January 9, 2012 Photo: J. Chandler

Sunday, August 14, 2011

3 Paddles; One Surf in Mid-August

I haven't been posting after every session for a couple different reasons so this post includes my last four, three paddles and one surf session.

Wednesday the 10th I did the New Brighton to Sewers Channel round trip at a relaxed but steady pace. I figure it was about 6.5 miles or so but the GPS Essentials program didn't track it so I don't know my time, mph or the actual distance. Kind of a bummer because I find the info helpful for gauging my progress.

Friday the 12th I laid out a five mile course from New Brighton to the Capitola Pier and out to sea following the line of vessels moored there. At the last vessel a left turn to Sponge Bob and on to the Cement Ship, then back to the start at New Brighton. I've got it in my mind to replicate the Covewater Classic course and try to improve my times. I'll need to lay out a 2-mile and a 2.5 mile track cuz the Covewater has a 7-mile course and a 7.5 mile course. I'd like to do the 7.5 mile course next year and hopefully Scott will be able to pull the permits that would allow paddlers to access the creek. When I lay out the 7.5 mile course I'll add a board carrying beach run which will be easy to do (layout that is) on the long sandy stretch at New Brighton. I switched back to Everytrail today and it worked fine, recording a nice 5-miler.

New Brighton 5-Miler

Friday afternoon I realized that I hadn't been SUP surfing in about three weeks. The surf has been small and inconsistent for weeks but it's been rideable so I grabbed the SimmyD for an hour of afternoon surfing at GDubs. As per usual this summer it was packed at the main peak, around thirteen out, the vast majority beginners along with a couple of excellent and skilled surfers on noseriders. And also as usual I staged downcoast of the main peak, taking the wide ones that would be close outs for the main peak surfers. I surfed a lot of waves but only got three what I would call "good" waves, riding high and side slipping through the fast peeling sections into the deep part of the reef where the wave backs off and goes soft for an easy turn out.

Sam surfed early Saturday (13th) morning in the thick dense fog and then I joined him for a paddle after his session. He picked up a 14 ft. Bark Dominator from Joe that he'll use as an everyday board, not wanting to risk his Bark custom carbon race board. We paddled out from "Spot X" as Sam calls it, up to Sewers Channel just chatting and cruising, out the channel and back down to Capitola. The wind was light, sea surface glassy with some light bumps outside the kelp line. Just a relaxing and leisurely paddle, digging the whole Zen meditation of it.

Back at Spot X, Paul was out on his OC1 surfing the teeny little high tide bumps that were rolling over the reef and into the pocket beach. My longtime friend and brother firefighter (now retired) Calvin was out with him. Calvin was recently introduced to the OC1 scene on a trip to Hawaii and was having a ball, even though he is admittedly in the learning stages. From my perspective it's definitely not as easy as Paul makes it look. So I paddled out and had a long chat with Calvin about this and that and mostly answering his questions about the Bark SUP I was on. Calvin is a lifelong surfer, lifeguard, traditional paddler and waterman so SUP would be a natural for him. He's also got the firefighter back injury thing going so SUP would be the perfect exercise to keep his back in shape.

The weather around here has been like the movie "Groundhog Day". A persistent low pressure trough is just embedded off the coast and we awaken to gray and gloomy overcast or fog every day, over and over again. This has been going on for the last three weeks. The good thing about it is that this weather makes for perfect paddling conditions with light winds and smooth seas. But really, I'm ready for some morning color!

The video is a few shots of surfing over the last couple weeks, some clips of Sam on the "new" Bark 14 and a bit of OC1 surfing.

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