03 February 2009

Waves Behind Bars

I've had plans to surf each of the last three days, but every time have been thwarted. On Sunday, the promised swell failed to arrive before the Super Bowl kickoff. On Monday, S and I were held up at work too late to make it to the beach reasonably ahead of sunset. And this morning, I found that the state of California puts the waves of Half Moon Bay behind bars at night, and doesn't let them out until well past sunrise.
To: info@parks.ca.gov

I recently purchased a Golden Poppy Pass in order to be able to surf more at Half Moon Bay State Beach, but it appears the Pass is of limited value. This morning I arrived at the Francis Beach entrance at dawn (6:45 am) to go surfing, but the gate to the parking lot was closed. The Venice Beach lot was also blocked with a closed gate, as was the Dunes lot in full daylight at 7 am. Signs on the entrance kiosks state the park opens at 8 am.

As a surfer, I often want to reach the waves by first light, in order to surf before work. In the summer, dawn comes well before 6 am. Does the State Park System actually prevent access to the waves of Half Moon Bay for up to two daylight hours? What is the reason for not opening the gates at dawn? In the case of Dunes, there are no campers or residents who might be disturbed, so it is difficult to see any rationale for blocking access. Please explain.
At least the waves were small and uninspired, when we finally got close enough at Dunes to take a look, although distant Kelly appeared to have more going on.

With nowhere to park legally and no time to scout other breaks before work, I didn't get to surf. To make matters worse, the HMB Starbuck's messed up my consolatory short peppermint soy no-whip mocha (the Oracle of Starbucks says this drink means I'm a hippie).

And I still really need to get wet.


  1. be brave, surfergrrrl. park outside the gates on the shoulder. make it obvious from the clothing and stuff strewn about the interior of your vehicle that you are a surfer. the guys and gals working for the state parks know whats up and will almost certainly not ticket you for this. many of them surf too. can't say the same for the local cops (hmb or smc sheriffs), who can be total jackasses with minimal cause. but they also tend to leave the parks to the park rangers.

  2. Hmm, sounds risky. I'd rather get them to change the "No Parking" signs to "No Parking Except Dawn to 8 a.m." so I can have a worry-free sesh.