Nude Beaches Guide 2011

Everything you need to know to drop trou waterside

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Naked and free: Jessie, Selena, Marisol, Jim, and Russell at Baker Beach.
PHOTO BY MATTHEW REAMER

garhan@aol.com

A few snippets from the year in nude beaches: TV installer Paul Jung enjoyed playing nude volleyball on the north end of Baker Beach. Stinson Beach local and attorney-teacher Fred Jaggi preferred to be naked while tossing a Frisbee on Red Rock Beach in the North Bay. And when he wasn't busy representing an area that stretches from Tomales south to Muir Beach and as far east as Novato, Marin County Supervisor Steve Kinsey could sometimes be found without a stitch of clothing at a beach in Point Reyes National Seashore.

They'll be able to continue enjoying their favorite clothing-optional spots. Unfortunately, that's not the case for all Californians.

 

BUDGET CUTS TO NAKED SPACE

As you may have heard, our state government plans to close 70 state parks and beaches, including at least three places in Northern California that have traditionally attracted naturists: Montara's Gray Whale Cove State Beach in San Mateo County, Garrapata State Park near Carmel, and Zmudowski State Beach in northern Monterey County. All three sites have seen declines in nude use recently.

But there's good news too: After a July 8 meeting of the California State Park & Recreation Commission, Allen Baylis, a board member of the Naturist Action Committee, was hopeful that the state will soon officially designate some beaches as clothing-optional — and said that progress is being made behind the scenes. "We're going to get there sooner or later," he predicted. Plus, we've learned that none of the spots slated for closure will be fully shuttered before July 2012.

Roy Stearns, deputy director of communications of the California State Parks, says that until then "there may be service reductions and closures on non-peak days, such as Monday through Thursday," but nothing firm has been decided yet.

"And how do you really close a beach?" asks a state official who wants to remain anonymous. "It's never been done before in California, so it's new territory to us. Sure, we can close the bathrooms and the doors, turn off the electricity, and stop the garbage pickup, but you probably can't keep people out."

To prevent them from being broken or vandalized, authorities may even decide to keep some gates open at closed beaches.

 

MARIN TIDINGS

Thankfully, Kinsey won't have to worry about those concerns in Marin County, although he has had his hands full trying to broker an agreement between homeowners and nudists at Muir Beach in 2009 and 2010. In the end, county officials ordered a sign to be erected on the sand, warning visitors not to engage in lewd behavior and encouraging them to report violations to law enforcers.

"My favorite ongoing spot for going au natural is Limantour Beach, in the dunes heading toward Drakes Estero," Kinsey says. In fact, while others were mowing their lawns or having barbecues with their families, Kinsey spent part of his Fourth of July weekend sunbathing in the nude area of Limantour.

Limantour isn't the only clothing-optional place in Marin where Kinsey likes to relax. He was at Bass Lake, also in the Point Reyes National Seashore last year. "And I make it a point to check Red Rock once a year to make sure things are steady and stable," Kinsey says.

 

THE NEW BEACH ON THE BLOCK

Even while some nude beaches face closure, we're proud to add North Garberville Nude Beach in Humboldt County to our online guide this year.

Its discovery comes as a surprise to us, even though it has been known to locals for years. If there's one thing we've learned about covering — and uncovering — nude beaches over the years, it's to expect the unexpected.

For instance, at North Garberville some visitors even camp naked. "I've done it, but so have others," says reader Dave.

 

Comments

In the last 50 years, the number of cases of skin cancer has skyrocketed. Depletion of stratospheric ozone is letting a lot more cancer-causing ultraviolet light in than in previous centuries. Many commercial sun screens don't work.

Good luck.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 21, 2011 @ 9:43 am

Arthur, you suggesting that we all should aspire to live so long until we are as bitter as you?

Posted by marcos on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 12:38 pm

What a joyless & puritanical comment to make.

If any group knows the risks of UV, its nudists. Ever had sunburn on a part of your body that you sit on? Its not pleasant and you learn quickly.

Posted by old burner on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 1:26 pm

"What a joyless & puritanical comment to make."

- Old Burner

You remind me of people I knew at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic who scoffed at the notion of safe sex. They're all dead now.

Apart from AIDS, I’ve lost several friends over the years, all young, to skin cancer caused by exposure to the sun.

“There is no such thing as a healthy tan. A tan is the skin's response to the sun's damaging rays.”

- The Skin Cancer Foundation

Live intelligently. Otherwise, you can end up with a Darwin Award.

Click here:

http://www.skincancer.org/Skin-Cancer-Facts/

http://www.skincancer.org/year-round-sun-protection.html

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 1:54 pm
sad

Thanks, but I already knew that. I think most people who enjoy being naked in nature are very aware of these risks. You may want to get out to a nude beach and talk to them sometime, you'll find most enjoy a shade and are very smart about the sun.

However, you are assuming that nudists aren't capable of making wise or intelligent decisions, that is condescending. You are patronizing a group that enjoys life and makes wise decisions. Stop trying to frighten people with information that they probably know a great deal more about than you. It doesn't bring any joy or intelligence to life. Fear is a puritanical tool used by those who are afraid of life.

I'm not sure what AIDS has to do with nudism or skin cancer, I'm sorry that you feel it necessary to bring the memory of your dead friends to a comment. That is sad and seems disrespectful to your friends' memories.

Posted by old burner on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

I was startled and interested to see that you quoted Supervisor Steve Kinsey at length. It described, rightly, that he represents the part of the county from Tomales south to Muir Beach and over to Novato. Fair enough. But all the beaches described are either federal lands (GGNRA or National Parks) or California State lands. The story said as much. But I hope the supervisor understands the distinctions and his role/authority or lack thereof depending on where he lays his blanket.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 21, 2011 @ 4:04 pm

We headed down there this past Sunday and unfortunately did not head this this review and he was right- a few bad apples including one midget with a boner- did make us (male & female) couple feel very uncomfortable and actually we left. It is too bad this is a really nice cove and beach. So perhaps on a week day or off day this can be a nice getaway...

Posted by Guest on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

"you suggesting that we all should aspire to live so long until we are as bitter as you?"

- Marc Salomon

No, only that we be aware of situations and take reasonable precautions.

It's called living mindfully.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 1:14 pm

Let's be reasonable and civil. What I'm receiving intelligently from the intellectual transcendental aspect is telling me that you, Arthur Evans, are a want-to-be cop and/or you missed your "calling." Your entire life focuses on people doing things YOU personally oppose so therefore those things should be illegal because YOU don't like them. That's a very striking stance. Let's be reasonable. My crystal ball just turned black.

Oh, here comes another intellectual and intelligent signal from the far-end: "Ethel to Tilly, Ethel to Tilly. Come in Tilly. Over." Let's be reasonable. Arthur Evans, stop making this site a want-to-be police site. I intelligently and intellectually suggest you go to a safe police forum and safely and with great civility hang out there safely 24 hours a day where you can safely write 100s of posts about civility, and talk about crime, feces, throw-up, civility, safeness, reasonable, civility, people not paying to ride Muni, how you despise "progressives" and your lectures on what it is and isn't to be a "progressive," and all the many things you do so despise about city life, and how terribly scared you are from the moment you wake up until the moment you sleep.

Oh, here comes another signal: Arthur, Let's be reasonable and civil. It is not intelligent or intellectual to constantly be afraid. It is not intelligent or intellectual or reasonable to be self-righteous and miserable in one's attitude towards others with whom one disagrees. It is safely time for you to go to sleep in our uncivil society and we do live in an uncivil society.

Let's be reasonable. It's safe in your dream world.

Let's be reasonable.

Posted by Artor Evons on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

There's nothing progressive about incoherence.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

Let's be reasonable, intelligent and intellectual.

That wasn't a very civil and sensible response. Since you know nothing about what a progressive is, you can't possibly self-righteously judge whether someone's response is progressive or not. Let's be sensible.

Incoherence is consistently one of your trademarks and you are nothing close to being progressive so you have no basis on which to sensibly and reasonably speak about the topic.. Your expertise are based in right-wing hate and fear-based mongering against people unlike yourself. Let's be sensible.

When I look back into my crystal ball, it has shattered into millions of pieces with your name on it, dripping with hate.

Let's be reasonable.

Posted by Artor Evons on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

Thanks, Old Burner, for your post above. Some thoughts follow.

You say:

“You may want to get out to a nude beach and talk to them sometime, you'll find most enjoy a shade and are very smart about the sun.”

Glad to hear the good news. I used to go to a nude beach and enjoyed the experience.

However, it doesn’t hurt to remind people of risks and the need to be informed. Especially in this case, since recent studies indicate that most sun screen are ineffective and that the rate of skin-cancer is skyrocketing.

You say:

“However, you are assuming that nudists aren't capable of making wise or intelligent decisions, that is condescending.”

Not at all. Look at my original post. It’s a reminder about taking intelligent precautions. The original article made no mention at all of the skin-cancer risk. That’s a fault that needed to be corrected.

You say:

“Stop trying to frighten people with information that they probably know a great deal more about than you.”

It pays to be a wise consumer, even with something as seemingly banal as sun screen.

You say:

“I'm not sure what AIDS has to do with nudism or skin cancer …”

In the early days of the AIDS epidemic, there were those who scoffed at the danger of unprotected sex and attacked those who stressed sensible precautions. As I mentioned, they’re all dead now.

Intelligence has a role to play in every aspect of life, including life at the beach.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 4:23 pm

I think the analog to the AIDS epidemic is tenuous at best. Sun burn and solar UV exposure is something that every child is aware of, that every mother protects their child from. HIV is a virus. The causality and risks are not the same.

No one is attacking you. Your comments are simply redundant particularly to the nudist community.

People are extremely cautious in the sun thanks to great work by the CDC and many other public health organisations.

"However, it doesn’t hurt to remind people of risks and the need to be informed. Especially in this case, since recent studies indicate that most sun screen are ineffective and that the rate of skin-cancer is skyrocketing."

Can you provide some links to the studies about sun screen? As an educated consumer I always like to purchase the most effective block I can. Zinc cream is 100% but not always practical.

I'm not sure the article was missing information about sun and skincare. I don't believe that's a fault. You do and clearly sought to correct it by delivering a fear-filled comment about the rise in skin cancer with a "good luck" tacked on the end. That is condescending and puritanical. There is no luck involved in intelligent decisions.

Lastly I think your fear about the rising rates of skin cancer may be mis-guided. Did you know that the recent rise in skin cancer rated has been tentatively related to tanning bed use among under 30s? Nothing to do with nudism, unless they're nudists who like being tan prior to the beach.

Posted by old burner on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

Thanks for post above, Old Burner.

On sun screens, click here:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/07/02/health/webmd/main4227214.shtml

On the epidemic of skin cancer, click here:

http://www.webmd.com/cancer/news/20110207/skin-cancer-on-the-rise

You say,

“That is condescending and puritanical.”

The same words used by the opponents of safe sex in the early 80s.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 5:24 pm

It must be nice to avoid real debate and dialogue.

I have to say neither source you've cited would come to mind as reputable. WedMD having the edge there above "spiral of silence" monger CBS.

Why must you reiterate that tenuous analogy (skin cancer = HIV??) that is doing no favors to those fighting for education. HIV, AIDS and safe sex have nothing to do with skin cancer. Can you please cease with the diversions?

Acknowledgement of your mistakes and errors - or rebuttal - is the least you could do to for a reasonable, rational and civil discussion.

Posted by old burner on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 9:26 pm

Thanks for your added comments above, Old Burner.

You say:

“Why must you reiterate that tenuous analogy (skin cancer = HIV??) that is doing no favors to those fighting for education. HIV, AIDS and safe sex have nothing to do with skin cancer.”

The human race during the last fifty years has witnessed an unprecedented increase in skin cancer around the globe. The major culprit is the depletion of the ozone layer.

The depletion occurs not only over the poles, as commonly thought. Large urban areas, including the SF Bay Area, also have their own ozone holes.

The ozone depletion allows ultraviolet light to come through the atmosphere at dangerous levels. Exposure to this intense ultraviolet light causes skin cancer.

Many European newspapers report info about the day’s ultraviolet-light levels in their daily weather sections. Most U.S. papers do not. So there is less popular awareness of the problem here in the U.S.

Most commercial sun screens are inadequate for dealing with high concentrations of ultraviolet light. Consumers put on these sun screens thinking they are protecting themselves, when they are not.

The most effective way to block out harmful ultraviolet light is to wear clothing. The next best way is to use sun screens that have been proven to be reliable.

The least effective way is to deny that there is a problem.

I saw an analogous denial unfold in the early days of the AIDS epidemic. People were attacked for daring to call attention to the danger and for suggesting safe sex as a remedy to deal with it.

That denial was a tragic precedent. We should learn from it and never repeat it.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 25, 2011 @ 10:02 pm

I'm 100% in favour of nudist beaches. They should be well away from other beaches and well out of sight of the decent majority. Then nudists can enjoy their facilities and they won't bother the rest of us.

Posted by Stabvest on Jul. 30, 2011 @ 2:25 am

The photo says Baker Beach, but it ain't. Don't know where it is... but it ain't Baker Beach...

Posted by StevenTorrey on Jun. 24, 2012 @ 11:13 pm

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