The weather has been great at Black's. I've been getting there early and staying late. The result is that I haven't had time to keep up on trip reports.
In the last month I have been to Black's about five days a week. We have had several Sunday picnics. We hosted a picnic for The Naturist Society and we facilitated a marriage proposal painted on butts. She said yes.
The parking lot was getting pretty bad. There were several deep ruts. The city finally came and graded it last Friday. The trail has suffered some damage, but it is still in good condition.
I have been seeing hundreds of people on the beach weekdays, over a thousand on weekends. It has been mostly sunny most days and cloudy or overcast some of the day. I have only been there one cold day recently.
There have been a few cliff rescues. A helicopter even landed to fly a victim away. We even witnessed a landslide July 13th at 8:42am, just before The Naturist Society arrived for the picnic. It looked like a vertical slab of rock crumbled and fell straight down. It landed on a ledge created by the February 15 landslide. None of the debris reached the beach.
The lifeguards continue to patrol the beach. They patrol the beach in trucks. They watch from a mound at Indian Canyon and from a perch near the glider port.
The water temperature stayed low for about two weeks and suddenly warmed up. There has also been a problem with visibility. Red tide dominated much of July. At times the water color looked amber and a reddish brown other times. Visibility was very poor during red tide, only three feet. In the last week visibility has improved. As of recently, visibility has been better than twenty feet.
|I have spotted seals, dolphins, jellyfish, sting rays, bat rays, sharks and guitar fish. I ran into a jelly fish and got stung along my face and chest. I thought I was picking up a shell and it turned out to be the tail of a stingray. I'm mostly recovered from that stupidity.|
I've been staying until 6 pm often and 8 pm occasionally. So, why are you sitting there reading my trip reports. Get out of the house and join us at Black's.
I arrived early, 8am I think. I hiked down with Dave and John. Dave was carrying an extra grill and charcoal. I was carrying ice cream equipment. We stopped on the trail so John could take our picture. Knowing the pack would be empty on the way up was what kept me going.
We started setting up for the big picnic. To be Finished later...
Dave and I went to San Onofre to host a Black's Beach Bares style picnic. We too along a grill and an ice cream machine. Last Saturday there were people at Black's talking about how they couldn't get in to San Onofre because the parking was full. We planned an early arrival and packed bike, just to be sure.
We entered the gate about 8am and found a parking space at the south end. We loaded our packs, Dave with charcoal and a grill, me with the ice cream machine, both of us with umbrellas and food.
We started setting up our picnic site and found some important differences. The sand at San Onofre is much more coarse, which made it difficult to sculpt into a platform for the grill. Marianna soon arrived with a few friends.
Through the day we made a few new friends and I even met a few old friends from a few years back. We served hamburgers, hot dogs and sweet corn. We cranked out two batches of ice cream.
There were probably a hundred people on the beach, but only ten or fifteen participated in our picnic. There was a volleyball game much of the day. There were surfers in the water at all times. I don't recall seeing any boogie boards. I went for a few swims, but visibility was very poor. I swam out to what seemed a good distance past the surfers, then back.
I went to Black's several times during that time. I didn't find the time to wrote reports because these are longs days. By the time I got home from Black's, I was too tired to write a report.
During that time I have noted a few trail improvements. A handrail of galvanized pipe near the bottom has been reinforced. A small stretch of stairs was added in an area where it's badly needed. The sandbags at the bottom are ripped open and in serious need of replacement.
The lifeguards maintain a very visible presence. They set up the nudity line every morning with their sign and orange cones. They patrol the beach in their trucks. They have a man stationed on a perch near Hully Gully. They occasionally have an ATV that they also patrol in. They sometimes beach a jetski near their station at Indian Canyon. They sometimes have a raft and I've even seen them with a boat.
Weekdays I see about a hundred people on the beach. Weekends I see hundreds. People often played volleyball at three different courts. I often saw people pitching horseshoes.
The water is a bit cooler than in previous weeks, but many people still get in the water. Underwater visibility has been generally poor. Still I have seen lots of life underwater. I have seen lots of stingrays, bat rays and guitar fish. I have also seen a few dolphin and seals, but from the shore. Recently there has been talk about a dead dolphin, south of the nudity line I think, but I never went to check it out.
The weather has been warm and muggy much of that time. There have even been a few times when it was sprinkling in the morning, but sunny by afternoon. Often it has been cloudy or overcast, but still plenty warm and periods of sunshine.
I arrived about 9am. There was plenty of parking on the street and at the glider port lot. The trail was in mostly good condition. The sandbags at the bottom were even worse than yesterday. There are only a few steps where the sandbags are actually a problem, a steep part in the narrow ravine. When I left, I saw that there had been some work done on a recently added handrail, but it seemed incomplete.
I headed north to our picnic site and started setting up. Then I restocked both my bulletin boards.
It was sunny all day and there were hundreds of people on the beach. Probably thirty or so ate their lunch off our grill.
The water was probably 68 degrees. I swam three times, once with a buddy. Visibility was thirty feet or better in most places. We saw lots of guitar fish and a few sting rays too. I swam out to the sand dollars each time. The waves were good enough that I caught a few good rides on my way back to shore.
There were lots of people on boogie boards and surfboards. There were plenty of people body surfing too. I saw two volleyball courts in use. There were lots of frisbees flying all day. Footballs and horseshoes were also being tossed. A few sandcastles were built too.
The lifeguards had a strong presence from about 10am to 6pm. They had trucks, and a jetski. I didn't look up for the one perched at the top of the cliff, but I'm sure one was there. They kept a constant vigil from their station at Indian Canyon.
There was an incident where a family with two girls felt spooked by a man. Others who saw said it was justified. The man left without further incident.
I stayed for sunset. I watched the sun go down behind a cloud. The crescent moon added to the spectacle. Then it showed its' face between two cloud layers and disappeared again. Then it emerged again between two more cloud layers. I saw what appeared to be a star. Then I realized it must be Mercury. Then I realized it was too far from the ecliptic; it was actually north of the sun. This "star" was fading in and out, so I didn't quite get a good look at it. I got my friends to see it as it faded in briefly, then out. It moved horizontally to a point above but south of the sun, then it went north again. I also saw a second "star" before sunset. Not losing track of the sunset all this time, was saw the sun take on almost a pyramid shape. The "stars" must have been aircraft or satellites reflecting sunlight.
I climbed the Burro Trail and saw Mars in the southeast. It was about 8:30 when I left the parking lot.
I arrived about 10am. There was plenty of parking on the street and at the glider port lot. Between the trail damage and construction, it was in good condition. The sandbags at the bottom are not lasting. Several of them are wide open. A retaining wall next to a few steps has come loose. Handrails were added to the recently built concrete steps at the bottom.
I restocked both my bulletin boards and settled in our usual spot near the landslide. There were hundreds of people on the beach today. It was sunny all day. The sand was so hot, I needed sandals to walk on much of it.
The lifeguards were a very visible force on the beach today. They set up their station at Indian Canyon. They had a guard perched at the top of the cliff. They had a jet ski beached at their station. Their trucks were up and down the beach all day. I saw them warn people out of strong current twice.
I swam three times, once out to the sand dollars with a buddy, once by myself and one short swim, with a different buddy. There were pockets of warm and cold water when I went on my morning swim. The temperature was better for all my other swims. I saw a few guitar fish, and my buddy says he saw sting rays. Visibility was 20 feet at best, but there were places where visibility was zero.
I also took a friend out on a boogie board and I did some body surfing. We caught a few good waves. From our spot, the current carried us south, probably to a rip current. We chose another spot to the north.
There were three volleyball courts in use. There were people pitching horseshoes and others throwing frisbees.
I had a meeting to go to, so I had to leave early. I left about 6pm.
I arrived about 2:30. There were a few spaces on the street and the glider lot had overflowed to the east lot. The Burro Trail was in good condition. The weather was sunny.
I headed north and joined my party already in progress. I ate a few hot dogs and a sausage through the remainder of the day. There were hundreds of people on the beach, but it looked like less than fifty took advantage of our grill.
I swam twice. Visibility was better than 20 feet. I saw lots of sting rays and guitar fish. There were also schools of tiny fish, smelts or grunion I think.
There was a landslide just a little north of our spot today. I heard a sound like somebody had launched a toy rocket and I was looking up trying to find it. Others were yelling, "landslide! run!" Then I saw the dust and the rocks rolling down the steep slope. None of the debris reached the beach, but lots of people moved away from the cliff for the rest of the day. We never figured out what started it, but my theory is that gawker got too close.
People were playing volleyball. Others were throwing frisbees or playing paddle ball. There were plenty of people in the water, some with boogie boards, some surfing.
The lifeguards had a very visible presence. They were up and down the beach in their trucks. I didn't see him, but I'm sure they had one perched at the top of the cliff. They had a jetski beached at their station. I only saw the jetski in the water as they were leaving.
The weather was sunny until just before sunset. I watched sunset while climbing the Burro Trail with some friends. Other friends watched from the Goat Trail. We didn't see the sun reach the horizon. We watched it disappear behind a marine layer. I saw dolphins playing in the surf as the sun disappeared. We continued our climb and stopped again as the sun shone through a hole and disappeared behind another marine layer.
I arrived about 10am. There was plenty of parking on the street and in the glider port lot. I hiked down the Burro Trail, which was in good condition. I think some additional work had been done on some new concrete steps at the bottom.
The city had some heavy equipment on the beach building a mound for the lifeguards, two bulldozers and three trucks. They built this mound just north of Indian Canyon.
I restocked both my bulletin boards then set up my stuff just north of the new landslide.
The weather was overcast but warm at first. It quickly cleared up and was sunny until about 7pm. Much of the day the sand was so hot that I had to wear sandals. The flies were very bothersome today.
There were hundreds of people on the beach today. There were lots of people playing in the surf, some on surfboards, some on boogie boards, some without anything. There were people throwing frisbees and others playing paddle ball. There were people pitching horseshoes. I saw people playing volleyball at the north court, but I didn't see a game at the south court.
I swam three times. The visibility was great in the morning, over thirty feet. Later in the day visibility was much shorter, perhaps ten feet. I saw lots of guitar fish and bat rays. I picked up two hermit crabs and brought them back to show off.
I stayed to watch sunset. The sun hid behind some clouds for about an hour. Then we saw a very orange sun through a clear spot near the horizon. It slowly disappeared behind some clouds a little above the horizon.
I hiked up the Burro Trail and left. It must have been 8:30 when I left and the gate had not yet been locked.
I arrived about 1pm. The street parking was full and the glider lot looked full. Parking was scarce, but I found a space in the glider port lot. I hiked down the Burro Trail, which was in good condition.
The lifeguards had already set up the city beach boundary. The lifeguards kept a very strong presence. They were back and forth in their trucks and an ATV. They had beached a jetski and set up a station at Indian Canyon. They had a man perched on the cliff all day.
It was overcast when I first arrived, but it cleared up to a very sunny afternoon.
I walked north and sat with several friends. There were over a hundred others on the beach.
There were people surfing, body surfing and riding boogie boards. I guess the surf was pretty good; I managed to body surf a little. I didn't notice any volleyball games. I did see people playing paddle ball and I know some guys were there with their rythme sticks.
I went swimming three times. Visibility was good, for Black's Beach. I think I could see 20 feet. I saw lots of bat rays and guitar fish, a few at a time. I swam out to the sand dollars each time. I picked up a hermit crab on one swim and brought it back to show off before releasing it. I didn't see any dolphins while in the water, but I did see some from the shore when I first arrived.
Sunset was a spectacle for me today. As the sun was getting low, I decided to leave and watch from the cliffs. I left before a few friends, then met a few more friends on my way to the trail. I stopped to talk to them and my other friends passed me. Eventually I decided I would have to watch sunset from the beach. I heard a loud voice in the distance and saw the silhouette of a friend at the top of the Goat Trail. I whistled and waved to him.
The sun was getting very low and the shape was turning to a jagged oval, due to the turbulence in the atmosphere. There was a thin line of clouds blocking the sun, just above the horizon. Everyone was silent until the last glow of the sun faded.
I climbed the Burro Trail in twilight and left the parking lot about 8:20. I saw two police cars in the cul de sac. They may have been waiting to issue citations. The parking lot does close at 8pm, but there was no citation on my car.
I arrived about 1pm. The street parking was full. The Glider port lot looked full too, but I managed to find a space. I hiked down the Burro Trail, which was in good condition. Near the bottom I found a step of cinder blocks and cement had been built. On my way up at the end of the day, I found another.
The sand was so hot that I had to wear sandals while restocking my bulletin board. In fact, it has been hot for about the last month and I've neglected to mention it.
It was immediately obvious that today was a crowded weekday. There were probably two hundred or more people on the beach. I headed north and met up with a few friends that were there ahead of me.
I went swimming twice. Both times I saw dolphins, and they even came close to me. They didn't give me any good photo ops though; damn dolphins never pose. underwater visibility was very poor, less than 6 feet in most places. I did see a few things swim away, hidden by the sand they stirred up. They appeared to be sting rays and guitar fish. I swam out to the sand dollars both times. The current carried me south from my entry point.
I didn't see anybody playing volleyball, but I didn't go to the north court to see. I didn't see anybody pitching horseshoes either. That area was just a little south of me, so I would have noticed.
There was the occasional cloud covering the sun, but it was still a very sunny day. It was about to cloud over at 6:30, when I left.
I arrived about 9:30. There were plenty of spaces on the street and in the lot. The no parking signs on the east parking lot were gone, opening more parking to beach use. The parking lot is very rough and I scraped bottom while pulling into a space. The hike down was uneventful, since the trail was still in good condition.
I headed north and started setting up for the picnic. Then I hiked further north. I put on my pants before reaching the northern edge of Mussel Rocks. I was planning to do some maintenance on a sign, as per my promise to the park.
It's an iron side against the cliff, just north of Mussel Rocks. The sign says AREA CLOSED, NUDITY PROHIBITED. The writing is in the form of letters welded on. Some of the letters had been damaged beyond my ability to repair. I took a wire wheel to the sign to remove old layers of paint. A ranger challenged me, thinking I was vandalizing the sign. I told her I was keeping a promise to her supervisor.
I finished that job and headed south. I took off my pants as I was walking through Mussel Rocks. I restocked my bulletin boards and continued south.
When I reached my spot, I found that several of my friends had arrived, and we were set up and ready for the picnic. I headed south to stock up my bulletin board but didn't make it. I met up with too many friends and had to escort a few of them to our spot. I set out again and this time I went to the bulletin board, and greeted people on my way back.
The lifeguards were back and forth, patrolling the beach and cliff. They were patrolling the water in their raft too. I didn't check but they usually have a man perched at the top of the cliff too. They usually beach the raft somewhere at set up a station in that same place. Last year they set up their station right where we are setting up this year. I was too busy to notice today, but yesterday they set up at Indian Canyon.
We started the grill about 1pm. People came forward to cook sweet corn, zucchini, hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages and chicken. I don't think anybody from outside our area came over to cook anything, but a few people came over to say hi. There was a lot of sharing and we offered food to people who had sat down nearby. There must have been thirty people that participated.
It was difficult to find time with so much going on, but I managed to swim twice. The water was about 68 and visibility was less than 10 feet. I did see a sting ray. The waves were good enough that I caught a ride on my way to shore.
There must have been over a thousand on the beach. People were playing volleyball at both courts. I saw people throwing fisbees and playing smashball. There were people pitching horseshoes.
The flies were a problem today. They didn't bite, but they were annoying. We didn't get any peace from them until about 2pm, or perhaps later.
There was an altercation between one of the guys in our group and a gawker. The gawker returned with a lifeguard. Names and addresses were taken, of the two parties and of witnesses. I was busy talking to a different gawker at the time and missed whatever happened. The University police were called and came to the beach. It seems that if there will be any further action, it will be a civil suit.
Late in the day, after the lifeguards had left, they returned with sirens blaring and red lights on. There was some back and forth movement of 3 lifeguard trucks and I saw police riding as passengers in one truck. They all came to a stop at Indian Canyon. Apparently somebody was too inebriated to make the climb.
About that time I remembered the glider that had crashed above us and looked up. It was gone. Apparently the owner had found some way to retrieve it.
We packed up and left about 7:30.
I arrived about 10:30. There was plenty of street parking and plenty at the glider port too. When I left I could see that parking had overflowed to the east lot, which is usually marked as no parking. I didn't notice any citations. I hiked down the Burro Trail, which was in good conditions.
I didn't notice if the lifeguards had already set up the cones. They were back and forth in one of their trucks. They were also patroling the water in a zodiac raft. They beached it and set up a station at Indian Canyon.
I restocked my south bulletin board and walked north. I left my stuff with some friends and continued north. I restocked my north bulletin board too.
The sky was sunny at first, but turned overcast by about 12pm. It was still plenty warm though.
There were perhaps a thousand people on the beach at peak time. People were playing volleyball at two courts. People were playing smashball. I saw people body surfing, boogie boarding and surfing. Some people built a sandcastle.
I went swimming twice, both times with a buddy. One time we swam out to a buoy and the other time we only swam out to the sand dollars. We saw a fin sticking out of the water. I was sure it was a seal, but my buddy swears it was a dolphin. Other that we just saw sand dollars, sea weed and sand. The surf was rather poor, but I did manage to body surf my way back a bit.
I saw a remote controlled glider crash into the cliffs above us. Usually that means the pilot risks his life to retrieve it. I didn't see that today and it was still there when I left at 5pm.
I arrived about 1pm. There were still a few spaces of street parking. From a distance the glider port lot looked full, but I found spaces. I hiked down the Burro Trail, which was in mostly good condition.
The city lifeguards had already set up the cones at a boundary. They were up and down the beach a few times. I even saw a state lifeguard pass by once. I didn't see the lifeguards pick up their cones, but they usually do that at 5pm.
I headed north and sat in front of the landslide. I was soon joined by a few friends.
There were probably less than 100 people on the beach. When I first arrived it was overcast and warm. Later it developed into cloudy with wind. By about 5pm I had to put on a shirt.
There was a horde of hungry little squirrels. There was no peace from them until a man showed up with a puppy. Then they stayed in the rocks. I should mention that dogs are not allowed on the state beach, and they are not allowed on the city beach most of the day. There is a sign posted at the top that says dogs are not allowed 9am to 6pm. People probably don't realize that they are not allowed at all on the state beach, but I haven't seen any officials enforcing that boundary.
I swam once. I checked the water earlier in the day. It was about 67, so it probably warmed up even more. I swam out to my sand dollar marker. Visibility was poor, less than 10 feet in most places. I didn't see anything living except the sand dollars.
I left about 6:30. There were a few new sandbags on the trail and some handrails had been painted. I guess one of the Diggers read my criticism of the trail.
I worked 10-12, then went to Black's to unwind from a long day. I arrived about 1pm. There were very few spaces on the street and parking was a bit scarce in the lot too. I found my space and friends arriving later even found spaces closer. I hiked down the Burro Trail, which was in good condition except for some sandbags at the bottom that were wide open.
A lifeguard was assisting a man on the trail. I was on my way down and I think he was on his way up. He was a young man, probably in his twenties. Hopefully he was just dehydrated. The lifeguards had already marked the boundary with their sign and cones. They made a few passes on the beach in one of their trucks. By 5:30 they had picked up their boundary and left.
I set up my stuff in front of Hully Gully and went for a swim. I swam out to one of the buoys twice. Visibility was poor but I still managed to see a few things, bat rays, guitar fish and corbina. There were also some small fish in the shallow water. I even caught a hermit crab and took it back to show off. The surf seemed good. I caught a few waves body surfing. I know the water temperature was about 66 because I checked it in the morning.
The sky was overcast until about 3pm, but the temperature was nice. It was so nice that I fell asleep. I woke up just as three friends arrived. We had hazy sunshine until about 5:30. Shortly after that I put a T-short on. I was wishing I had a long sleeve shirt though.
I saw 4 or 5 fishermen today, but it looked like none of them caught anything. That one corbina I saw was in very deep water and it looked dead. I reached out to touch it, and almost did, but it woke up and swam away. So, I noticed that at least one fish was lethargic, and probably not biting.
I hiked up and left the parking lot about 7pm.
I went to Black's Tuesday and Wednesday. Each day I arrived about 2pm. The street parking was full and parking at the glider port was scarce. I still managed to find a space though. The trail was in good condition.
The city lifeguards had already set up the nude boundary. They were up and down the beach in their truck. Wednesday I even saw a state lifeguard. I saw them picking up the marker about 5pm.
The sky was a hazy sunshine all the time I was there. That was about 2-6pm. The surf was fair. I caught a few waves bodysurfing.
Tuesday I was on my own most of the day. There couldn't have been more than 50 people on the beach.
Wednesday I met up with my usual friends. There must have been at least 200 people on the beach.
I went swimming both days. Wednesday I swam with a buddy. The temperature was about 66. Visibility was poor in most places, with a few pockets of better visibility. I don't think it was better than 10 feet anywhere. The only living things we saw were sand dollars.
Wednesday I walked up to Mussell Rocks to restock my bulletin board. As I returned to my spot, I could see that there was quite a crowd. I eventually got close enough to see that there was a cameraman, a man with a reflector and two people laying on towels. It turned out they were making a movie. I had to rush, so I didn't have time find out what was going on. I could see that it involved two women and a lot of baby oil.
I arrived at the glider port about 11:00. There was plenty of parking on the street and at the glider port. I hiked down the Burrow Trail. The trail was in good condition.
The lifeguards had not yet set up the cones at the boundary. I saw the lifeguards drive up and down the beach a few times.
I restocked my south bulletin board and headed north. I set up my stuff and helped set up the grill. Black's Beach Bares had promised our grill for general use today. Eventually there wasn't anything for me to do, so I headed north and restocked that bulletin board.
We fired up our grill about 1:30 and cooked a few things for ourselves. I spread the word to a few other people on the beach, that they could cook on our grill. Only a few people in our little group brought food to cook.
The sky was cloudy most of the day. The sun came out from about 3-5pm. There were probably 200 people on the beach at peak time. I saw people playing volleyball at Indian Canyon. I saw people get in the water. The surf was poor.
The sky clouded over and the wind picked up. I packed up and left about 6[m
I picked up a lady friend and we arrived about 11am. The street parking was full, but there were plenty of spaces at the glider port. The Burrow Trail was in the same good condition.
Lifeguards had already set up the cones at the city beach boundary. They were back and forth all day in one of their trucks.
We headed north and met up with some other friends of mine. We set up our stuff, then headed north for some bulletin board maintenance. We added a stenciled BLACKSBEACH.ORG to each bulletin board.
The weather was cloudy all day. There were times when I could see the outline of the sun, but it was never clear enough to see a shadow.
There were perhaps 50 people on the beach. There were a few people playing frisbee and a few people in the water. The surf was poor.
I went swimming with my lady friend. I saw a few sting rays and guitar fish. She took a wham-o board and got cut up by a plastic piece of the leash. She never caught a decent wave.
Eventually most of my friends left me alone with my lady friend. We knew in advance what that would mean. As soon as they were gone six men sat at a distance, looking between her legs. Fortunately she is a very good natured lady and we got quite a laugh out of a few experiments.
I set up one umbrella and they moved to one side. Then I got out the other. We looked past our feet and saw the many faces straining to peer through the remaining triangular opening. I suggested she take a picture of this classical scene. When they saw the camera, they covered their faces. Then we covered the opening with her board.
Certainly they showed a serious lack of respect for the lady, but it was comical at the same time.
A short time later we packed up and left. That was about 6pm.
I postponed the Sunday picnic, but thought I should be there anyway to
tell people it would be Monday instead. I arrived about 8:30, found
plenty of parking on the street and in the lot, then I hiked down the
trail. The trail was still in good condition.
It was a dreary day and I only spent about half the day nude. Much of
the day I wore a long sleeve shirt. I even felt a mist in the air. We
did have about a half hour of hazy sunshine, but not all at once.
There were only a few dozen people on the beach at peak time. There
were people playing volleyball near the Burro Trail in the afternoon.
Lifeguards were present in their trucks and one on a perch at the top
of the cliff.
The surf was very flat, almost non-existent. I didn't go for a swim.
I stayed on the beach until about 6pm, but I spent much of that time
in front of a reflector.
Sunday night I made up my mind that we were going to do the picnic
Monday and passed the word to everybody contributing. It was still
raining Monday morning when I checked the weather. The forecast
called for a chance of sun in the afternoon, but it was very
ambiguous. I had second thoughts about the picnic, but decided to do
I arrived at the glider port about 10am. There was plenty of parking
on the street and in the lot. The trail was still in good condition.
I met up with my friends and we started setting up for the picnic,
despite the cloudy sky. It was warm enough and I was nude. The sky
We gathered a few people and started the grill. We also added salt
to the seawater and tossed in some dry ice to freeze the saltwater.
Before long Dave and Bill were cooking the burgers and dogs. I was
cranking the ice cream with the help of Ed and Chris. Bill was
serving the potato salad and John was pouring sangria.
There may have been thirty people that actually took advantage of the
free meal we were offering, including a lifeguard. We were cooking
hot dogs and hamburgers. A lifeguard brought over some of his own
chicken to cook too. We cranked out nearly a gallon of ice cream and
it went fast.
The lifeguards were all over the beach today. They had their trucks,
an ATV, a zodiac raft and one was perched on the cliff. There was a
cliff incident. A remote controlled glider crashed about half way down the cliff and some people were trying to recover it. The lifeguards acted on it, but I was preoccupied with the ice cream and missed the details. I suppose if it had been a big deal, it would have been a bigger spectacle.
There were probably a hundred people on the beach. I didn't see any horseshoe games, and I was close enough to their usual spot. There were volleyball games at the south end. I didn't go north to see if there was a game there too.
The clouds were variable much of the day. We would get a little hazy sunshine for a few minutes and it would cloudy back over. It finally cleared about 2pm and the day turned out beautifully
The surf was very flat and I did go for a swim late in the afternoon.
I had a buddy this time. I found a starfish and brought it up for a
picture. I also found a smaller starfish and took it's picture on the
bottom. My buddy went down and nearly surfaced in the middle of a purple jellyfish. I took a few pictures of that too. As we swam back I saw a few stingrays, bat rays and guitar fish.
A game warden was on the beach early in the day checking for fishing licenses. We did see a fisherman who caught three corbina. He may have caught even more later.
I was climbing the trail as the sun set.
On my out I noticed that the street parking was nearly full and the Salk parking annex looked full to. I guess Salk was having an evening activity.
It was a dreary day, but I thought I should see the beach weather
first hand, in preparation for the Sunday picnic. In short, the
weather and the weather forecast convinced me to postpone the picnic
It was almost 12:00 when I decided I had to go. There was plenty of
parking on the street and at the glider port.
The weather didn't look any better at the beach. It was cloudy. I
didn't even pack an umbrella. I packed a windbreak instead.
The trail was in fair condition, but the new sandbags were already
showing signs of wear, from all the foot traffic stepping on them.
Sandbags clearly make poor steps, in the long term.
On my way down the burro trail I saw a lifeguard climbing the goat
trail to his perch. Lifeguards had already set up the cones and sign
marking the clothing optional boundary. They patrolled the beach in
one of their orange trucks. They even asked me about the picnic. One
recalled us making ice cream before. When I left about 5:30, they had
already removed their cones and sign.
I headed north to our usual spot north of the landslide. I was
surprised to find it already occupied by two couples. I set my stuff
nearby and introduced myself to the four. It paid off too. I got a
free lunch and a swimming buddy out of these new friends.
Like I said, I went for a swim. And, I didn't wait an hour after
eating, since it's a myth. I saw two sting rays as I led my new
swimming buddy out to the sand dollars and back. The surf was so
pitiful that a man beached a kayak without much effort.
After the swim, I was cold and wore a long sleeve shirt the rest of
the day. I never even saw the outline of the sun. I even felt a mist
as I left at about 5:30. Many people were nude the whole day though.
I walked all the way to the north end, and restocked my bulletin
board. There might have been 50 people on the beach, at peak time.
Most of them were on the south end of the beach.
There was a volleyball game at the south end.
Anyway, the Sunday forecast was the same as today's, so I decided to
postpone the picnic. The Monday forecast doesn't look much better.
Beach picnics Memorial weekend in San Diego are risky business. I
knew that when I scheduled it. That's why there was a backup date.
I arrived about 11am. There was plenty of parking on the street and in the glider port lot.
I hiked down the Burro Trail. It was still in good condition. Late in the day, when I hiked back up, I found that there were a few additional sandbags at the bottom of the trail.
I updated my bulletin board with my latest newsletter. I headed north and left my stuff with friends near the new new landslide. After cooling off in the surf, I headed north to my other bulletin board. I stocked that one and returned south.
The weather was overcast and windy. The most sun we saw all day was perhaps 30 minutes of hazy sunshine.
At peak time there may have been two hundred people on the beach. There were people playing volleyball at both courts. There were plenty of surfers. A few people got in the water, including me.
I went swimming once. I swam out to one of the buoys and back. It was a bit difficult swimming out, against the current. The only living thing I saw were the sand dollars. I did see dolphins, but I saw them from the beach.
I left about 7:00.
I went to Black's Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Tuesday and Wednesday I checked a weather indicator that said about 30% sunlight intensity at about 10:00. Friday, this same indicator said 77%. Each of these days turned out about the same, sometimes sunny, sometimes overcast, sometimes cloudy, always windy. Most of the time it was windy and cool, perfect for dozing.
Street parking was full at 12:00. Glider port parking was adequate. The trail was the same.
There were only dozens of people on the beach, mostly men. There weren't very many activities. There were people playing volleyball Friday.
I only swam Friday. I know the temperature was up around 63. I swam out to my sand dollar marker. I saw a few sting rays on my way out and I caught a wave on my way back.
The waves were blown out most of the time. I could see white caps from the beach. That would be good for windsurfing, but not for surfing.
I found a lot of tar on the beach. My grocery bag was so heavy with tar that I almost double bagged it.
Saturday was cloudy and I stayed home. Sunday was looking the same. About 10:30 I checked a few weather indicators through my web page. A weather station on Scripps pier said 33% sunlight intensity. I was sure that meant it would be clear.
I was on the beach by 12:00. Parking at the glider port was no problem. There were also spaces on the street. The trail was the same, but I did notice a few sandbags had been replaced before I left.
The sky began to clear almost as soon as I arrived. It never cleared off completely, but it was very sunny and hot most of the day. The sand was very hot and I wished I had taken sandals.
There were hundreds of people on the beach. People were playing volleyball at two courts. People were playing paddleball and throwing frisbees. People were surfing, boogie boarding and body surfing. People were pitching horseshoes too.
I went swimming twice. Visibility was great for Black's. I could see the bottom 15 feet below. The surf was rough and it was difficult to swim in the rough current.
I saw plenty of guitar fish and bat rays. I also saw thousands of small fish, smelts I think. A friend caught a pair of spider crabs in the surf. I swam out to the sand dollars and beyond. They peppered the bottom.
The lifeguards set up a station near the nudity line. They also had one perched on the cliff. They patrolled the beach and cliffs in their truck. They also patrolled in a boat and their zodiac raft.
On my way up the trail I stopped at a viewpoint to watch the sunset.
I went to Black's Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Monday and Wednesday I was there about 12-6, Thursday 10-3. Friday I went to the glider port, but it was so cool and cloudy I just turned back home.
The days I did go I only found parking in the glider port lot. The trail was in the same condition. It was overcast, windy and cool until afternoon. It warmed up each afternoon. Wednesday and Thursday the wind was strong enough to sculpt sand dunes.
I went swimming Monday and Wednesday. The water temperature was about 63. I saw sand dollars, guitarfish and sting rays.
I found lots of tar on the beach. I gathered so much into my plastic grocery bag that I had to double bag it. There was still plenty of tar that I missed, and more kept washing up.
There were dozens of people on the beach, mostly men.
At 7am it was foggy. At 10am it was sunny. At 11am I heard there
were rolling blackouts in the forecast. That, more than anything,
made it a perfect day for Black's.
As I approached the glider port, I found the sky overcast. I saw only
two empty spaces on the street and plenty of spaces at the glider
port. Hiking down, about 12:00, I saw a friend who had given up on
the weather and was heading up. I went down anyway.
There were very few people on the beach. It was cold and I didn't
undress for an hour or so. It did eventually warm up, and the sky
cleared late in the afternoon, maybe 4:30.
I went swimming once. The water was probably about 65. Visibility
was pretty good for Black's. I could see the bottom, ten feet down.
I saw lots of sting rays and I picked up two hermit crabs. I took one
back for a picture before I let it go. I found my sand dollar marker
and continued out to the buoy. I caught a few waves on my way back.
From the beach, I saw dolphins at 12:00 and again at 5:00.
About 5:30 I decided to call it a day and hiked up.
I don't remember many details from Friday, but it was a wonderful day. Street parking was full, but there was plenty of parking at the gliderport. The trail was in good shape.
There were probably a hundred people on the beach. The water was probably 65. Visibility was about 5 feet and I saw a few sting rays. The surf was pretty good and I caught a wave at the end of a swim.
I left about 6:00
Sunday I arrived about 9:30. There was plenty of parking on the
street and at the glider port. The trail was in good condition. Once
on the beach I headed north to meet up with my friends.
I was surprised to find many of them were already there. We had
planned a barbecue for today. We had brought down a grill, charcoal, hamburgers, buns and all the fixins, chicken and sangria.
More friends arrived and when people sat too close, we made new
friends. We fired up the grill about 1:00.
All the signs were there: the barbecue, the sand castle molds, the
sangria, the woopie cushion. There can be no denying it. Summer has arrived at Black's Beach.
It wasn't just us. There were probably a thousand people on the
beach. There were volleyball games at two courts. The horseshoe
pitching was going on all day. There were smashball games and frisbee throwing. Friends showed up that we hadn't seen in months. People were out on boogie boards and surfboards. There were lots of sting rays, but I didn't hear about anybody getting stung.
I found tar on the beach. Some of it I found stuck to the bottom of
I went swimming twice. One time I swam out to a buoy and the other time only out to the sand dollars. Visibility was better today. I
could see the bottom, which was ten feet under. The sand dollars were visible for the first time in a long time. I heard dolphin, but
didn't see them. I saw a seal in the surf. I took a picture, but it
was far enough away that it probably won't come out good.
I stayed to watch the sunset and we saw dolphins just beyond the surf. They didn't appear to be playing, and there were seagulls in the same place. I guess they were hunting.
I arrived at the glider port about 10:30. The street parking was completely full and the dirt lot was more full than usual, mostly because there was a bus parked lengthwise. The hike down was uneventful and the trail was the same as last time.
Most of the sand was damp because the tide had been very high last night. Fortunately I brought a chair that got me off the wet sand.
I made a few new friends and spent the day with them. I also met up with some expected new friends. There were probably a hundred people on the beach.
The nudity line was not marked when I arrived, but lifeguards set it up about 11:30.
It was sunny with a gentle breeze all day. I took an umbrella, but found that I was too cold under it. Between the sun and the wind the temperature was just right.
I went for a swim. The water was warmer than I expected, perhaps 65. On my way out I went through water 6 or 7 feet deep and suddenly found the water only waist deep. Visibility was poor but I did see two sting rays. I saw a few other people got in too.
The waves were very big, but I didn't see many surfers. I did see somebody on a boogie board. There were also people playing volleyball.
I found there was still some tar on the beach, and picked up what I found. I'm sure I didn't get it all and more keeps washing up, so watch your step.
It was still a beautifully sunny day at 3:00, but I had to leave
I arrived at the glider port about 10:30. The street parking was completely full. There were plenty of spaces in the lot.
It was overcast and a little cool, but I started down anyway. I stopped and turned back after just a minute. It didn't look any better on the beach. I talked to another hopeful beachgoer for a few minutes. Eventually I could see the outline of the sun through the haze, so I hiked down.
When I reached the bottom, I could barely make out my shadow. I took off my clothes and stayed a while. It was warm but the sun didn't last. By 12:30 I had given up on the weather and started up the trail.
But, I ran into a friend and turned back to stay on the beach a while longer. There were very few people on the beach the whole day. The sun came out from about 2:00-2:30. By 3:00 we gave up and left.
I was a little concerned about the weather. I thought it might be fogged in at the beach, but I went anyway. It paid off.
I arrived at the glider port about 11:00. There was plenty of street parking and plenty of space in the lot too. One of the glider port sponsors had a canopy set up in the parking lot, and there was still plenty of space.
I met a friend in the parking lot and walked down with her. There were no changes in the trail.
I found the beach littered with quite a bit of tar. I picked up a lot of it and so did some friends, but it keeps washing up. Watch your step and take some oil.
There were hundreds of people there today. There were volleyball games at both courts. People were playing smashball and frisbee. People were pitching horseshoes too.
I saw dolphins from the beach and went for a swim. I didn't get close, but I did hear them at one point. I didn't see many people get in the water. I swam, but I didn't make it out to the buoy. The visibility was better, but I could see that the water looked dirty ahead. I had to swim through it, under it or around it to reach the buoy. I decided to swim under it, but I found it reached all the way to the bottom. I surfaced in the middle of it and swam back to shore. I'm not sure what it was, but I felt dirty.
The lifeguards were active today. I guess I passed a woman on the way down who was short of breath. A lifeguards came to her rescue. The lifeguards rushed to the scene where a man on a jetski was knocked off in the surf. They're not supposed to be that close. They also rushed to another scene, picked somebody up from the beach and took them away on a stretcher. I never did find out what that was about. I could see one lifeguard perched at the top of a cliff all day.
It was sunny all day with a light wind. They combined to give a perfect temperature. It started to cloud over about 5:00. I left by 6:00.
I parked at the glider port about 2:00. There were plenty of spaces in the lot and very few on the street. The trail was in good condition, unchanged from yesterday.
As I approached the coast I could see that it would be fogged in. Once on the beach, I could see the outline of the sun and it was just warm enough to be nude.
I stayed on the beach until about 4:00. By that time it had cooled off enough that I had dressed.
I parked at the glider port about 11:00. There were plenty of spaces in the lot and very few on the street. The trail was in good condition and that handrail had been finished.
I started out doing some maintenance on my bulletin board, but headed north when I realized my friends were there.
It was a very warm day and there were dozens of people there.
I went swimming once. I had a close call with a purple jellyfish in the surf. I lost track of it so I swam as far away it as I could. I swam out to one of three buoys off the coast. I had seen two of these same buoys further north last summer.
The weather was still perfect when I left at 3:00. I had to go to work.
I parked at the glider port about 10:00. There were plenty of spaces in the lot and on the street. The trail was in good condition and an incomplete handrail had been added about halfway down.
I hiked north and met up with friends next to the landslide.
There was a lot of tar on the beach. We picked up some, but there was always more washing up. I even picked up a few on the bottom of my feet, but it was easily removed with baby oil.
The weather was hot most of the day. We sent most of our time under umbrellas. It did get a little cool and windy late in the day and we set up reflectors.
There were hundreds of people on the beach on the beach. Some were playing horseshoes, others Frisbee. Some played smashball. I few people did get in the water including me. I swam twice and didn't see anything living.
By about 6:00 it was getting too cool to stay so we hiked out.
We finally got a break in the weather, so I went to Black's Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Each day I arrived about 10:00. Friday there was still some street parking. Saturday and Sunday there was a lot of street parking. Each day there was plenty of parking at the glider port. I know that parking became scarce later in the day.
The trail was in good condition. I saw no damage from the recent storm. I did see some new mud deposited on the beach.
The lifeguards set up their cones and sawhorse sign, designating the nudity boundary. It was the same sawhorse, but it had been painted red.
Friday I walked all the way to Mussel Rocks and restocked my bulletin board there. On the way I saw the remains of a few purple jelly fish. If they are on the beach, there are more in the water. I also picked up a lot of tar, so watch your step.
Each day I sat among friends just north of the landslide.
Each day I found purple jellyfish washed up on the beach.
There were people playing volleyball, Frisbee and smashball. I didn't see many people in the water. I don't recall seeing anybody surfing or boogie boarding.
Friday I swam once. Saturday I swam twice. Sunday I didn't swim. Visibility was poor and the water temperature was above 60. Friday I saw a small flounder in the surf. I didn't see anything else alive while in the water. Friday I saw dolphins from the beach. Saturday I heard them while I swam, but I never managed to find them. Sunday a friend told me he saw lots of sting rays.
Friday and Saturday it was sunny and warm. Sunday there were a few clouds and it was windy and cooler. There may have been two hundred people on the beach each day.
I left about 6:00. It was still warm, but not for long.
I went to Black's Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I don't remember all the details of each day. I'm generally finding some
street parking on weekdays and plenty on weekends. I'm finding plenty of parking at the glider port when I arrive between 10 and 12. I'm
finding that the spring weather often means fog, overcast, cloudy or hazy sunshine. I'm noticing that it gets cloudy and cool by 4pm. I'm
seeing dozens of people on weekdays, and hundreds on the weekend. The trail was in good condition and there were no new changes.
Wednesday started out with hazy sunshine and became overcast. I was there from about 11-2. Friday started out overcast and turned into hazy sunshine by afternoon. Saturday was the best. The weather varied between sunny and hazy sunshine all day. Sunday was the worst. I was there from about 11-1, wearing a fleece shirt the whole time, since it was cloudy and cold.
Saturday there were hundreds of people. There seemed to be twice as many men as women, but that may have only been in my area, which was just north of the new landslide. There were several couples in our closed in little, area and the usual rude men seemed too uncomfortable to sit close.
Some of my friends were throwing a frizbee. A group was playing volleyball near the main trail. I didn't go north to see the other group at Indian Canyon Trail. A man near us was spinning his rhythm stick. There were gliders overhead and I saw one of them land late in the day.
I went for a swim. The water may have been above 60. I saw a large fish in the surf, probably corbina. There were plenty of surfers and I even caught a ride on a wave.
I saw one fisherman Saturday, and I saw a game warden taking a survey. I don't know if the fisherman caught anything.
Saturday I was there about 10-4.
I went to Naturally California's Whale Watch. There were about
25 or so people there, many of them were familiar to me. It seemed
like there were a few more men than women.
We left on time, 9:00. We didn't see any whales. I did see a sunfish
and others said they saw a jellyfish. They took us to some sea lions
on some buoys.
It was cloudy much of the time, but several of us undressed anyway.
Several more undressed for the group picture.
Afterward, several of us went to San Onofre. Trail 6 was in good
condition. I was able to pull a golf cart down. By the time we
reached the beach it was sunny and warm.
I even went swimming twice, one time with a buddy. I only saw sand and small shells underwater.
There was quite a ledge from the dry sand down to the surf. I suppose
that is normal for this time of year, but I don't think I've ever been
to San Onofre in March.
We left about 3:00.
Friday I arrived about 12:00. There was no street parking available, but there were plenty of spaces at the glider port.
I carried down a new bulletin board. I saw no changes in the trail on my way down. Once at the bottom, I moved the old board down the post and installed the new one above. I set up my stuff close to the bulletin board.
The sun was out much of the day, but there was a cold wind all the time I was there. There were only a few other people. About 2:30 I decided there was nothing left to hope for. It would only get colder.
Saturday the weather was cloudy and cold inland, but I decided to take a chance. I arrived at the glider port about 11:00. It was cold a windy. I didn't even hike down. I turned around a went home.
I arrived at the glider port about 10:00. The street parking was completely full, but there were plenty of spaces at the glider port.
The trail was in good condition. A handrail near the bottom had been extended.
I set up near the trail head. There were only a few other men on the beach.
I found a few patches of tar had washed up and melted. If you step on any, it comes right out with baby oil. I picked it up and put it in my trash bag.
The lifeguards had not yet setup the cones. I saw them set up about 11:00. It seems they have been setting them further south, which gives us more clothing optional beach.
Just about then, the fog rolled in. There was an exodus as everybody began to leave. I'm a diehard nudist, so I stuck around a little. I finally gave up about 1:30.
I arrived at the glider port about 10:30. The northern end of the parking lot was closed off for the glider takeoff. They do that periodically February-April. People who normally park at the north trail were forced into the southern lot, or the street. I still found plenty of parking. When I left at 4:30, it looked as if parking had been scarce, judging by how far away some people had parked.
I hiked down the main trail. It was still in good condition. There were no significant changes. Once at the bottom, I undressed and headed north. I stopped at the southern edge of the new landslide and set up my site.
Friends and more friends arrived. Some of these friends were couples. Eventually it seemed like the center of the whole beach, the friends, other couple and the gawkers that kept their distance around us. there must have been a hundred people within sight, and probably two hundred on the whole beach.
There were people playing volleyball both in the north and in the south. There were people pitching horseshoes nearby. I few people got in the water, including myself and two friends.
I swam out to about the surf line twice and caught a few waves. The current carried me north. Underwater I saw no life. The water temperature was refreshing, I'm guessing 59.
A red glider passed overhead several times. There were the ususal hang gliders, paragliders and remote controlled gliders. But this was a manned glider. This is the reason why the north lot was closed. Before anybody gets upset about closing that lot for the sake of one glider, let's remember who's parking lots those are. Who provides the shower and the porta-potties?
About 3:00 it suddenly cooled as some thin clouds blocked the sun. We decided that the best part of the day was over and started packing. But we took so long to pack that the sun came out again and we were warm again for our walk south to the trail. It was sunny for our hike up the trail. We left the parking lot about 4:30 and there were plenty of spaces opening up.
Tuesday I parked at the glider port and hiked down about 11:00. There was plenty of parking at the glider port, but none on the street. There were a few improvements in the trail. A few steps had been added by filling dirt behind a board held upright by steel posts. A few of the steps through the ravine were very high.
Once on the beach I undressed and headed north. I had brought a few tools to raise my bulletin board a little higher on the post. On my way north I passed a man climbing the cliffs at the north edge of the landslide. Nut! I also passed a seal carcass, which I later realized was the same one that I'd seen way north. It had just been washed out and back up in a different place. I did my little work on the bulletin board and returned to my stuff, way in the south.
I laid out catching those UV photons. I eventually got hot and went for a short swim. The water was ...refreshing. I didn't see anything underwater but sand and rocks. I even saw a few other people go for a swim.
There were dozens of people on the beach, a lot of men, but a few couples too.
There were a few sport utility vehicles just south of the nudity boundary. Apparently they have been there several days in a row. They were shooting for an ad. It was a Mercedes.
It was still sunny, but I had to beat traffic. I left about 3:00.
Wednesday it was kind of cloudy, but the forecast called for mostly sunny. I parked at the glider port about 12:00. There was plenty of parking. at the glider port, but none on the street.
I played it safe and took my windblock/reflector along. I hiked down and found that a few handrails had been reinforced since yesterday. I sat down near the trail head, on the volleyball court.
It was a pretty quiet day. I soaked up photons all day. I dozed off for a while in the sun. There were always a few clouds around, but they didn't start blocking the sun until about 3:00.
There were dozens of people on the beach. There were more men than women, which is typical, especially in the winter.
They were still shooting for the SUV literature. They drove a ways north, but came back to the same spot.
It was hot enough that I had to go for a swim to cool off. I took along my new toy, a monofin, to try my dolphin kick. I didn't see anything underwater but sand, but I was kind of distracted trying to get the feel of my new toy.
About 3:00 I noticed it was getting a little cool, so I set up my reflector and stayed another hour. By 4:00 I decided I'd milked the sun for everything I could get out of it. I packed up and left.
We finally got a break from the rain, and I had enough free time to go to the beach. I arrived at the glider port and parked there about
11:00. There was still a puddle of water in the lot, but much of it was hard and dry.
The trail was mostly the same as my last visit. It was wet, but the mud was packed hard. There were some slippery spots in the ravine.
Arriving at the beach it was obvious that the tide had been very high, very recently. I checked my tide table and saw that it was at 7 feet only three hours earlier. That brings the tide right up to the cliffs, leaving no sand.
There were lifeguards in boats, straight out from the new landslide. There was a third boat there too. There was also a buoy. Only a few years back there had been a buoy in the same place. Now it appears they have replaced it.
I hiked north and left some of my stuff at the north trail. I continued north to my bulletin board. I saw that the seal carcass was still there. Reaching my bulletin board I added a layer of plywood and stocked it up with newsletters.
I returned to my stuff and spent the day in the sun. It was sunny and warm all day, but the flies gave me no peace.
There were perhaps two or three dozen men on the beach. I saw only one woman, that was nude.
I packed up and left about 3:00. It was still warm and sunny, but I wanted to beat traffic.
There were two unmarked trucks right at the nudity line, in the south. They were setting up a tripod in the surf. I never got close enough to see what they were doing. Perhaps they were UCSD people studying the cliffs or surf.
We finally got the first sunny day in about a week, so I headed for the beach. I arrived at the glider port about 10:00. The parking lot was covered in a thin layer of
slippery mud. I had some trouble controlling my car and was afraid to stop. Eventually I found a wide enough area to make a turn and drove out to the street. I parked in one of the few spaces left on the street.
I hiked along the south edge of the parking lot and found a new rut eroded into the trail. I hiked down the main trail. Some places were muddy and it was very slippery in some places. But, the trail was mostly intact. I hiked down a little slower than usual, because I was afraid I might not be able to stop easily. Even the ravine fared well, and the sandbags held strong.
I restocked my south bulletin board. I put up a copy of my newsletter and a few extras for people to take. I replaced the map, which is the closest thing we have to signage.
There was only one other man on the beach at first. I hiked north and took a few pictures of the landslide. I posed for a picture next to the landslide while this one other man took my picture. Hopefully these pictures will appear in Nude and Natural soon.
I found clear signs that we had lost some sand to the storm.
I spread out some of my stuff just north of the north trail and continued north. I hiked all the way to my bulletin board near Mussel Rocks. I passed a rotting seal corpse between the buoy and my bulletin board.
I was pleased to find my bulletin board still standing. I worked a little more sand in around the post and restocked the board.
I went south to where I left my stuff. I sat down and soaked up photons for a two hours or so. It was warm and sunny the whole day. I even had my umbrella up to keep the sun out of my face. It was clear enough that I could make out some distant islands to the north, as well as the coast.
By about 2:00 it was getting cool and windy. I packed up and headed south. Along the way I took a few more pictures of the landslide.
I was back in the parking lot by about 2:30. It was now a bit dryer, thanks to the sun and wind, but I'd still prefer to park on the street.
I parked at the glider port about 10:30. There were plenty of spaces.
I found no significant changes in the trail, only. I immediately headed north to check out the landslide.
It was scary. It covered an area where I had sat just last Sunday. I choose it because it looked safer than most places. I spoke with others and none of them expected this cliff to slide soon. I guess we're not so smart.
I took pictures from many angles, and with my ten power telephoto lens. I found a crack and took pictures of it too.
I laid down right in front of the taped off area. I figured this was safer than other parts of the cliff that had not yet fallen. Furthermore, there was a shelf that should slow down any debris heading my way.
There were white pickups, belonging to the city park department. They were obviously inspecting the slide and other potential slides. Everybody was saying that this was the biggest slide they had ever seen here.
A channel 10 news helicopter circled for a while. I suppose my ass is all over the local news. If anybody sees it, please tape it for me. I'm too busy processing my film to get it on my web page.
I hiked north to check on my bulletin board. From a distance it looked strange. When I got close enough, I realized it wasn't where I had left it. It had been pulled out and placed in another hole. They hadn't done a very good job planting it. I guess I hadn't either, since it was so quickly removed. I stapled a new map and newsletter, and made a mental note to return with a shovel soon.
I hiked south, past the nudity line, taking pictures of other cliff faces.
It was still sunny and warm when I left at 3:30. I wanted to beat the traffic and process my pics.
I was planning to stay home, due to clouds and rain in the forecast.
Fortunately, a friend closer to the beach called me and encouraged me
to try. I picked her up and we headed for the beach.
En route to the glider port there were several signs that there was
only parking for the golf tournament. When I reached the end, I
simply said I was going to the glider port. I was waved in. I found
plenty of parking.
We parked and hiked down. The trail was still the same, unchanged by
the light rain we had received since my last visit. We were on the
beach by about 11:30.
The tide was very high, leaving very little dry sand between the water
and the cliffs. I checked the tide table and saw that we had arrived
at high tide. We didn't want to be up against such steep cliffs, so
we headed north and layed out our stuff. I set up some reflectors,
since it was a bit cool and windy.
There were very few other people.
By about 2:30 we decided it was getting cool and therefore time to
leave. On our way out we saw there was a volleyball game in progress.
As we left the parking lot, we could still see available spaces.
On my way to the glider port I saw several signs indicating that there was parking only with a permit to the Buick Invitational. I knew this was not true. There was even a sign stating that there was no parking for the general public right at the entrance. I simply asked if there was parking for the glider port and they directed me left. There was still parking available at 12:00.
I parked and hiked down, carrying the new bulletin board for the north end of the beach. I found no changes in the trail. Reaching the beach, I headed north. There were a few people, but it was a while before I saw another nude person.
I installed my bulletin board and posted my newsletter. I didn't put up extra copies, because rain is expected this weekend.
I hiked south, back to the trail head. Along the entire length of the clothing optional area I saw perhaps 20 people, maybe 6 of them were nude.
It was windy and cool, and I had other things to do. I left the beach about 1:00.
Thursday I arrived about 11:00. I parked at the glider port, where there were plenty of spaces. Street parking is always full weekdays.
I found no changes in the trail during my hike down.
I sat near the trail head and spent the day there.
It was warm and sunny all day. There were dozens of people on the beach.
I left about 2:30. It was starting to get cool about that time.
Friday I arrived about 12:00 and parked at the glider port. There was plenty of parking in the lot.
I hiked down with my digging bar, since today had favorable tides for me to restore the north bulletin board. I found no changes in the trail condition. I did find that somebody had torn down my newsletter from my southern bulletin board. I replaced the newsletter and headed north. I left a few things with some friends and continued north.
Arriving at the appointed place, I found no trace of my digging help. We had some miscommunication and he never showed. I had to hurry and dig my hole while the tide was low, but I didn't have the shovel. I eventually found where my friend had hidden the shovel, but before I found it there was some excitement with the lifeguards.
Our appointed place was at the southern edge of Mussel Rocks. Mussel Rocks is the northern boundary of the clothing optional zone. During this time of the year much of the sand is gone, exposing more rocks. These rocks make the beach impassible to trucks, except at low tide. Low tide was about 11:16, more than an hour ago.
One of the lifeguards was trying to get around Mussel Rocks and got hit by a wave. The tide was rising, so they were in a hurry to get the truck out. It took about 6 people pushing to get it out. They had another city lifeguard truck and two Jeeps with park rangers. None of these vehicles dared to attempt the crossing, or they would get stuck too.
They did push it out, but now they were trapped between Mussel Rocks and Flat Rock, another point which is passable only at low tide. They brought in what must have been a mobile mechanic, and a flatbed truck to haul it out. They left empty handed Friday, but a friend told me they took it out Saturday.
I dug my hole, planted my post and returned to my friends in the south. They were just leaving. I relaxed a little and left about 3:00.
I didn't go to Black's Saturday. I went scuba diving instead.
Sunday I arrived about 10:30. There was plenty of parking in both the glider port lot and the street. A friend who arrived later that day said he had trouble finding parking and had to park north of the glider port.
I sat with a few friends north of the trail head. It was a wonderfully warm day. There must have been a couple hundred people on the beach. It felt like summer. Everybody got sunburned. I swam twice, just to cool off. The water was not so warm.
People were playing volleyball and pitching horseshoes. People were playing smash ball and throwing Frisbees.
If you weren't at Black's today, you really missed out. The sun was getting low and I knew it would be getting cool soon. I left about 5:00.
I picked up a friend and we went Black's. We parked at the glider port and hiked down the main trail. The trail was pretty much the same, except that a portion of it had recently been improved then vandalized.
We made it to the beach about 12:30. There were several people already on the beach, but none of them nude. We undressed immediately and spread out our stuff near my bulletin board.
We started processing newsletters to send them out. I posted my newsletter on the bulletin board, as well as a few extra copies for people to take. We asked a passing couple to take our picture so I could put a "day at the office" pic on my web page.
It was warm and sunny most of the time we were there. It started to get windy and cool about 2:30.
A volleyball game got started about 2:00 and my friend joined.
We packed up and left about 3:00.
I went to Black's January 6 and 7. I arrived and parked about 10am. The trail was very much the way I remembered it from December.
It was warm and sunny all day. I stayed until about 4:30 each day. That is a little unusual for this time of year. Usually it gets cold and windy about 3:00.
There were over a hundred people on the beach that weekend.
I didn't go to the beach the whole week due to work and weather. San Diego was hit by a big storm Which finally ended Friday night.
I went to Black's Saturday. I parked about 10:30 at the glider port. There was some mud in the parking lot, but there were plenty of spaces.
I headed for the main trail and found it taped off with a police line, saying don't cross. I came back a little later and found it on the ground. The lifeguards probably closed it during the storm and had just opened it.
There were visible signs of erosion along the entire trail, but the ravine was the worst. The rainfall from the canyons is all funneled through that ravine, so it must be quite a torrent during a storm. All the loose dirt was gone and stone steps had been rounded off, making it very slippery. This was the challenging part of the decent.
Beyond the ravine, I found the sand bag retaining walls mostly intact. However most of the soil and rocks that they were supposed to retain were gone. I had to choose a few steps carefully from there down to the beach, but it was not challenging.
I found that much of the sand was now gone from the beach, due to the storms. Only last week we could find mounds of sand that would keep us above high tide and away from the cliffs, not today. The predicted high tide was very close to the cliff, and the cliffs are often unstable after a storm. I set my stuff down against the cliff and walked around for a while. I saw one time that a wave nearly reached my stuff.
Walking the beach, I spotted a few friends on their way down. I put on my pants and helped them, and a few strangers too, down the slippery part.
I walked north and set up with some friends. The flies gave us little peace, so we went for a walk. The wind picked up during that walk and we felt cold.
We walked all the way to the northern boundary, where I found my bulletin board laying on the sand. We set it a little higher on the cliff so I could find it and put it back soon.
On our way back we warmed ourselves on that big metal buoy. The sun had warmed it so much that we couldn't stay against it.
There were dozens of people on the beach and it was very sunny.
Returning to our towels, we ate and soon left, about 4:00.
The trail had been repaired while we spent the day in the sun. Black's Beach Diggers struck again. They had moved sand bags to key points and put in some boards to hold soil, making steps. They had carved some sharp steps in the ravine. The ascent was just as strenuous as ever, but at least it wasn't slippery
Sunday I parked at the glider port about 10:30 and found everything, the parking lot and the trail, just as it was Saturday. There were clearly some parts of the trail that would need attention soon.
Because I didn't expect high tide until 12:30, I chose a spot just to the south of the trailhead. There was a high spot there against a lower cliff. I spent the day there and I did see one wave that probably would have soaked my stuff if I had sat a little closer.
The lifeguards cited one of the Black's Beach Diggers for constructing a trail. Another was cited a few weeks ago, while I was out of town. I will try to attend their trails and report back.
People started playing volleyball in the afternoon. Apparently one of their posts was loose, since they had piled a few rocks around it.
It was getting cool. I left about 3:00.