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Surfin’ the Gate!

Today, I had to change plans and stay flexible and shoot in San Francisco and surrounds all day long! For those of you who live too far away to do that, plan a visit to the Bay Area!

While I was in the Presidio, I took the road down to Fort Point, a fort that was completed just before the American Civil War to defend the Golden Gate against hostile warships. The fort was begun in 1853 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The design specified that the lowest tier of cannon be at or near water level, so that cannon balls would ricochet or “skip” across the water, like skipping stones across the surface of a pond, and hit enemy warships at or near the waterline. Today, Fort Point is under the southern end of the Golden Gate Bridge. A history of Fort Point is in Wikipedia.

Amazingly, I found a place to park my vehicle. Immediately afterward, I noticed that surfers were SURFING the Golden Gate! What an icon of Calfornia, I thought…if surfing the Golden Gate is not an image of California, what is? Is surfing the Golden Gate too cool, or what? I talked to a fellow photographer in the spot next to mine. I liked him immediately, because he was riding a Honda motorcycle! :-) He told me that people can surf the Golden Gate when conditions are right, as they were today, with low tides and with waves breaking around the point. It looked like there were six-to-eight-foot waves today, and there was a crowd (school?) of surfers, as well as all of the usual sailboats and other shipping and tourist boats under the Golden Gate Bridge. Also, San Francisco was *VERY* busy today because the 2007 Nike Women’s Marathon and Half Marathon was today, with 15,000 women runners, benefitting The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and the high temperature reached 71 ℉, which tends to bring people outdoors. :-)

Needless to say, I took a lot of photos today, with many many shots of surfers and waves breaking at Fort Point. I saw as many professional photographers there as I had at Mono Lake :-) . I am eager to take a look at the shots, and may present some “out of sequence” simply because I expect them to be very cool. I did *a lot* of shooting today, and I’ll talk about some of it in future blog entries. In addition to the occasional surfing at Fort Point, you can take photos of the San Francisco skyline from the location, as well as shots of Angel Island and Alcatraz. The air was very clear today, after the storms that have passed through the Bay Area, and there were sailboats and sailing yachts of many sizes out on the Bay today.

I just *had* to tell you about surfing the Gate though, because it was amazing and wonderful and international (with all of the international visitors), and men and women surfers were riding the waves. I photographed a lot of other locations today, but (as I used to ask my children after a busy day, “What did you enjoy *most*?”) today the high point was surfing the Golden Gate.

I can’t wait to see and work on the photos!

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo

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