celestial bodies at Sandy Hook

naturist-backflip-0001-Sandy-Hook,-NJ,-USA

Now that the beach season is open in NYC, here is a recap of last year’s fun times at Sandy Hook, and to complete the full circle (and start the new one!) – a couple of photos from the first beach day this year. (Well, first beach day here – as you know, I was in Miami in March :-))

Before I forget, here are useful links for the Seastreak Ferry that goes to Sandy Hook: two $25 dollar offers – Groupon 1 and Groupon 2; and $30 coupon from  website (regular price for return ticket is hefty $45).

759D4161-E3A4-49D9-94A7-595658418C70

I’ve written on Gunnison Beach of Sandy Hook on multiple occasions (just do a search for “sandy hook” on this website for more); so if you’ve read my blog for a while, you know it’s a kind of beach where you go with with a group of friends, and even if you go alone, you end up with with a few friends anyways 🙂

naturist 0012 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

… just sometimes you need to dig them up from the sand!

naturist jump

With my friends, our beach day is rarely a passive pastime, as we literally jump around, and frolic in all ways possible.

naturist 0009 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

While I did some acro-yoga with one David, I was happy to see another David to be almost fully recovered after his surgery and back to do his gymnastics tricks, including a backflip.

naturist flip

Looking forward to doing more gymnastics and capoeira with him this year, just like we did it two years ago! If you’re there, feel free to join us 🙂

I did report about our ball games at Sandy Hook last year, and I hope to do only more of these year. It’d be awesome if we could manage to play foot-volley,

naturist 0007 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

though unfortunately one of my best friends who was good at football juggling has moved to Hawaii.

naturist 0010 Sandy Hook, NJ, USAnaturist 0008 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

As the evening approaches, the beach is emptying out and calms down.

sunset and crescent moon 0000 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

If you stay till sunset, you may be a witness of a grand show provided by our two brightest celestial bodies.

crescent moon 0001 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

Last year, I discovered that there is a campground on Sandy Hook. Unfortunately, if you want to stay on the weekend, you have to reserve it well in advance (most Fri and Sat nights for this summer have been booked out already)! The campground itself is not nude-friendly, but you can go back to the beach and experience it like never before.

night naturist 0001 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

These are pictures from Christian and Giorgio –

night naturist 0002 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

they were inspired by the full moon.

night naturist 0003 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

But if you are not lucky enough to capture the full moon,

night naturist 0000 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

you can enjoy the lights of a different kind:

night NYC view 0000 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

New York City at night provides quite a spectacle too.

night NYC view 0001 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

However, I was looking forward to seeing sunrise at Sandy Hook, as the beach faces eastwards.

sunrise 0000 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

Arriving to the beach just before sunrise, to our surprise we were not the first ones, but it was still very different from a day scene there.

sunrise NYC view 0000 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

Well, and even the ‘city that never sleeps’ looked kind of sleepy in those pale morning colors. But the sun was about to come out,

sunrise 0001 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

and we looked away from the city skyline. I don’t see sunrise very often, and there is always something inherently exciting about seeing the rise of our parent star.

sunrise 0003 Sandy Hook, NJ, USAsunrise 0005 Sandy Hook, NJ, USAsunrise 0006 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

It was even more exciting to experience that naked; not to mention that even in August, dawn time is a bit chilly, so the first rays of the sun were very much welcome on my skin!

sunrise 0007 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

The  beach was still pretty empty,

sunrise NYC view 0001 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

and shorebirds such as plovers certainly took advantage of that.

plovers

It is always funny to see how they follow retreating water in search of newly revealed food

plovers 0002 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

and then hastily run away from approaching waves. They literally live on the edge… of the ocean.

plovers 0003 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

And here is a couple of photos from my first day at Sandy Hook this year – this past Monday. That was apparently the last week until the end of summer when Gunnison Beach was open in its entire length, as already this weekend part of it was closed for an endangered plover species to build nests in the dunes.

shrine 0000 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

No, this is not how plovers’ nests look like. Somebody had built parts of this construction, but then I found it destroyed by the strong wind later in the day. I repaired this “shrine”,

shrine 0001 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA adding an animalistic twist to it. Well, to me it was just an artistic expression, but I can bet that if it ever gets fossilized and then later discovered by future archaeologists, they will get some twisted story to explain it 😀

naturist 0015 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

By the way, I have a strong suspicion of who might have initiated this construction, as someone I got to know last year built something of this kind but even more impressive. This summer has just begun though, so surely we’ll have more stories to share from this amazing place!

famous Black’s Beach!

In the mid-November, I was lucky to go with my new colleagues for the biggest conference in my field, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, and that time it was held in the sunny San Diego. Of course, it wouldn’t have been me, if I hadn’t planned to visit a nudist beach there, especially such a famous one as Black’s Beach. And I was double lucky that on the warmest day during my stay, when it was over 25ºC, the program seemed the least interesting so I skipped most of the day and headed to the beach (see the map for exact location).

As soon as I reached, it was pretty clear why this beach is so famous: it is, obviously, one of the biggest clothing-optional beaches and the view from the cliffs is stunning! It reminded me of the beaches of Meco in Portugal and Ga’ash in Israel.

I was surprised that on such an unusually warm day for November it was relatively empty, although it was Sunday, but I noticed some naked sunbathers immediately.

There are several trails leading down, and apparently I chose not the easiest one, but it was fun.

And I saw some lizards on the way down, apparently the enjoyed the sun too.
Soon I was walking on the soft beach sand, and look how the waves create a beautiful ornament of black and gold.
Then I saw that besides sunbathers there were surfers too!
But not naked :-/
Well, the water wasn’t too warm… But actually, first time I heard of Black’s Beach was because of the Nude Surfing Event. (check this link for more info)
Here is a video of one of the surfers.
Now, I’ve found that they actually arrange naked surfing lessons from July till September! I want to do that!!!
… but coming back to my calm day at the Black’s Beach, I was looking for a nice spot to lie down. I stayed near bushes and soon found that I had some neighbors: a rabbit (could not manage to take a photo of it) and a California ground squirrel that was quite tame and obviously was attracted to my nuts. (I mean I had some almonds with me 🙂

But then I got to know a bit more communicative neighbor, local visitor Alex. We chatted for a while, and it was him who disillusioned me by saying that such a hot day was not common that time of the year even in Southern California… But I still thought to myself that I might have made a mistake not applying for job at Salk Institute which is located practically on top of Black’s Beach, hehe. The idea that one can walk to such a beautiful beach for a lunch break sounds tantalizing! I did go to a lake for lunch breaks in my first year in Berlin until our lab moved, but even then my work was not that close to a naturist retreat like here.

Later in the afternoon I went jogging all along the beach and this gave me the real impression of how huge the beach is! But, apparently not all beach is officially a clothing optional area. When I ran in the northern direction one elderly man waived to me and told that I was way beyond the nude-friendly area and might get fined! If I understood correctly, the clothing optional part ends to the north of these rocks. But there was no sign. In any case, I didn’t feel bad, as only 2 or 3 people saw me in that section of the beach and there were either coming from or heading to the clothing-optional part, so I doubt they would be shocked by seeing a naked jogger.
Other people that I met gave me much more pleasant news. I saw one guy practicing some capoeira moves, but unfortunately he had to leave soon. I still haven’t mentioned that I did swim there too. The water was a little chilly, but I could stand it for 20-30min, amongst few others. And then, the only neighbor of mine, who went for long swims too, was coming from the sea almost crying. Don’t worry, he wasn’t bitten by a shark, those were tears of happiness as he saw a school of dolphins right next to him! He said it was one the most beautiful moments in his life, and I was very disappointed at myself that I left the ocean just about 10min earlier… I have swum with dolphins once, but that was in murky waters of Rio Negro in the Amazon basin so I couldn’t really see them underwater…
And when I was going back at sunset I saw a group of people playing volleyball, in the buff of course. This beach certainly seems to be perfect for many kinds of naturist activities 🙂

Before I was going to wear my clothes, I saw a threatening warning ‘Unstable Cliffs. Stay Back’
And I did so and enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets 😎

One of the next (colder) days, I went there again with my colleagues for a short hike in Torrey Pines Park. When we went down to the beach I took some more photos, like this one with giant algae brought by waves on the shore.

And these are sandpipers; the smaller ones always run somewhat clumsily trying to escape the waves, while the bigger one stay calm.
And once in a while there were flocks of (probably) pelicans…
So overall, Black’s Beach seems to be perfect for nature lovers and active beach-goers. I hope to go there again, perhaps for a class of naked surfing!