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Trying to see the Mav Contest LIVE...through Tree Branches

My view last year, between Pine trees.
My view last year, between Pine trees.

We hiked up Pillar Point bluff today, to see what we could see of the Maverick's Surf Contest. It was not ideal conditions for photography, especially when hiding from tree to tree, trying to dodge the rangers & sheriff's officers, etc. 

Even though that bluff is part of our back yard - for years, we hiked up there to view the contest -the rules were changed last year, so no one could access the bluffs during the Mavericks contest.  We went up there last year anyway, took a few shots, then were kicked off.

This year, when the sheriff saw us and started walking towards us, we ran.  Mike ditched his tripod along the way.  I went back for the tripod, which I brought home, while Mike went back out to take a few more shots. He later spoke with one of the rangers, who told him he had to leave. We got our exercise for the day, though.
For our efforts, we got some interesting photos, and stories to tell!

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Dave Olson January 25, 2014 at 11:01 AM
It's time to start a push for coast-side residents to have passes to go out on the bluff. We suffer through the traffic, we should get something for it! There aren't enough of us to cause the problems they are worried about... I ended up watching for a while from up in the El Granada hills, with binoculars and taking point and shoot pictures with the optical zoom. With the haze and distance, not much!
Deb Wong January 25, 2014 at 11:56 AM
After reading this story, I was contacted by a member of one of the more prominent HMB families, with an offer to get us photographer's passes for the contest. Several others have mentioned that since we donate photos to the HMB Chamber of commerce & many local publications & businesses, we should not have to be chased off the bluff as we were. We may take our friend up on the offer, but I am still not pleased with the part where all others are prevented from viewing this contest LIVE. In all other places where surfing contests are held, there are no restrictions. The whole idea of surfing the ways involves freedom, and the rules are the antithesis of that philosophy. I spoke with several surfers about it when hanging the Mavericks show at CAL a few days ago, and they fully agreed with me. Yes, the land is part of the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve - since 2011 - but it is also part of the Coastal Trail, which is public access. There are no restrictions on how many can access those bluffs any other day of the year. One of the rangers told me that it is a decision of the Sheriff's Dept. I almost felt like taking a sign up to the bluffs which reads: "OCCUPY THE BLUFFS" yesterday. Far too many experiences are being taken over on account of the bottom line - profits. Anyway, that's my 2 cents on the subject.
David Vespremi January 29, 2014 at 02:18 PM
Residents of Seal Cove have always been permitted, but our neighborhood is not set up to accommodate the volume of traffic from non-residents that this event generates - especially with our main street (Ocean Blvd) still being closed. A compromise would be to utilize the parking lot set up for public access that is adjacent to Pillar Ridge and hike up, and perhaps only restrict ingress/egress from the Seal Cove side.

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