Monday, June 24, 2013

Kirby Cove - Camping Under the Golden Gate Bridge

Kirby Cove Camping

Camping at Kirby Cove in Marin County west of the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Reservation are required for camping overnight and typically book months in advance. If interested in a day hike, the beach, battery and park are open to the public.

Open April 1 - October 31
This popular campground in the Marin Headlands, with spectacular views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate. Enjoy a wooded setting, seclusion and protected campsites which were recently restored for all to enjoy. Campsites are available for use only by prior reservation but anyone can walk down the road to enjoy the vistas and picnic on the bluffs or beach. For reservations please call 1-877-444-6777 or go online: http://www.recreation.gov.





Kirby Cove Camping

Look for the first set of bunkers as you drive up Conzelman Road called Battery Spencer. Here you'll find a locked gate that requires a passcode to enter the park with a car. Continue down a very windy, steep road for a mile to the parking area and campsites.

Kirby Cove Camping

As you drive down the trail, you'll see Monterrey pine, Cypress and Blue Gum eucalyptus as well as Coastal Sage and colorful Lupine. All of this just 8 miles north of San Francisco.

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The parking lot is very small - only 3 cars per campsite.

Princeton Tec Vizz Headlamp - Red (Google Affiliate Ad)

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I got there around 4PM and ran into a filming crew trying to make 'fog' for their movie! If you know anything about San Francisco, this is typically not a problem. However, we've had the best (warm) summer here in SF with little fog. Camping under the Golden Gate Bridge in 70 degree weather at 8:00PM at night was epic.

Kirby Cove Camping

Construction of the maritime artillery battery began in 1898 and was named Battery Kirby in honor of 1st Lieutenant Edmund Kirby. This battery was in service from 1898 to 1934 and was equipped with two 12-inch shell B.L.R. (breech loading rifle).

Kirby Cove Camping

View of the Golden Gate Bridge from the North West side of the Marin Headlands at Kirby Cove Beach. Gravelly Beach is not very friendly to bare feet, so take flip-flops. The wood on the beach is Pacific flotsam.

Kirby Cove Camping

As the sunsets to the west, the south facing cove is in the shade from around 6:30 on. Bring warm clothing. This is not your typical San Francisco weather. We were very lucky to have a proper sunset with no wind and fog.





Kirby Cove Camping

If possible, try to reserve campsite #1. It has the best views of the city and the bridge. The campgrounds are very well maintained and clean. You must bring your own drinking water.

Kirby Cove Camping

Whenever I walk a beach I try to pick-up trash or marine debris that shouldn't be on the beach. In my 10 minute walk, this is what I collected along the shore. These things do wash up on the beach - pitch in and clean up while on your adventure please.

Kirby Cove Camping

Setting sun on Battery Kirby - May 2013

Kirby Cove Camping

Standing on the flotsam resting at Kirby Cove enjoying the sunset and the colors

Kirby Cove Camping

Spooky tunnel from the battery to the beach. Tunnel draining Kirby Cove canyon creek through Battery Kirby

Kirby Cove Camping

Raccoons, deer, coyotes and bobcats frequent the area

Kirby Cove Camping

Firewood must be nail and chemical free and purchased locally. Do not gather your own firewood. It's not allowed

Kirby Cove

The beach is very rocky. Ouch!

Kirby Cove

Fun to be had on the swing at Kirby Cove

Kirby Cove

Golden Gate Bridge from the beach at Kirby Cove

Kirby Cove

Flotsam washed up on the shore on Kirby Cove

Kirby Cove

Happy Camping! Enjoy your adventure!

Kirby Cove



Friday, June 21, 2013

SCUBA Diving Point Lobos

SCUBA Diving Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Scuba Diving Point Lobos State Reserve -- California June 19, 2013

SCUBA Diving Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Mid-week diving at Point Lobos with only 8 other divers.  The visibility was up to 30 in some areas. Water temps were normal 54 degrees. Getting in some bottom-time in Northern California

SCUBA Diving Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

The kelp was in full bloom and the sun was shinning. Here we are at about 30 feet.

SCUBA Diving Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Taken with my GoPro -- Subdued natural light shining down on the 40 foot-high kelp forests while floating around with the vibrant colored marine life.

SCUBA Diving Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

It's very peaceful diving in the kelp forest. Achieving neutral buoyancy is one of my favorite feelings in the world. A physical body's density is equal to the density of the fluid in which it is immersed...weightless!

SCUBA Diving Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Playing in kelp and enjoying the ocean surge. The very mellow surge makes the kelp dance underwater. I could watch it for hours if I could only stay warm!

SCUBA Diving Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

I tried to color correct this photo of an anemone in Point Lobos. It was too dark at 40 feet and we were covered by the canopy of the kelp. This area has a rich marine habitat and it's animals and plants are fully protected by state law from any disturbance, so no fishing or ab diving ever.

SCUBA Diving Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

There is a boat ramp in the parking area of Whalers Cove for easy access to the water. Walk in with all gear on and fins in hand. Once in the water, put your fins on and kick out to where you will drop down. Here is a list of all the diving areas in the Point Lobos park.

You NEED reservation to dive in this area. Click here to find out how.

There is a fee per car and per diver. You must have a dive cert card for each diver.

SCUBA Diving Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

If you want better quality photos, you should bring a torch or underwater flash.

SCUBA Diving Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Kelp blowing in the surge at Whalers Middle Reef

SCUBA Diving Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

My favorite way to view the kelp is to turn over on my back and just look up. It's magical

SCUBA Diving Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

A great way to maneuver the kelp forest is on a scuba scooter.

SCUBA Diving Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Selfie at 40 feet

SCUBA Diving Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Kelp is a large seaweed that grows in shallow saltwater with temperatures between 43 and 57 degrees.

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Whalers Cove parking area at Point Lobos State Reserve

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While off gassing during surface time, take a mellow hike up to the top of the ridge and take in the views. Point Lobos is breathtaking.

SCUBA Diving Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

After diving, use the free water hose to clean off gear and wash off.

My car and scuba gear

A good day, clean gear and now time for dinner!

I own all my own gear, but if you need to rent everything check out Bamboo Reef

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Happy Summer Diving!

La Fête de la Musique! Bonjour Chamonix!

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Bonjour ete!!! La Fête de la Musique!!

Also known as World Music Day, is an annual music festival taking place on June 21 - here we are in Chamonix, France. Faites de la musique (Make music) on the first day of summer

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Sofia and I enjoying the fun outside Mix bar. Fete de la Musique outside on Rue des Moulins between Mix and Munchie - annual event takes place on June 21 & goes all night - Chamonix, France

Fete de la Musique outside on Rue des Moulins - Chamonix, France

Fete de la Musique outside on Rue des Moulins

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Some of the best DJ's playing outside the bars - this event is free! Fête de la Musique organizers have 2 rules: 1. all concerts must be free to the public 2. all performers donate their time for free

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Rue des Moulins about 4AM

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In June the weather was cold and the tempuature dropped at night. We had fresh pow the next day at the top of the aiguille du midi

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Wishing I was there to play with my friends in Cham! Have a blast for me tonight!

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bonjour



VIDEO is loud - sorry. Turn down the volume

Fete de la Musique outside on Rue des Moulins - Chamonix, France 2011

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Hiking from France to Italy via aiguille du midi in Chamonix

Chamonix, France

Top of the aiguille du midi - My heart melts when I see these beautiful mountains.