Sail the Bay!

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Have you ever dreamed of sailing in the Bay – current home of the America’s Cup? A few years ago, I gazed out into the Bay and was filled with wonder by the dozens of sailboats gliding across the water. Even though I had no sailing experience, I was determined to figure out how to get myself out there without spending a small fortune.

Fast forward to meetup.com. If you haven’t heard of it, check it out. I could talk forever about all of the offerings you can find there. Bottom line is that you can search for activities/topics/hobbies that you like, and in return you’ll be provided with a list of groups in the area that share the same interest.

In my quest to sail, I came across the “SailingSF” group, AKA, “Sailing SF: Sailing, Hiking, Potluck, Beach Fun.” The group was organized by a passionate sailor, Jake, who had shares in two different sailboats in Sausalito and Pier 39 San Francisco. For about $35, he would take a group of about 7 of us sailing for the day. We would sail in the morning, dock and stop by a pier-side bar in Tiburon for a drink, mosey on over to Angel Island for a picnic lunch and short hike, and then a nice sail home.

I have gone sailing on the Bay several times now, and it’s always a wonderful experience with fun people — like a week’s vacation crammed into a day. Jake is still offering sailing outings, but the price has increased (and rightfully so). He’s also expanded his group to include limo trip offerings to Napa and Sonoma for wine tasting.

To learn more about this meetup group: http://www.meetup.com/SailingSF/

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Cataract Falls Trail, Fairfax, CA

I’d like to share another hike with you since it’s a very special one and I just happen to have made a video during my last hike there a while ago. If you like waterfalls, lush greenery, bridges, and don’t mind a sometimes steep, but well-worn path, this one is for you. The hike is on Mt. Tamalpais (Mt. Tam) and you have a choice between a 2.2 or a 7.7 mile loop. The peak time to go is late spring/early summer when the rainy season has ended, but the falls are still flowing and the trail isn’t too muddy. The trailhead is on Bolinas Fairfax Rd, Fairfax, CA just past the dam.

Here are more details: http://www.yelp.com/biz/cataract-falls-fairfax

Phoenix Lake

Phoenix Lake

An evening hike around Phoenix Lake

Marin’s greatest asset, in my opinion, is its accessibility to the tremendous beauty that it offers. Striking views are everywhere, but it’s the abundance of hiking trails and proximity to nature that make me feel extremely fortunate to live here.

Phoenix Lake is a popular park located in Ross. There are many beautiful hiking and biking trails of all levels there, but a fairly easy 2.7 mile walk around the lake serves as an enjoyable introduction to the area. I once saw a bobcat from a safe distance while hiking there.

The only downside is the tiny parking lot where you might sometimes wait 15 minutes for a spot during peak times. On the flip side, this is probably why the park never feels too crowded. For more details, see what Yelpers have to say: http://www.yelp.com/biz/phoenix-lake-ross