburon overflows with many. But perhaps one of the best of them all is a trip to Angel Island State Park aboard the Angel Island-Tiburon Ferry, the last family-owned-and-operated ferryboat of its kind in California. And it casts off right from beautiful downtown Tiburon.

At the helm of the company, and the ferry, is Maggie McDonogh, aka Captain Maggie, who follows in the footsteps of a long line of men in her family who’ve been plying the waterways around San Francisco Bay since the late 1800s. The ferryboat company in its modern form was founded by her father, Milton, in 1959. These days her fleet offers round-trip ferry service from the dock in downtown Tiburon to the island in just 10 minutes, as well as bay cruises, such as a whale watching tour and a popular BYO dinner and drinks sunset sail (book ahead). While Maggie says every day is a little different and full of surprises, one constant keeps her going: bringing joy to people.

“When guests step aboard and see and experience something new, like the bridge, or a seal or a seagull, or smelling the salt air, there’s a freedom to that and you can see it on people’s faces,” she said.

She’s all in on doling out the bliss, but what brings it home for the energetic optimist is meeting people from around the world who’ve heard of her family’s company and come specifically to ride. When COVID hit and international visits stalled, a different silver lining appeared. The pandemic slowed people down and brought out a lot of locals and Californians who finally had the time to zero in on their own backyard.

“Marin is beautiful, and Tiburon is a jewel. We are really so lucky to live here, and I love showing it off.”

Captain Maggie laughs at the notion of free time, but when she’s not on her boat, she enjoys hiking (she recommends climbing to the top of Mt. Livermore on Angel Island for a five-bridge view on a clear day), gardening, and tending to her chickens. Like her family before her, Captain Maggie has also passed on the love of the water and San Francisco Bay to the next generation— her son and daughter—both of whom work on the boats and around the company.

So, what’s next for the Angel Island Tiburon Ferry Company? She can’t say but things are brewing. In the meantime, plan to step aboard and say hi to Captain Maggie. Opening Day on the Bay is set for April 24, 2022 and kicks off boating season in the Bay Area.

“As long as there’ s adventure and I get to keep making people happy for a living, life is good.”

21 Main St., Tiburon




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