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Benicia
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Benicia is a picturesque waterfront town with a mellow atmosphere and mellow sailing. The kite presence is growing a bunch with a few of the windsurfers riding both or soon to convert. We all get along. Kiters are local Benicia / Vallejo. Almost all the sailors here live nearby although a few drive from as far away as Sonoma County. Most days this is a great place for a longer short board and larger sail. But on days that it cranks the long fetch and an ebb current can make for exciting sailing. Big ebbs and good winds are a good recipe for a nice trip up the Carquinez Straits on a kite. The best days are when the Bay has very deep fog and the wind is more south and pours over Sobrante Ridge to the south. If the Larkspur sensor shows strong AM wind then Benicia will probably blast later in the day. There are some spring days when the NW coast winds make it here.
Old Town was once a popular learning site since the winds are onshore. Presently launching is difficult but still a safe place to learn basic long boarding. Keep well clear on the pier to the south and shoreline barges and debris to the east.
The 12th launch is now the most popular site. The launch is over small to large rocks. Watch out for submerged rocks near shore. The current is weak near shore but picks up mid river. Nice lawn rigging at 12th street. At 9th you can rig on beach or next to parking lot.
Warmer than most sites inside the Bay proper. A full suit is still recommended due to strong currents outside.
12th street has a tiny park with nice lawns and a great view. 9th street is a much larger park with a boat ramp, large lawns and a beach. Old Town has a fishing pier, many shops and restaurants all very scenic. Parking is very limited at 12th street. Usually lots of parking at 9th street. Very limited parking at Old Town.
The Benicia shoreline is beautiful and the far shore is impressive. Watch out for occasional large ships.
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 Season: Kite - Mid March through April -  
 Water: Warmer than the Bay 
 Ability Level: You need to be able to go upwind or you will do the 9th street Shuffle 
 Wetsuit: 4 to 5mm in winter or spring. Board Shorts in Middle of Summer 
 Familiness: Lots to do in town 
 Parking: Uncrowded at 12th Street Launch 
 Launch: Rocky, some sand, pilings, hazards downwind 

East Bay: Go north on Hwy. 80 and cross the Carquinez Straits Bridge. After a mile or so go right on Hwy 780 After 5 miles take the Military Avenue off ramp. Continue to 12th or 9th launches. To Old Town take 1st Street and continue to the waterfront area. From Marin: Cross the Richmond San Rafael Bridge. After 1 mile go north on the Richmond Parkway Merge with Hwy. 80 going north. Then follow the instructions above From San Francisco: Cross the Bay Bridge. Go north on Hwy. 80 Then follow the instructions above From the Peninsula: Cross the San Mateo Bridge Take 880 or 580 to Hwy. 80 Then follow the instructions above

San Pablo gives the best idea of whats happening from Ikitesurf.com There is no sensor from Ikitesurf.com in Benicia, however local kiters have one available fron www.windonthewater.com Weather Channel is pretty accurate for wind as well. Its usually a little stronger that weather channel reports.


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