Thursday, August 6, 2009

Back Bay August 6, 2009

I paddled out from Pasadena Point at 11 AM with the tide near high and went around to Baywood, where there were a dozen or so sailors out learning to sail as part of the Sail Away Camp. The wind was blowing pretty good; nice for them but tough for me as I headed toward the Cuesta Inlet and Shark Cove. There was enough wind for me to feather my paddle, which I do not prefer, as I have more control with a straight paddle. Oh well, good practice.
The sun was shining as I followed the wind-sheltered sand spit north, taking my time and watching the numerous egrets and herons. Around noon, I noticed the fog bank coming in from Morro Bay, but continued north picking up trash on the shoreline. Within the hour, the fog dropped in from the south and then over the sand spit (photo), with visibility down to about 150 yards by 1:00. I floated around for a while, waiting for the fog to get to its thickest. When I couldn't see anything at all, I checked my compass and headed back toward the put in. I knew I was a bit off course when I saw the outline of one of the oyster barges. Sure enough, I had altered course northward and made the correction. I was darn close to shore before I could see the outline of the peninsula, and landed back at Pasadena Point. This was my last paddle before returning to work at school next Monday, and it was an interesting one.
Peace and Paddle on.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

San Simeon August 5, 2009

San Simeon twice in one week! The cove was blue with a bit of wind. We had an un-remarkable entry (yeah) and paddled out through the cove and north along the shoreline for about a mile or so. We kept a close watch on the fog banks that were threatening from both the north and south, and turned around when they came together and covered over. It was still easy to see the shoreline, and with the wind at our backs, the paddle back was fast. Upon reentering the cove, we were greeted with blue skies and sunshine, so we spent some time poking around the rock features and sea caves on the wind-protected side. Noticed many rows of sea stars along the rock edges. Perfect landings finished off a great paddle.

Morro Bay August 4, 2009

I paddled out from Pasadena Point on the small high tide of the day (3.2')and rounded the Baywood pennisula north to the Elfin Forest area. The water was too shallow to make it through to the channel, but in the shallows I disrupted several leopard sharks who broiled up the water getting away from my boat (I saw one fin to identify them). I headed straight out and across to the sand spit and hung around for a while picking up trash and then paddled back. By the time I got to the sand spit, the fog had rolled in and the opposite shore could not be seen so I used a heading from my compass/thermometer/magnifying glass/whistle to find my way. I heartily recommend the $3 investment. On the beach in Baywood, I saw another dead seal; this one was being reduced via vultures. Is there some reason why seals die in August? It's the third one in several days.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Kayak surfing Cayucos

This was a kayak surfing/boogie boarding outing off of 24th street in Cayucos. The waves were great, and the boogie boarding awesome. We shared the waves with a handful of surfers, a couple of seals and dolfin, and several hundred surf-camp participants.
Kayak surfing had some mixed moments. Both Lorelei and I had our share of great rides, and also some pretty good wipeouts. I finally learned what an end-o in a kayak feels like when I failed to clear the crest of an incoming wave. Lorelei was a natural; she seems to have great balance (not that she didn't crash plenty of times). What a great workout, and we all made it through injury free! I haven't been this sore in a while......
Alas, pictures are not an option when you know you're going to get all the way wet (frequently).

San Simeon August 2, 2009

The cove at San Simeon is a gorgeous place; nice pier, protected water, sea caves, good access, restrooms, it has a lot going for it. It's even prettier outside of the cove and north along the shoreline. The only visible sign of human habitation are the hiking trails that follow the coast for a ways. This area has great rock gardens and an ever-changing landscape that features 30+ foot cliffs and forest beyond. We paddled several miles up, and had a nice view of the lighthouse at Piedras Blancas in the distance. We stayed mostly just inside the kelp beds along the shoreline, where many seals checked us out. The adrenaline rush of the day came when the coastline went east into a large cove. A swell that was twice the size of what we had been watching all day surprised us, and I headed out to sea paddling as hard as I could (while yelling-Get the @#$% out of here!) and crested the swell, dropping into the air space behind it. Mary was 5 yards back, and honestly, I don't know how she made it through before it broke. Several more waves of the same size followed in the set, and we kept paddling hard until we were well clear. Whew. A learning experience. The paddle back was just as nice as on the way in, and Mary got to do some side surfing on the landing.

Morro Bay August 1, 2009

This was a great paddle that lasted over 4 hours. I left from Pasadena Point and ran into Mary, Lorelei and Ron. We paddled down to the rock in Morro Bay, and then out the harbor entrance for a peak at the ocean in both directions. There was no hurry, and the paddle was dominated by good conversation.
I have never seen so many seals and sea lions in the bay (including several deceased ones). There were also more paddlers on the bay than at any other time that I've observed. At least forty of them were visiting from the Fresno Kayak Club. The rental folks also did a great business this day. Ron and I decided that we liked pink kayaks (they were numerous). We were the only ones who shared that opinion.