Sep 082014
 

I was lucky to join in on a quick flight over San Diego county. We flew west to the ocean, roughly following HW 8, then north along the coast to Carlsbad before heading east to Escondido and then south to return to the airport. There was a bit of haze over the ocean, but the weather was generally good while I was snapping some photos:

North Bluff Preserve

Leucadia

Carlsbad suburbs

Escondido from the air

Silverdome

Jul 242014
 

Looking north along the Lost Coast

Hikers on the Loast Coast Trail

Sandy dunes

Anna walking through wildflowers

Punta Gorda Lighthouse

Giant redwood

We have driven through Northern California on road trips before, but have never made the trek to what is known as the Lost Coast. The Lost Coast is a remote area of Northern California which has stayed very remote and undeveloped due to the considerable expense to bring infrastructure into the area as well as the low population (and depopulation during the 30’s, see wikipedia for more). We had the opportunity to spend a few days in the Petrolia area due to the invitation by a friend to stay at their familly cabin.

I can understand why there is a certain romance about the Lost Coast – it is gorgeous, and a glimpse into the past of what California was like many years ago. It attracts a certain type of person to live there year round, and is one of the few places in California where you will find a lot of road signs which have been used as target practice or the smell of skunky weed gardens wafting over high fences.

We hiked the beach route to the remote (and long since decommissioned) Punta Gorda Lighthouse. We had gorgeous weather and enjoyed some beautiful scenery on our hike, which was one of the more picturesque hikes I’ve ever done. A word of warning, however, the distance listed for the hike is deceiving. This is because a good portion of the hike takes place on sandy ground or dunes, which takes a significant amount of energy to walk on compared to a regular path. Rest assured, the effort is worth it.

Photos from The Lost Coast, Humboldt, California Gallery link
Photos from The Lost Coast, Humboldt, California Flickr link

Oct 202013
 

A month back I finally got around to getting back in the water for some diving. I had just splurged on a large purchase – the Nauticam underwater housing for my Olympus OMD EM5 camera. I just had the kit lens and housing in this instance, and no strobes or lights attached. Some first impressions:

  • It is heavy.  My previous experiences have been with plastic body housings and this has a very different feel underwater and above.  I’ll need to think about adding some floats to achieve neutral buoyancy.
  • It is well made.  Everything is very well fitted together and machined, no need to worry about anything breaking on it.  All buttons are accessible and easy to use.
  • I’m going to use the LCD most of the time.  The housing has the option of using either the large live view LCD screen or the smaller viewfinder screen.  Thus far I find it much easier to use the larger screen with a mask

Next steps I need to get it fitted out with a tray, arm, strobe, and probably a video light of some sort as I have an existing one which can be converted.


Aug 182011
 

I can’t put it much better than the article, Marine reserve sets new standard for recovery:

No-fishing reserves can restore marine ecosystems better than previously thought and can turn a heavily degraded site into an international model for conservation, according to a decade-long study led by researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla. The report showed the amount of fish in an undersea wildlife park near the southern tip of Baja California soared 463 percent between 1999 and 2009.

Oct 022010
 


Photos of hiking Sturtevant falls, Angeles National Forest

A month back we did a new (to us) hike to Sturtevant falls in Angeles National Forest. The trail head is at Chantry Flat, off Santa Anita Avenue in Arcadia. From there it drops down into the darkest and most lush SoCal valley I’ve been to. Black oaks tower overhead as you walk past tens of cabins along the dammed creek. The falls were nice, even at their dry point during the year. I can imagine that the upper pools would be quite large in the spring. We did the total hike in about an hour and a half, the only crappy part is the climb back up to Chantry Flat. Well worth the time if you are in the area.

More information: Dan’s Hiking Pages

Jun 192010
 


avalon dive park avalon dive park avalon dive park avalon dive park
Photos of Avalon’s Underwater Dive Park

Adam, Paul, Pete and I took the Dana Point ferry over to Avalon for a day of diving. It started overcast and turned into a lovely sunny day. I need to take more Fridays off. Adam joined the club and picked up a Stanley 24gal tub for transporting gear aka dive box on wheels. Pete and Paul tried out their new DSS backplates. We are starting to look like a scuba gang from the 50’s – same box, same dry suit, same backplates. Hmmm. We need some sort of snap dance to intimidate other gangs.

Apr 202010
 

We had a conversation with a neighbor today about the republican party punishing members that reminded me of this article by Krugman: The Bankruptcy Boys

Voters may say that they oppose big government, but the programs that actually dominate federal spending — Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — are very popular. So how can the public be persuaded to accept large spending cuts? …The conservative answer, which evolved in the late 1970s, would be dubbed “starving the beast” during the Reagan years… Rather than proposing unpopular spending cuts, Republicans would push through popular tax cuts, with the deliberate intention of worsening the government’s fiscal position. Spending cuts could then be sold as a necessity rather than a choice, the only way to eliminate an unsustainable budget deficit.”

I suspect California will hit the starvation wall quicker than the rest of the country – CA has been brought to the brink several times – but it doesn’t seem like Republicans have an answer for what they actually want next.