Boat and Beach Camping on Tomales Bay, 2013

August 17-18, 2013

Arriving at a beach on Tomales Bay by boat and spending the night must go back to the time of the Miwok.  Inverness Yacht Club members have sailed, motored, paddled, and rowed to Kilkenny or Marshall or Heart’s Desire beaches for overnights for so long that it’s a hallowed tradition.

From the yacht club newsletter editor,

August 17-18 marked the passage of another of the Inverness Yacht Club’s annual rights of summer, the cookout and overnight camping at Kilkenny Beach. Over the years this has become perhaps the best attended annual outdoor event the club holds. And this year was no exception. It is heartwarming to see all the generations of members gear up and make the voyage or drive to this beautiful waterside encampment, to visit old friends and renew connections.

A recent effort to introduce prospective members to the club and the beauty of Tomales Bay has resulted in quite a few new members (nine this month alone) and boat owners (four new International 110s in the parking lot this year). Sondy invited a slew of young friends to share in the Kilkenny event. It appears to be a success as they made a large donation to the club to support the party and a special contribution to the youth sailing program. We hope to see them again soon at another function or boating with a club member. Below are photos provided by Sondy that capture the fun and enchantment of a place just a few miles from the club and yet seems to be in another world.

For photos of rigging, capsizing, boating, and cooking adventures from previous years, and stories, see the two tales of 2010, the failboat of 2011 (page 5), the November edition with lots of oysters, an unqualified success in 2012, and the following photos.

We arrived at the beach after a rough sail in a lot of chop.  The wind was blowing south and the tide was draining north; not a good combination.  Fortunately, our co-conspirators had hauled grills and pony kegs to the beach, so all we had to do was show up and drown our sorrows.

There were some pirates with a sword.  The hat made a reappearance.

Some of the cohort are accomplished chefs.  Andy, pictured, made fresh sourdough bread in a Dutch oven and brought along a blowtorch.  Why not?  Next year we’ll do crème brûlée or bananas foster.  There was also an excess of good Point Reyes cheese, some of which may have turned into breakfast quesadillas the next morning alongside pancakes.

A Flying Scot makes a good place to tie a dog covered in poison oak.  Several chemical engineers determined best practices for filling tiki torches with lamp fuel.

Old friends reconnected.

We went to sleep, full of oysters and chicken sausages and vegan substitutes and blueberries and mojitos made of Puerto Rican rum and mint from the beach.

The light faded.  We built a campfire for s’mores and popcorn, buffering it with a series of moats and dykes and dams until the tide infiltrated the civil engineering works and we had to move the entire thing up the beach with shovels.

The next morning dawned foggy and still.

Sunbeams snuck under the fog to touch the eastern hills.

A former roommate emerged from the cathedral-esque tent to write.

Balancing acts happened.

We swam out to this boat through the eelgrass.

What’s with the parasol?  Phil thinks it might help while sailing downwind.

At some point I hid in the aft “cabin” of the Flying Scot.  Long story.

The crew contemplates the blue yonder.

Why wouldn’t you sail back from the beach, while eating blueberries and drinking rum?

The best part of sail camping is introducing new people to boats.  This chap figured out how to fly the jib for wing-on-wing using his toes as a human whisker pole, having been on a sailboat for the first time the day prior.  Black’s Mountain makes an appearance to the left as the disintegrating granite of the western shore and the Bishop pines recede to the right.

There are few more beautiful places in the world than Tomales Bay for camping.  And showing friends the delight that is the Point Reyes National Seashore.

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