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Author Topic:   Boat Camping Locations? (SF Bay Area)
littleblue posted 04-16-2006 08:35 PM ET (US)   Profile for littleblue   Send Email to littleblue  
I have always wanted to go "boat camping." Put all my gear in the boat, park the car, and go off to find a good campsite with no one around. Do any of you know any good locations to do this near the San Francisco Bay Area? By "near" I mean within 2-3, maybe 4 hours drive.

Somplace preferably with freshwater and warm in the summer.

Last year someone one mentioned that Tomalas Bay was a great spot. It seems great and I definatly want to try it, but I would also like a place that was in freshwater.

17 bodega posted 04-17-2006 01:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for 17 bodega  Send Email to 17 bodega     

Check out Lake Sonoma. It's a US Army core of engineers lake and it has lots of good boat camping. Very steep terrain and some rocky shores but plenty of places to beach the boat and camp out. Great swimming also, and if you wet the lines for bass and such, you will be pleased with the bite in this lake.

Tomales is great and during the real hot weather, you can cool off by swimming near the "hearts desire" state park beach. The only deal with Tomales is you have to anchor your boat out deep enough to deal with the low tides. Look at my profile pictures to see my boat stranded like the SS minnow on the beach. Luckily there were some beer drinking college students nearby to push when the water rose again!

littleblue posted 04-17-2006 02:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for littleblue  Send Email to littleblue     
Thanks for the reply, that looks like it fits the bill perfectly. How is the temerature/water temperature, and clarity of the water there in the summer months?

Also about Tomalas, are all the pictures in your photo album of the "beached whale" is Tomalas? I was told to use an "anchor buddy" to be safe from the tides. Also, I can't seem to identify the fish you caugt in that net. Are the salmon from there too? Are you allowed to have fires out there? Sorry for the bombardment of questions :) Thanks in advance.

17 bodega posted 04-17-2006 08:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for 17 bodega  Send Email to 17 bodega     
The fish in the net is a big ugly cat! heh.
The water clarity is decent in the summer and you can even see some fish swim around on the right day. Temperature is very doable... jump right in... we used to drive to the middle of the lake (low boat traffic area) and put the lifejackets on and turn off the boat and jump out and cool off. Very refreshing. You can have fires in most cases unless they ban them during a high fire danger period. They usually have nice metal fire pits at the sites.

Yes that was my beached whale at tomales... my rookie year antics.. The anchor buddy should work or some serious wading and swimming which can get cold! The shores at Tomales are very gradual, so you can walk out very far although it is grassy, weedy and sometimes very muddy and you can sink pretty deep in.

Enjoy. Baryessa I think has boat camping too.

Sea Gullible posted 04-19-2006 09:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sea Gullible  Send Email to Sea Gullible     
You can moor at Angel island and walk in to the camps there.

Reservations are required and you have to swim from the mooring to the dock or beach (unless you have a raft, kayack or surfboard)

I spend a night at the camp on the top of the island once, it has almost a 360 degree view of the bay...spectacular.


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