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!

snorkeling naked in coral reefs again! (Red Sea, Israel this time)

עברית

I have been dreaming of swimming naked in the warm and full of life waters of coral reefs ever since I visited Egypt in 2005 and went snorkeling at a clothing-optional beach there. Finally I could do it again on my trip to Israel, and this time I had my waterproof camera with me.

And again I was amazed by the colorful and vivid underwater scenery, certainly one of the most stunning I have ever seen, even though Israel has less than 10km of seashore at the Red Sea and it is the northernmost tropical coral reef.

I had a little more than 24 hours in Eilat, so I didn’t want to spend my time on anything else but snorkeling there. I couldn’t find any information on a nudist beach in that area, but the first hint that I could go swimming naked there came from a girl who I got to know through CouchSurfing and who I was going to visit later on my trip at the Dead Sea; she said she liked a relatively empty Lighthouse beach where she sometimes stayed overnight with her friends. I found another couchsurfer in Eilat who agreed to host me even though he was busy preparing for exams, but I just left my stuff at his place and decided to go to the beach overnight. Given that it was late June and it was very hot, I wouldn’t even need a tent or a sleeping bag, so I loved the idea!

Lighthouse beach is before the last stop of the bus line that goes along the coast from Eilat’s central bus station to Princess hotel at the border with Egypt. There is not official bus stop, but I asked the driver to let me get off.

I came to there already at sunset, but because of the mountains the dusk was coming even quicker. So I had to hurry if I wanted to see the reef before the darkness and I still had to find a place to sleep. The beach itself didn’t impress me. As you can see on the photo above, it is just a several meters wide stretch of pebbly shore squeezed between the road and the sea (the road has to go so close to the sea because of the rocks). But it wasn’t the beach I was after, so I went straight to the sea (in my shorts that time). And I was immediately astonished by the beauty of the coral reef. It wasn’t as big as the one I saw in Hurghada, but it was full of life. And as soon as I saw a moray eel that was twisting menacingly next to its hole, I felt happy to have encountered such a distinctive inhabitant of the coral reef that I hadn’t seen before. While snorkeling I noticed a place at the border with Princess beach that seemed to have an about 1m high elevation which I thought would hide me from light from the road as well as protect me from wind. By the way, the beach was full of tents, but I couldn’t seen anyone around most of them. In any case, it gave me an impression that camping was OK there and people felt confident to leave their stuff. So I picked up my small backpack and went to that place. It felt so great to be able to sleep outdoors without a need to cover! So I slept under the starry sky next to the sea and the only thing that disturbed me was the light coming from the road. Well, at some point there was also a small mouse that tried to get into my backpack but after I scared it a couple of times it left me alone 😉

I woke up with the sun that was rising over Jordan. What a great start of the day to wake up at the sea with 3 countries in your view.

I had some fruity-nutty breakfast and decided to sunbathe naked as I didn’t see anyone around.

But soon I was ready to get into the water. BTW, on the water above you can see that there is a fence next to the sea and there are designated entrances into the sea which is an absolutely necessary measure to protect the coral reef… So here I was, going to the sea again but I didn’t dare to walk naked. I entered the water and then left my swimming trunks at the rock and continued swimming totally naked (except for the mask with snorkel 😎

With the sunlight, the coral reef looked of course even more stunning and many fishes were colored in an amazingly bright manner.

Some, like the crocodile-fish below, were on contrary barely noticeable and looked rather menacing.


But overall, it was a fantastic experience of seeing such an incredible variability of fishes during just a couple of hours, and most of them do not even try to escape when you come closer. I was lucky to capture most of the fishes I saw on my camera.
Here is a slideshow with some photos.

I didn’t bother putting names of the species, as my blog is about naturism and not naturalism after all, but I for myself, I was happy to find a list of fish species of the Red Sea coral reefs on wikipedia; apparently I have seen most of the typical species in such a short tour! And I was happy to see even some interspecies cooperative interactions: the famous example of cleaner fish (a type of wrasses on my photos) taking care of the skin of their big fellows (needlefish on my photos).
And here is a video with some of them.

And I was happy to experience an interaction of one of the fishes with me! That was a Picasso fish trying to intimidate me protecting its nest. And it worked, despite its size :O

And did I mention I was naked too? That’s what I call to be connected with nature 🙂

Unfortunately, fish and corals were not my only encounters:

Once in a while I saw some rubbish floating…

Most likely it comes from those tourist boats… I saw plenty of them; people seem to have lots of fun there, jumping from boats to the sea, but probably they don’t bother looking at beautiful underwater world. Otherwise I cannot imagine how someone could throw garbage into the sea knowing that there is such a marvel right under the surface.

But then a very pleasant surprise came from above the surface! When I was swimming back to my place, I noticed a man sitting close to my stuff and I was preparing to put on my shorts before getting out of the sea, but then I noticed he was naked too! I was quite happy to see a fellow nudist, so I felt even more comfortable staying without clothes, although the place wasn’t known to be clothing-optional. I spoke to the guy, who turned out to be a strip-dancer from Chile, and he said he went there quite regularly and saw some other people naked too. I was quite thrilled that I managed to find that spot just by chance, although everyone told me there was no nudist beach at the Red Sea in Eilat. I thought I might have some special sense, radar, for such places which I called a ‘nudar’ 🙂

Secluded beach in Saronida, near Athens

I wrote about flat rocks of Limanakia, about 1-1.5 hours from Athens city centre, but if they seem too busy, you can follow further from the city and find some small secluded beaches like this one shown on the map.

You can go there by the same bus as to Limanakia – E22 – but further, till the last stop actually. Then walk along the sea-shore, passing through an urban beach first, until you reach a place of your choice.

It is simply amazing to find such a nice hidden spot 2 hours away from the buzzing centre of Athens;

perfect for a romantic beach day.

The water is crystal clear, so the place is great for snorkeling.

Of course, we swam naked.

But we wouldn’t be active naturists, if we just swam there.

We also played frisbee

and beach bats. As the beach itself was quite small, we decided to play in water. It made it more challenging and fun at the same time.

PS Given that this place is not a municipal beach, its cleanliness depends on you! Unfortunately we found some garbage on this beautiful beach. We took away what we could, but it’d be easier if everyone just took everything with themselves…

flat rock beach in Athens (Limanakia)

ελληνικά

Nudist beach at Limanakia is a popular place to enjoy the heat of summer in Athens instead of suffering from it in the city. It has a lot of convenient open flat rocks, as well as hidden corners to get some more intimate atmosphere even when it is pretty crowded. view 0003 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

The crowd is quite diverse and international, a lot of gays, sometimes textile though. The water is warm from April to October, and feels nice even when it rains. naturist 0002 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

The underwater life is pretty interesting by the way. You’ll see lots of different fishes,

fish 0002 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

schools of young fish fish 0003 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

and some parrotfish of rainbow colors.

fish 0001 Limanakia, Athens, Greecefish 0000 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

Another beautiful encounter, which we saw only once there, was this jelly fish. jellyfish 0000 Limanakia, Athens, Greecejellyfish 0001 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

Thus, Limanakia proved to be great for snorkeling and swimming.

naturist 0000 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

However, while getting out of the water beware of sea urchins,sea urchin 0000 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

although not all rocks are covered with sea urchins – some have only pretty moss animals and algae.

moss animals 0001 Limanakia, Athens, Greecemoss animals 0000 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

In any case, goggles are highly recommended both for enjoying underwater scenery and safety!

naturist 0001 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

This place is obviously great to take some good photos,

naturist 0009 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

just make sure to have good equipment;-)

naturist 0010 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

Well, this pigeon thought it was all about him and tried to get in the shot all thetime!

naturist 0011 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

But the crab turned out to be more photogenic and cooperative.

crab 0000 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

Late october, with more rain, brings some blossom to the rocks of Limanakia.

flowers 0000 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

But not only flowers can be pink there, the rocks themselves may turn pink too!

view 0001 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

This is what happened one evening with unusually bright pink clouds at sunset, which reflected their color on the rocks and the sea.

view 0002 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

In the cove which is closer to the city, view 0000 Limanakia, Athens, Greece you can also do cliff-diving. Does it look high enough?

naturist 0003 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

Well, look from above!

naturist 0004 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

By coincidence, on the day when we finally dared to jump from those cliffs, there was a contest of 12 top cliff-divers at the neighboring lake Vouliagmeni. Well, we couldn’t compete with them in terms of height of our dives, but at least we dived in a more natural way – from the cliffs, not from a platform (I don’t know why they call it cliff-diving then), and without swimsuits 😉

So, ready?!

naturist 0005 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

Wait, there is a swimmer below.

naturist 0006 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

Steady!

naturist 0007 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

Go!

naturist 0008 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

And here is a video.

I think you’re convinced now to visit this place, if you’re in Athens. To get to Limanakia from the center of Athens use express bus E22 (from Panepistimiou (Πανεπιστιμίου) or Syntagma (Σύνταγμα)) or from Glyfada by buses 115 or 116 to B’ Limanakia (B’ Λιμανάκια). On my frequent visits to Athens, this was often the first place I wanted to go, granted that I also saw it from the airplane on approach to the airport; too bad I couldn’t just jump down with a parachute!

view 0004 Limanakia, Athens, Greece