Third Avenue Kiteboarding/Sailboarding Camera Site

In the coming weeks we will be switching to a new web page design. If you would like to see what it is looking like, here is the URL: There are still some glitches in it, but the general look and feel, and imagery, are in place.

Welcome to 3rd Avenue, a kiteboarding/sailboarding site on the San Francisco bay. You should be able to tell from the various "signs" whether or not to get yourself over to 3rd, one of the best kiteboarding sites anywhere.

Visit the home of our permanent webcam and weather instrument host, Gilead Sciences, by selecting the image at the top of this page. Gilead Sciences is headquartered in Foster City. Special thanks to John Kennedy and Andrew Smith for direct assistance in helping to get the equipment functional again and for the purchase of our new Axis HD cameratheir support with the weather instrument.

Do NOT Fly Kites From Or Over The Bike Path

Do not risk public ostracism and shame. If you cannot land your kite on a beach, land your kite in the water. Some kiters have been seen walking their kites up the sailboarding ramps. It doesn't matter who you are, the risk to the community and site is the same. In the future photographs may be posted here of individuals who flaunt this community-approved rule.

Please Do NOT Launch or Land Kites With Lines Over The Bike Path

There are times when launching from the main sailboarding ramp is easier but not necessary. The sailboarding ramp is the sailboarders main launch point, and kiteboarders shouldn't use it except for emergencies. Please do not launch from here - it sets a bad example for the rest of the community.

No Riding, Paddling, Etc. in the Wildlife Restoration Area

Please do not engage in any kiteboarding, stand up paddling, or other activities in the area west of the north end setup area beyond the north cove and south of the second cove (the one with the ramp in it). This is a habitat restoration area and we do not need the wrath of the authorities upon us. Also, please do not ride in the Coyote Point Marina. If you have questions about exactly where these places are, just ask. Thank you.

Camera Information

NOTE [6/16/2015]: The camera is back online as of today. The weather instrument will be coming back on line in the next few weeks. This is a work in progress folks. Please bear with me.

In general it is wise to check the timestamp on the website for when the images were gathered, because it always shows their modification date. If the modification date doesn't match the current day and time then don't use the images to gauge conditions. Use the weather instrument data and other weather information sources to determine the conditions when the camera is offline.


The 3rd Ave site is north-west of Highway 101 and the San Mateo Bridge (highway 92). We now have a Virtual Earth map to show you exactly what it looks like from a birds-eye point of view (not sure when this was taken).

Hours of Operation

The network camera image is currently being updated (10 matrix images plus 28 panoramic images) cyclically.

Camera and Positions

The matrix of eight images and panoramic shot show the conditions across the street from Gilead. All of the images are taken by our AXIS P5455E, a PTZ network camera purchased by Gilead the local community of sailboarders and kiteboarders, and maintained now by JAck Hodges. Currently the camera is taking 38 pictures in sequence and uploading them all at once. The first 10 images are the matrix you see below. The remaining 28 are glued into a panoramic image using ImageMagick montage. It isn't the prettiest 'stitch' because we aren't actually stitching them at all. If anyone knows of a linux-based and command-line capable stitcher that can do matrix stitches please tell me where it is. It would be absolutely wonderful to have a real stitcher.

The current settings have been changed to improve image quality and better surveillance.

Camera Images

The images below were last gathered at:

Matrix Image Thumbnails

Below are the most recent matrix (10) images collected. Select an image to see an enlarged version. To get current images please use reload on your browser. Otherwise timestamp may be out of date with images!

Panoramic View

The panoramic view is created by taking images in a 2x14 image array (2 rows, 14 columns), starting with the lower left hand portion of the image and traversing right, then up, and then left to the upper left portion of the image. The individual images are then 'glued' together. It is unfortunate that the AXIS VAPIX language doesn't support exact positioning based on the viewport, but I've done what I can so far.

Weather Instrument Flash Page


3rd Ave Site Improvements Project with Foster City

The Foster City site improvement project was completed in December, 2014. Isn't it wonderful? below is a list of the site improvements:

Arbor Studios Store - Donations

Arbor Studios online store

Third Ave iPhone Applications

I have written three iPhone applications to support our servers. One monitors the weather instrument/server and is called ThirdAveWind. Version 5.3 is on the iTunes App Store. The second one monitors the webcam/server and is called ThirdAveView. Version 2.2 is on the iTunes App Store. ThirdAveWind and ThirdAveView can launch each other if you have both of them. This means that you can launch TAW and then you can launch TAV by tapping the video icon on the lower right tab and it will be launched. From TAV you can return to TAW by selecting either of the button/gauges at the top of any view. The third application is actually a combination of ThirdAveWind and ThirdAveView into a single suite of features, called ThirdAveSuite. Version 3.2 is on the iTunes app store. Although ThirdAveSuite seems like the way to go, it is a bit clunky because there are so many tabs. I prefer the TAW/TAV combination on the iPhone myself. All of these apps are universal apps, meaning that they run on iPad as well. ThirdAveSuite is the best way to go on the iPad. All of these apps require iOS 5 or better.

Each of these apps is available for a one-time cost ($4.99) on the app store. This is not intended to be a profit making venture but to offset the cost of being an Apple developer on a yearly basis.

3rd Ave Weather Instrument

Gilead Sciences has graciously agreed to support a weather instrument on their roof. The permanent link is below. This is a Flash site and the readings are updated approximately every 15 seconds. There have been several questions about how gusts are determined for the purposes of this display. According to the research I have performed, gusts are typically defined thusly: 'Standard' gust speeds are measured over a 3 second running mean period." Our instrument is a Davis Vantage Pro 2 and samples every 2.5 seconds, which is close to the standard definition, so our gust readings are probably using the standard even though we are only uploading that data every 15 seconds. For our purposes please consider gust readings to be the same as instanteous wind readings.

Everyone is always asking how the weather instrument compares to values on the water. Well, they are high. For the iPhone apps I have divided the values from the weather instrument by the multiplier I used to use to convert from knots to mph. That seems to align the wind speeds with somewhere between the ramp and the channel marker (from my measurements with my Kestrel). Weather instrument display (Flash)

Another public site is also available through WeatherUnderground at the following URL. This site will update information every 30 minutes. The GUI is not kiter/sailor oriented but the information is valid. I believe that WindAlert is using this information.

Weather instrument display (Weather Underground)

Here is an phone-centric link to the Weather Underground site: