After our nature-drenched paddle on Saturday, Jeff and I stayed close to Berkeley and checked out the developed shoreline of Richmond in San Francisco Bay. After kayak polo we loaded ourselves + our wet butts into Tess (my blue Subaru) and drove 15 minutes up I-80 to Miller Knox Regional Shoreline. Some of my colleagues are working on a project to restore a pond in the park, so we went for a brief stroll around the pond to take photos. The pond used to be a coastal lagoon/inlet before a railroad was built along the entire shoreline, cutting off connection with the Bay and converting the tidal lagoon to a scummy pond.
After the stroll, we parked at Keller Beach, just north of Miller Knox, to launch our boats. A park attendant pulled over in his truck to inform us that we were launching in a very inconvenient location. Rather than take his advice to launch further south, we stubbornly carried our boats down and up the large hill, including multiple flights of stairs. We do this partly for exercise, right?
The castle was originally constructed as part of a winery - the largest winery in the U.S. prior to prohibition. During Prohibition the winery tried to survive on grape juice, but eventually had to shut down, along with a number of other industries along the Point Richmond shoreline. Subsequently, it opened as the Point Molate Naval Fuel Depot in 1941, and later closed in 1998. Point Molate Beach was opened to the public last October (2013) for the first time in 10 years. Currently there are major efforts to convert the castle into a casino, which would be very sad, indeed.
Date: Sunday, March 30th, 2014
Duration: ~ 4 hours?
Distance: ~ 15 miles