As I am only a part-time resident of the central coast, I go paddling when I can. Since I was here for the weekend, and the tides looked ok for a back-bay paddle, I headed out from Pasadena Point just after noon. It was so windy, the only reason I could carry my boat from the truck to the beach was that I was able to point it directly into the wind. The bay greeted me with 2 foot standing wind waves that were only 5 feet apart. I wanted to lean forward to get the strongest possible vertical paddle in, but was frequently forced to lean back to keep the bow out of the approaching waves. Slicing through the waves was not an issue, it just brought too much wind-driven water into my lap (chest, face, etc.). I can not recall a more tedious crossing than the one I made this day. Forward progress was very slow. Upon reaching the sand spit, I got out for a break, and pulled my boat up where it got minimal punishment from the sand blowing off of the dunes. I hooked my spray skirt over the bow to try to dry it out some, and hiked up the dunes for a look at the ocean and a scenic spot for a snack. The sun was shining, but the wind blew so hard that even in protected spots it was difficult to look west with getting an eye full of sand. Quite enjoyable, actually, and a reason to appreciate the windless trips just a bit more. The paddle back took no paddling at all; I just got blown back to Los Osos.
Back home, as I cleaned my gear, I was appreciative that it always holds up so well. My 8 year old plastic Necky Kyook is a great all-around boat that performs well (with the rudder) and is still in great shape. It is garage kept and cleaned after each paddle (or several if paddling consecutive days). The Werner carbon fiber paddle given to me by my friend Jim Lile is light and strong, and the Snap Dragon spray skirt does its job and still fits great. Just add water.