Thursday, January 10, 2013

High tides and good times

Three paddles in three days; vacation is good! I paddled from the Baywood Pier on a high tide early this morning. The temp was 40, the tide 5.7'. For only the second time in memory, I was able to drop my boat right off the pier and climb in without ever getting even my big toe wet. I paddled out across the flooded estuary, over sections that are normally above the waterline, and then along the peninsula south of the State Park Marina where they have recently built a long boardwalk for hikers to better experience the area. The picture posted here is of a downed tree that is usually sitting on top of the pickleweed in the area on the north end of the estuary. With the reflection, I thought it had a fish-like (albeit an odd one) appearance. I continued up past the museum and then across to the sand spit and eventually back to Baywood, where the water level had receded to more usual levels and necessitated a beach landing. It was sunny and windless, and definitely a good time to go out, as the wind really picked up later on. My hike at Montana de Oro was so windy in the afternoon that almost no one else was out, and, although I am always blown away by Montana de Oro, I literally was today. Back to the real world tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I rock, Sorber rolls

Today, I had the good fortune to paddle with my friend John Sorber. We set out from the beach at Port San Luis, me in my Necky Kyook and John in his homemade Greenland style kayak "Abi" and hand-carved Greenland paddle. The surf was small, so I didn't even have on my spray skirt, which was a mistake as I took a small wave over the bow and had to pump out and paddle wet. John was decked out in a wet suit and his Tuilik, a necessity, since his boat is extremely tippy by design, and he loves to roll it; sometimes in mid-sentence. We paddled out through the harbor at Port San Luis, and out to the point were the old lighthouse was, doing a bit of cruising along the headlands to enjoy the rocks and small caves. From there, we headed out across open water south towards Pirate's Cove, playing around near some of the big rock features, keeping just outside the break (with a wary eye for bigger swells). John got quite a treat while we were in the kelp, as he startled a sleeping sea lion that he did not know was right next to his boat. Both John and sea lion demonstrated their surprise! With some larger swells coming in, we decided not to beach at the cove, and after a while went out beyond the kelp and paddled back to our put in, taking a fairly direct course through the oil company pier. Along the way, John rolled quite a few times, mostly intentionally. Before we headed into the beach, he demonstrated a number of cool rolls. Our landing was un-eventful, and we packed up for the day. Three hours and approximately 5 miles of paddling with a friend is a great way to spend a school vacation day. Back to work soon.

New Year's Paddle 2013

In keeping with tradition, I hoped to get out and paddle on New Year's Day. This year, it was doubly good! Ron, Lorelei and I paddled on a full moon and high tide from the Baywood Pier; we were in the water at 11:45 PM on New Year's Eve. It was pretty cold, and plenty dark, despite the full moon (cloud cover). We paddled around the back bay until 1 am, celebrating the turn of the new year with glow sticks provided by Lorelei. On New Year's Day, we paddled out on the next high tide around noon, making our way to Shark Inlet, along the sand spit and back to Baywood. It was considerably warmer and sunnier than the night before ;). I think it was the 4th year that a paddling outing was done on the first of the year. What a great start.