Support local news in Alameda. Give Now!

Walkin’ by the Dock of the Bay                     

The weather in Alameda this past week (until Saturday, anyway) was amazing. The morning sun was bright, warm, and the pesky morning overcast was absent. It was even warm enough for my human companion to ditch his Siberian fur hat (complete with ear flaps) and ski gloves.

Alameda Post - Map of Crown Beach in Alameda

With such great weather, I decided to check out the interface between the San Francisco Bay and our island paradise. From a geographical perspective, it is hard to determine where the Bay actually starts. Checking out Google Maps didn’t help much either and I saw no reason to contact the U.S. Geological Survey to get the definitive answer. After all, this is a blog about my adventures and I’m not an authority on topography.

From the map, it seemed like Towata Park would be the logical starting spot, but when I got there, it did not feel like the body of water there was part of the Bay. Looking across the water to see the Harbor Bay Club did not seem “Bay-esque” enough for a Bay view. I concluded it was a channel and made the editorial determination that for the purposes of this report, the Bay starts at Broadway.

Alameda Post - No Trespassing sign at the bird sanctuary

This spot is in the middle of the Elsie B. Roemer Bird Sanctuary, which is maintained by the East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD). They manage the entire section of the beach known as the Robert W. Crown State Memorial Beach. There’s a nice plaque describing how Elsie saved this area from development in the early 1970s.

Alameda Post - well maintained water fountains and bathrooms along the beach

Alameda Post - interpretive plaque at Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary

The folks at EBRPD do a great job of managing the beach and maintaining the bathrooms and water fountains. There are also a few educational plaques explaining about the importance of intertidal zones and controlling invasive species.

Alameda Post - beach signs prohibiting alcoholic beverages and dogs

Speaking of invasive species, someone needs to tell the EBRPD that canines are not an invasive species prohibited from the beach, and that we should have some small section of the beach so we can romp in the water. Apparently, the park folks are not into partying either, because there is a sign posted banning any martinis with olives on the beach. My human companion was left wondering if that includes both the original gin and the more recent vodka versions or not.

Alameda Post - A vintage payphine

As I was walking along the path, I found a strange contraption that my human companion though was something called a “pay phone.” I looked at him as if he was crazy. There was no touch screen and the part you hold in your hand was connected by a cord to the box attached to the ground. How could you talk and walk at the same time? Oh—another thing. One has to put money in this “phone” in order to make it work. I have never seen anyone put money in their cell phone. Besides, there isn’t even a place to put a debit or a credit card. This was definitely NOT a phone.

Alameda Post - Side of Bowlero bowling alley with the word 'bowl' painted on it

Further down the road, I saw a building with a big “BOWL” sign and thought I would stop to get a quick snack. I searched everywhere and could not find a bowl of food anywhere. There wasn’t even the scent of food in the area! What gives?

Alameda Post - a confusing confluence of signs

Is it just me, or is the signage located at the intersection of Shoreline Drive and Grand Street a bit confusing. Bike Lane, NO U -Turn, DO NOT ENTER, and a small “Except bike” signs all converge at this location. Question: can a cyclist make a U-turn here?

Alameda Post - the kite board shop on Crown Beach

The end of Shoreline Drive marks the border of the Crab Cove section of Crown Beach which seems like a good place to end this report. There is a kite board/windsurf/standup rental place there, and you can enjoy a nice view of the San Francisco skyline.

Alameda Post - a view of the San Francisco Bay

Next week, I will head into the Crab Cove section of the park…that is, if they will let me in.

In case you are wondering what happened to the dock is in the “Dock of the Bay” title, catch my report next week to find out!

Bear's paws

Mouf, Roving Reporter
Bear’s-Eye View of Alameda

Mouf and his human companion can be reached via [email protected]. Their stories are collected at All photos by Jeff Cambra.

KQED Curated Content

Support our mission to provide trustworthy news and information for Alameda every day.

Thanks for reading the

Nonprofit news isn’t free.

Will you take a moment to support Alameda’s only local news source?