Thurseve Paddle on Monday, March 3rd 2008.

John Boeschen scheduled his “Thurseve Paddle” for a Monday evening and this made it possible for me to come along. We launched from Schoonmaker Beach in Sausalito and paddled past all the dilapidated yachts anchored in Richardson Bay. We let the remains of an ebb tide pull us around the east side of Angel Island. We landed on John’s favorite new location: Pallet Beach. This is a small sandy beach on the south shore of Angel Island with a view of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. It is a few hundred yards from Pearls Beach, a well regulated beach. Pearls has a trail, a staircase and is visible from the circum-island road where the Angel Island State Park Rangers can keep an eye on it without getting out of their trucks. Pallet Beach, however, is not visible from anywhere on the island and is nearly impossible to get to from the road. The rangers will never know that we are there cooking shish-kebab over a driftwood campfire.

Another thing that the Rangers will never know (until one of them discovers my WEB site) is if anyone is sleeping on this beach. Until they read this it will never occur to them that anyone would want to, or that it is possible to sleep on this small beach. It does not have any flat spots in the sand and even a normal high tide comes most of the way up the beach. However, there is a large piece of an old wooden dock washed up here. It is canted at an angle but has enough sand trapped on top to scrape into a level spot the size of my bivy tent. Actually, I found it convenient to set up my tent on this three-foot high platform while standing on the beach. It was easier on my back than bending over, squatting or kneeling like you normally have to do to set up a camping tent. And three feet of altitude made me sleep a lot better knowing I was above the highest tide.

The rest of the Thurseve Paddlers launched into the darkness and paddled off into adventure. If you read John’s report you will see that they found some! As they approached Sausalito they saw bright lights and heard loud party sounds. They landed and were invited to join the party at the Sausalito Cruising Club. I missed the party but bedded down in my tent with a view of the San Francisco skyline lit up like fireworks at night.

In the morning I packed up my gear and launched with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge by morning light. I paddled up Raccoon Strait, into Richardson Bay and back to my car at Schoonmaker Beach with no incidents. But no parties either.

All text and images Copyright © 2008 by Mike Higgins / contact