Sunday, November 1, 2009

Mavericks Surf Contest 2009-2010

Today is the start of the waiting period for the 2009-2010 Mavericks Big Wave Invitational Surf Contest in Half Moon Bay, Ca. The contest will be held when the North Pacific fires up a huge storm in the Gulf of Alaska and sends down huge 50 foot plus waves torwards the Northern California Coast and perfect conditions of a smooth sea surface and tides come together. The "24" will then have only a 24 hour notice that they will have a chance to win the largest purse in surfing history, over $100000 to the winner. The North Pacific couldn't produce last year, so this year the contest directors decided to lengthen the waiting period for pretty much the entire North Pacific storm season. I was able to attend the last contest in January 2008 which saw perfect 30 foot plus surf with very nice, light winds and blue sky conditions, and I got some ok pictures. If you want to get front and center on the jetty rocks, you must get there early! So here are my shots from the 2008 contest.

the circus that is Mavericks. Notice the helicopter. (1/08)
Conditions this day were perfect with 30 foot plus waves and perfect conditions. Here's to the 2009-2010 season and hopefully, unlike last year (2009), the conditions will come together again.

Mavericks Surf Contest 2008 (1/08). I know it doesnt look too big from my vantage point, but double-click the picture to zoom in and compare to the boats around the wave.

This is the reef break directly to the north of the Mavericks Contest site. Even here were the bythemtry doesnt produce the perfect huge waves that Mavericks does, you can see that this swell was HUGE! These waves were well above 20 feet and just thumpin'! (1/08)

This is a shot taken during a huge swell in November 2008. This isn't my photo and can be found here. This year I hope to get front and center for some reallt great shots of the 2009-2010 Mavericks Surf Contest.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Surf trip South of the Border IV - Playa La Noria

Last October during my last surf trip to Mexico, a buddy of mine and I decided to go search out a good empty wave, we happened to find Playa La Noria. It's not really a secret beach or anything, but the 3 times we went, there was no one except us and once the land owner showed up and sold us some cold sodas after a really good 3 hour session. Noria itself is wide open beach break with a couple sandbars. Unfortunately we always showed up right when the wind was switching onshore so I never saw it barrel, it might not barrel, but the wave had fat shoulders to carve on. On each side there looked to be point waves. We surfed the north side and the middle of the beach. The north side did have a suedo-right point, but the conditions werent the best. This wave did have alot more power than La Ticla, so if you're in the area, Noria is about 20 km or so past Marauta. Check it out!

Turn here at this sign! Follow the dirt road (dry creek bed trail) to the beach. Its best to have a high clearence 4x4. (10/08)

Looking torwards the north side (right point) wave. I did catch a few good and long waves here. (10/08)

Playa La Noria glassy Beach Break (10/08)

Nice set comming in @ Playa La Noria (10/08). It was alot bigger than it looks from the beach as I was standing on a sand dune about 10 feet high. I would have called this set in the 5-7 foot (face) range.

 This beach was HUGE and empty. If you wanna see endangered sea turtles land on the beach to lay eggs, this is the beach to go to!! (10/08)

Here's a bunch of Kemp Ridgeley Sea Turtle hatchlings. I took this shot in La Ticla as Eleno was taking care of them. Sea Turtle eggs are an aphrodisiac delicacy here in this part of the world. The Mexican government had recently then launched a campaign to end this tradition. But we still saw it happen, and there was nothing we could do. So I applaud Eleno and everyone else in Michoacan in thier efforts here. (10/08)

Monday, October 19, 2009

If we get stranded, don't worry, I won't eat you!

Happy Monday to you all! It's a grey, rainy morning here in northern california today. Good day to sit back and relax, or for all you normal people out there, to be at work! Since I grew up and lived in South Texas for 25 years, I never really saw mountains, let alone snow except for on TV and one summer my family and I went to Colorado for vacation. So if you ever wonder why I am so facinated with mountains and snow, that is the reason! So of course, here are some photographs of our road trip one day up into the mountains. This time, we went up I-80 torward Reno, Nv and Truckee, Ca. These pictures were actually taken last April. Hope you enjoy my pictures!

Lakeside Reflection (4/09)

I prefere driving on Hwy 50 from Scramento to South Lake Tahoe when we take trips into the mountains, but even the Interstate 80 drive is very pretty, especially if you go off the beaten path.

When California was first being settled, a group led by a man named Donner became stranded in the mountain pass due to heavy early snowfall. They were stuck there for months, and if you remember the story, they started to eat eat each other! Desperate times/people call for desperate measures and they did what they had to do. Leason of the story is.....dont go hiking in the mountains during winter unless you're prepaired to eat your friend!! Hahaha (4/09)

Near the summit of Donner Pass (4/09)

And this is the beautiul Lake Donner. Hey atleast the Donner Party had a nice view! (4/09)

Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoyed my photographic experience!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday Shots 2

Hello everyone. Hope your week went by ok. Here is one of my favorite sunset photographs in Santa Cruz, Ca. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sierra Nevada Foothills - Last Chance

Hello everyone. Last February my girlfriend and I had this great idea to go on a road trip to check out a ghost town called "Last Chance" (sounds cool huh?). It's located pretty deep into the lower Sierra Nevada Mountains. It's actually mapped in Google, but of course hasn't been inhabited since the gold rush days. So anyways we embarked on our journey into the forest (on roads of course). As per directions, we were almost there, but our journey was cut short due to about 4 1/2 feet of snow on the road. Didn’t think our Honda Element would make it so disappointedly, we turned around. We'll try again soon!. Enjoy the photographs!

 Outside of Foresthill, Ca overlooking the Sierra Nevada Mountains (2/09)

bridge over the North Fork American River, Ca (2/09)

Even with 4wd system on our Honda Element, didn't feel it was up to the task......only if I still had "The Beach Renegade" RIP. As you can see, the snow pack was still really deep!! (2/09)

Sierra Nevada Foothills (2/09)

We of course, will attempt to reach "Last Chance" again soon before the snow comes back. Can you imagine how hard it must have been to get there back in 1849?! Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday Shots 1

Happy Weekend everybody! Today I am starting something new. Every Saturday I'll post a new and original picture from Northern California and beyond.

Fall is in the air and the temps are cool. Really nice day to be outside! Enjoy!

San Francisco, Ca from across the bay near Sausalito, Ca. (10/09)

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Mystery Spot

If you have never been to or heard of The Mystery Spot near Santa Cruz, Ca should definitely check it out if you are in the area. Some theories suggest that a meteor crashed here and the area has very different gravitational properties. Others suggest alien activity and of course seismic activity. Who knows, that's why it's a Mystery! The tour was only $5 bucks per person and lasted about 30 minutes or so. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and showed us various experiments demonstrating the mysterious properties of the area. You won’t believe your eyes! And at the end, you get a cool bright yellow bumper sticker! Enjoy the pictures!

Santa Cruz "The Mystery Spot" (6/09)

Walking up to The Mystery Spot house...may not look so bad here but it was quite steep!

Me standing infront of the mystery house. Notice how my shoulders are level, but I am clearly standing on a slopping ground. I guarantee you my left leg is the same length as my right leg! (6/09)

I'm actually standing straight.....well trying to! (6/09)

crrraaaaazzzzzzzyyyy! (6/09)

Who was crazy enough to build a house on the side of a steep hillside anyways!! (6/09)

The pictures really doesn't do this place justice, it's something you have to experience yourself! Thanks for visting, more experiences to come!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Golden Gate Bridge at Night

Hi! Here is my photographic experience of the Golden Gate Bridge at night. The concept of the shots are really nice, but it looks like I used the wrong settings. As I said before, Im no pro......yet! Keep following my blog and watch my progress!

Golden Gate (7/09)

Golden Gate (7/09)

This probably should have been a discarded shot, but I think its really cool.

Thanks again for visiting!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Trip up to the Wild Coastline of Sonoma, Ca

Sonoma County, California is mostly known for its world renowoned wine producing valleys. But, in my opinion, has one of the most beautiful and wild coastlines. A two lane road snakes its way on jagged cliffs 2000 ft high, makes for a nerve wrenching drive sometimes! It is definitely worth it with pristine coastline cliffs and hidden beaches through out. Not much in the way of good surf, but there are a few jewels to be found. The Russian River rivermouth looks like it could be a fun wave on a good southerly swell.....but then again there is a HUGE population of seals and sea lions there so beware of whitey!! So without further ado, here is my photographic experience! Enjoy!

Costal mountain range of Somoma (3/08)

Russian Rivermouth from afar (3/08)

Sonoma Coastline (3/08)

Sonoma Coastline (3/08)

Unnamed Secluded Beach, Sonoma Coast (3/08)

Sunset: Sonoma Coast (3/08)

This shot is probably my favorite sunset picture. Sonoma Coast (3/08)

If you are looking to stay in this area, let me suggest The Timbercove Inn. Timbercove Inn is about an hour or so north of Bodega Bay. We try to come up here about once or twice a year. The Timbercove Inn boasts beautiful Pacific Ocean views from its rooms, a fine dinning resturaunt, and even special packages that includes a bottle of Champagne, gourmet chocolates, and a yummy breakfast for two! Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Lake Tahoe I

Living in Northern California is great. The hustle and bustle of the big city of San Francisco is not far and the serene beauty and fun of Lake Tahoe is also a short drive away. Lake Tahoe and its surrounding areas has something for everyone to enjoy. There's camping and hiking amongst the tall trees and through mountain passes, world-class skiing in fresh fluffy powder, and one of my personal favorites, Casinos! Harvey's is by far my favorite casino to gamble at. I might just be lucky, but I always walk away a winner! The craps table has always been good to me. We visit Lake Tahoe frequently and I would defenately recommend everyone to visit if you are visiting the San Francisco/Sacramento area. Enjoy my photograpic experience!

South Lake Tahoe beach (4/09)

Emerald Bay, South Lake Tahoe, Ca (4/09)

Emerald Bay, South Lake Tahoe (4/09)

Lake Tahoe (4/09)

Snow capped Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lake Tahoe (4/09)

View from our Harvey's Hotel room. You can see a Heavenly Ski slope in the background. Sign up for Harvey's reward player's card and receive huge discounts or even free nights in rooms similar to this one! Goodluck! (4/09)

Thanks again for visiting! More pictures to come!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Road Trip to Big Sur

Here are some pictures from a road trip to the Big Sur area. (7/08)

How far away are those mountains? (7/08)

This is my favorite Hwy 1 sign photograph (so far). (7/08)

I believe this is Jade Cove Beach. Yes, we did find a few pieces of jade! (7/08)

Sand Dollar Beach (7/09)

When the sun finally came out. Kirk Creek waterfall. (7/08)

Kirk Creek Campgrounds Sunset (7/08)

Fires north of our location cut or journey north into Big Sur short. Too bad, but made for a few nice shots. (7/09)

Thanks for viewing! Hope you enjoyed my photograpic experience of Big Sur! More pictures to come!