Thursday, 28 August 2008

San Fransisco and New Jersey

Some highlights from my visit to San Francisco included catching up with some great friends, doing some great work with Judi, and getting a bit of time to see the Californian coast.

The Californian coast north of the Golden Gate reminds me a lot of the Great Ocean Road in southern Victoria. I really enjoyed driving along Highway 1, and Muirs wood, Muirs Beach and Stinson beach were all wonderful places to stop.

It is surprising how cold the water is off the coast. I was later told that a current runs down from the Arctic, and you can really feel this when you take the plunge! It was also not a good idea to take a dip at Stinson Beach the day I was there - A VERY large shark was seen beyond the breakers trying to take a pelican off the surface. Apparently Great Whites are common along this stretch (glad I found out AFTER I had been in for a swim...).

San Francisco is famous for its fog - the moist air and the cold current create the most fantastic bank of fog which is blown in on the sea breeze. It looks like someone is squeezing a tube of toothpaste under the golden gate bridge. Very quickly, visibility drops (along with the temperature!).

We had arranged a dinner get together amongst a group of friends (we had met on a course earlier in the year - Authentic Leadership 2). We met at Christine's house, and had a really casual meal and lots of great chat. In the end it was Christine, Dean, Mickey, Robin and I, with apologies from Carol and Judi. It was a great evening, and one of those nights that just could have rolled on for hours longer.

I flew out of SF for New Jersey, where I was enrolled in a 'facilitator's course'. After landing at JFK, I was 2 hours in a taxi (Newark would have been a much better option!), to get to Morristown, NJ. The course was fun, but by now I was looking eagerly to get back home to the family in Berlin. After a good flight with BA (from JFK again....) I have a 3 week stretch in Berlin...Before going back to the US again!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here's some more information about the fog: Because the continental plate ends at the end of the continent off the coast of CA, the Pacific Ocean is extremely deep here and cold. With the hot air of summer, the cold and the hot create condensation. That condendsation hangs out in the ocean as a giant bank of fog. When the heat in the valley (on the other side of the east bay, over the mountain range) increases enough (eg., it gets over 100 degrees Fahrenheit), that creates a vacuum which pulls the bank of fog that has been sitting out in the ocean in. The fog pattern is always the same (based on the the mountains and where it can most easily be pulled inland. Hence, Novato is never in fog whereas San Anselmo, where you were at Christine's, and Muir Woods, Stinson, and Muir beach are frequetly fogged in. Mark Twain is quoted: "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco."