Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Wedge @ 1500+ FT

I traveled down to Southern California on business this week. I flew in and out of John Wayne Airport - always a fun ride. They gun the engines to steeply climb to 1000 feet very quickly and then they cut the engines to adhere to FAA rules to lessen noise over the OC.

The flight path brought us right over the Wedge. I quickly grabbed my phone turned it on and snapped this quick pic. Did not look like much was breaking at the time but you can see from the pic that the Jetty is set up to welcome what ever south pulse comes through with open arms. Cool vantage point.

A beast of a wave when it is on.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

South VS North

So I cheated. Sorta. Well not really.

On Saturday last weekend I chose to travel NORTH to check a surf spot I had not surfed before, all under my new Summer 2010 rule of traveling NORTH for SOUTH swells in hopes of finding some fun not too crowded waves NORTH of San Francisco. A nice alternative to traveling SOUTH toward Santa Cruz, where the surf tends to be significantly more crowded than up NORTH.

Well I actually ended up traveling SOUTH too but on Sunday. My family and I drove to a spot on the San Mateo Coast that I/we have learned to appreciate quite a bit over the past few years. We decided to go for a "hike" and I did not bring my surf stuff. I knew there was a good chance this stretch of coast would be holding up well and breaking. Why not at least be there to watch it? I did bring my camera to document.

Sure enough...OUCH... SOUTH of San Francisco... there she was sucking in the SOUTH swell perfectly... beautiful A-frame wedges... rolling in... with only... (3) people out...

Definitely took one for the Team, but technically held to my promise of only traveling NORTH this Summer to chase SOUTHS for surf.

Things are shaping up...

... although I know never to get my hopes up too high. Good solid SOUTH headed our way. Already put the call into my buddy to get ready and get early morning clearance for Sunday. I might even see if I can sneak out early on Saturday locally to a spot that likes this type of swell. The anticipation builds. Click on image to enlarge.

Graph/table courtesy of STORMSURF.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Going North this Summer

Last Summer I posted a write-up of my unfruitful pursuit of a south swell that washed ashore along the entire CA coast and beyond. My search took me south of San Francisco to an area dense with surf breaks. At the end of the post I suggested that I may decide to focus on the coastline North of San Francisco and have told many friends the same.

Well here we are, Summer 2010 and my commitment to travel North for surf has begun. A good size south is currently running so I decided to wake up early (4:30am) to get a jump start.

In general my efforts paid off even though I did not suit up or even get wet. I headed to a spot that I have been curious about for several years now. I have stopped by at least 2-3 times with never any results. This time was different.

What was valuable this time was that I actually got to see the surf break work... kinda. Turns out all the other times I had checked this spot, I now realize I had been checking the wrong point - WTF!!!? Yes I was looking in the wrong place literally around the corner from the actual spot. But this time I did a little more prowling around and actually found it and watched someone try and surf it. I use the word try because it turned out to be a minus tide and a good majority of the reef was exposed except for one section. In total I saw (3) surfers and (1) bodyboarder - a good sign.

So all in all a good bit of recon on my part I just need to get back up there with another south swell running and a higher tide. The surf forecast is hinting of another next weekend, we'll see how things shape up. At least I know where I'll be going next time.

On my drive back home I traveled through Jenner and I came across the memorial service for Noel Robinson who was a Bodega Bay local surfer who died while surfing some heavy waves down at Puerto Escondido, Mexico. Pretty poignant scene as I viewed from the bluff above. Easily 100 surfers all collected in the Russian River estuary surrounding what must have been some of his surf belongings/ashes (?). All there to celebrate his life and love of the ocean.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The GREEN RUSH - Part Deux

Fairly early on in my blogging career (last year) I wrote about the continued focus on the push to legalize marijuana in the State of CA. Since my first post I have read countless local articles that have covered this currently hot and seemingly divisive topic. It is now starting to get some serious national coverage as well, as evidenced by this front page article from CNN.

(Damn! Nice looking buds.)

Come this November all of us Californians will vote on whether or not "da weed" (some ah dem call it) should be legalized for medical and recreational purposes. They say that polls are showing that 56% of us Californians would favor legalization. I can tell you right now that if there ever was a time to pitch not only the medicinal benefits of "ganja", but the financial too, now is the time. A state wracked in debt, local governments taxed starved, recession, unemployment at 12%, teacher lay-offs, critical curricula cut and schools facing the ugly possibility of 4 day school weeks... time for the ole "cacker" to save the day. Two words:


Who knows what CA has to win with this arrangement but the estimations on tax income are showing favorable signs. The losers in this whole deal... unfortunately the small towns in Northern CA that have subsisted for years and years on the cultivation of marijuana. A non-existent lumber industry and failing or shrinking fishing industry, marijauna has been the last stand for many behind the "Redwood Curtain". As the CNN article states perhaps SONOMA, MENDOCINO, HUMBOLDT and DEL NORTE counties will become the Napa Valley of the "kush". Once legalized, a flood in the market (that already exists) will drive down the price of marijuana considerably. Already a pound of "boo" has dropped to roughly $2500, down from a high of $5000 years ago.

An interesting photo slideshow HARVEST TIME ACTIVITIES courtesy of GOOD.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Coyote Breaks Blogger's Block

I can't put my finger on it... I guess that I ran into my first severe case of blogger's block! But in defense of myself I have dealt with the following since 03/15/10 (my last post): My daughter's 2nd birthday; a serious case of the flu (from said daughter), a (5) day backpacking trip and a busy work schedule. Enough excuses, now on with some semi-decent content.

My first local Coyote! For the last year or so I have been active with my Bay Nature Flickr Group where all I see are these beautiful pictures of local Coyotes, Bobcats and the rare Mountain Lion shot. I began to get jealous. After all, I spend enough time hiking the surrounding coastal and East Bay Hills, I deserved a "run-in"!

Well it finally happened and I must say that beyond the initial awe of seeing this cool canine it was rather uneventful. He/she just sauntered out carefully from the nearby coastal bush cover walked across a field, sniffed around the grass in various places and waltzed right along the edge of a semi packed parking lot. He/she definitely caught everyone's attention and stopped traffic too - our own Yellowstone traffic jam. Beautiful animal.

It all took place in the Marin Headlands at the dirt parking lot near the Miwok and Bobcat trailheads. I was just out for a nice evening hike with my wife and daughter. We were located not too far from where I have also witnessed my first bobcat while mountain biking years ago.

Thank god for Coyotes, if I had not come across him/her I may have given up on my career as a professional blogger!!!

A interesting video clip on local Coyotes, courtesy of Bay Nature Magazine.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bay Nature Magazine / Flickr Group

I have become a big fan of the magazine Bay Nature and have mentioned it before on this BLOG. A fantastic magazine focused on the natural world in and around the the San Francisco Bay Area region of California. I also received a subscription over the Holidays.

Their website is also a great resource and full of very interesting content. One of the cool features is how they highlight their FLICKR Group - a community of photographers focused on shooting nature around the Bay Area. Many of the folks who have joined have actually had their photography highlighted within the magazine. The magazine will actually reach out to this community via the FLICKR Group with specific requests for images they need for future articles (my first submittal). Once I stumbled upon, I eagerly joined and have subsequently learned a lot - a very active photo community!

That in and of itself is pretty cool. But what I think is even cooler is how they randomly select recently posted images and rotate them on their homepage (scroll down a bit when you hit the homepage). So once you upload images to the FLICKR Group you can then go to their site - usually within an hour or so and sometimes see your image on their homepage.

Nothing earth shatteringly technological. Nothing that is necessarily seen by the masses. Just a cool way to share what is going on in their FLICKR community. Below are some screen shots that I have captured just to prove I'm not BS'in you!

^ Frog infested cattle trough in East Bay Hills

^ A shot from my Urban Redtails collection

^ Juvenile Night Heron, Mission Creek, San Francisco

^ Flotsum from Ocean Beach, Winter 2010

^ Mother Nature reclaiming Sloat Street, San Francisco