Monday August 15, 2011
After the fog that is. But at my house it was the first morning of sunshine in almost a month. And it was a welcome sight.
I got started later than I like, and by the time I arrived at New Brighton it was after ten. I was greeted by thick, pea soup fog...visibility about 150 ft. I hesitated for a moment on the beach because of the poor visibility but the water was smooth and glassy, the wind light and swell small. What could happen?
My route was determined by the poor visibility. I knew at the very least I could hug the coast up to Sewers and back. But even if it never cleared up I could always paddle out the channel and stay close to the kelp bed, following it back to the land. But it did clear up and turned into one of the best paddling days of the Summer so far.
At Sewers, I headed out the channel as the fog was rapidly clearing. Huge irregular patches of clear blue sky were emerging though the tufty billows of fog. About a mile off the Capitola Pier I headed for Sponge Bob, who soon popped into view watching over a crew of fishermen in a red rental boat.
Left turn at Bob and sprint for home. In this flat water there is plenty of time to work on my stroke. I've been watching lots of You Tube video, Danny Ching mostly (there are a few good tips in this one), and reading up on efficiency. I'm trying to get the paddle shaft as vertical as possible as I pull myself forward and making sure that the blade is in the water as I pull through. Seems obvious and the proof is in how fast you're going and how straight. My goal is to track a straight course and take an equal number of strokes on each side of the board while maintaining glide and speed. You can really work on this in flat water, whereas in bumpier seas just the act of balancing can interfere with your technique. But more on all that later.
My overall speed was probably a little faster than 4 mph as I ran into Suzanne just out of NB and we chatted for about five minutes about stuff. I really tried to pour on the coals on the final 1.1 mile leg from Bob to NB. It felt good, I hurt a little and sweated a lot.
The video is about 4:17.