January 17, 2009 Saturday
After my blog entry "Time Trials", I went out paddling on 1/15, 1/17, and 1/19. But, this entry will focus on Saturday’s paddle. It was the most interesting.
This whole week has been the most excellent week for being out on the water, flat, clear, with just the gentlest of breezes to keep you cool and refreshed. There was supposed to be some high surf starting up this weekend. Well, at The Shores, in front of the lifeguard tower it was non-existent. A few hundred feet north it was chest to head high and the surfers were out in force. I launched my kayak and was headed out by 0840. Once past the ankle-slapping "surf" I headed over to The Caves. Bit of a swell in close so there was no shooting the Caves today. But otherwise the surface was a glassy mirror. The waning moon hung in the southwest and its reflection was visible as a single orb. No breaking up of its image by even the smallest wind ripple.
As I headed out towards the western kelp beds to spot whales I passed by Boomers and Children’s Pool. The surf was crashing there. And on all the reef breaks at Hospital Point, Marine Street, Wind & Sea, and Bird Rock the surf was up.
I paddled down to Crystal Pier where I stopped for a break and ate a little snack and rested. Then I started back north. Right away I ran into a pod of Dolphins playing just outside the surf. It was such a nice day and I had nowhere to be so I sat and watched them frolic for about a half an hour. Two young ladies on a tandem had paddled out to see them. We watched them and chatted. They asked me where I had started. I told them. They said they might go as far north as Bird Rock. I told them about conditions and moved on northward.
I paddled up the coast and when I got to Wind & Sea Beach my butt was getting just a little sore. You see, by then I had been sitting on my kayak for three hours and twenty minutes. So I paddled in to shore to see if I could haul out and take a rest. You must be very careful at some of these beaches along this part of the coast. There is a very steep beach and the swell will come right up to the shore and then suddenly break in a very powerful crash. But today the tide was just right and I beached my kayak with no problem. I took a little walk to stretch my legs and ease my butt. After that short break I was re-energized.
I watched the sets carefully to time my entry just right. I sensed a lull and pushed my kayak into the water. A small wave was coming in just then. I sat on my kayak but was not well positioned on the seat. My seat had caught under me. I fell out of the kayak and let go the paddle. Grabbed both paddle and kayak and tried again. Not having to wait anytime at all I hopped up and was paddling out. Not a bit of breaking surf in my area. But the surfers out at the Wind & Sea reef break were really going at it. (Not being a surfer I don’t know the proper lingo. So, If anyone wants to educate me I would appreciate it.) Paddling out I spotted the two young ladies I had met earlier. They were headed back south and I could not catch them up to say "Hi". But they had gone quite a bit further north than they had planned. I was impressed since they had told me that this was the first time out in about six months.
Meandered my way back north and was turning east around Children’s Pool when I spotted a flotilla (I think that might be the correct term) of kayak tourists sitting out west. This is unusual. They typically do not come out this far. As I was wondering what they might be up to when I sighted the distinctive gray mist of a Whale spout. Even after many hours sitting on a kayak when I see something like this I get a boost of energy. I paddle at top speed in their direction.
I was able to get out in the vicinity and get a good look at the whale. I infiltrated the group and followed the whale for another 20 minutes of so. At one point the whale came up right between two kayak fishermen, about 20 feet from one of them.
I turned back to The Shores. I caught up with a couple that had been out watching the whale with us. I said to them that this was my second sighting in two Saturdays. I told them that soon my friends were going to stop believing my stories. He said he would vouch for my. I was seriously tempted to tell about my Kayak Blog so he could go on and post a comment verifying the sighting. But I figured they had nothing to write the Blog address on. So you will just have to trust me.
PS. On Sunday while waiting for my dive buddy to show up at La Jolla Cove I saw another Gray Whale just outside the near kelp bed. Am I straining my credibility?
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