I haven’t been out on the ocean since March 1, probably the longest spell of not paddling or surfing in 20 years we have lived here. That includes time off for dislocated shoulder, broken fingers, or vertigo. We now are allowed to surf or paddle in Encinitas, but there are no open parking lots, and the side streets are very difficult to park on. Yesterday morning I did a test run and drove down to Lajolla, as the sun was coming up, to a spot every local paddler knows and parked a few hundred feet from the ocean. One car on the street. A pickup on the side street and I know who owns it. Nobody on the sidewalks to avoid. I grabbed my wave ski and paddled out through small waves. Six people were out on SUPs and I stayed about 150 yards away from them. One guy owns a famous surf shop in Lajolla, I know two of the others too, but no socializing. The Red Tide has been going on for several weeks and was supposed to be improved yesterday, but the water was inky black/green, you could see your hand maybe six inches below the surface and that was it. It smells like broccoli you forgot was in the back of the fridge for about three months. It tastes worse. Even though the waves were not huge it felt very much like coming home after a long time away. Every few minutes some bigger swells were rolling in from the southwest, I would watch them come and instead of taking off, I’d just let them roll under me, imagining where they might have come from, New Zealand, Hawaii …?? Remembering some past trips. I surfed a few waves but was not really getting into the Red Tide flushing at the end of the ride. I mostly just enjoyed paddling parallel to the shore and watching the waves come marching around the point. Two juvenile sea lions decided to join me. Not too happy with that when the water is so murky and it’s that time of year when the Great Whites come back to visit and snack on sea lion pups. After an hour I paddled in, threw my waveski in car and was gone. I usually have more close contacts with people walking to my mailbox, so I think I’ll try going out once or twice a week. It certainly will give me something to look forward to. Pictures next time maybe.
Congratulations on getting back on the water and for posting. I know how you feel. After too long a spell away from paddling it feels like coming home when you finally do hit the water again. Its old comforting and familiar and yet always new - each time out is a new day and different conditions. Who says we can never go home again?
Hopefully you can find water without the Red Tide. I know the things about it you described, all bad.
Thanks for the TR Sea Dart! I could just taste the air and " seeing" the sea lions. I try for harbor and grey seal pix here in Maine and have dozens of pictures of…water.
Until we can’t , do we realize how important paddling is to us? Here it has been the weather. Snow, cold and high wind. It did get to the high 40’s today. I hear there is warm weather somewhere!
Take us on your next trip please.
Alright!!! Glad you got out and just being able to enjoy.
Been flat here for the past couple of weeks. Looks like an early tropical formation in the Atlantic, beginning of next week (WAY too early, but we have other things to worry about in the here and now…) May get some surf mid week. Good thing is that our COVID numbers are dropping and the parking restrictions at the breaks will be relaxing…
On the good side, I have had ample time to repair all the waveskis that needed patching.
Yeah I have finally got around to cleaning out my garage with nothing better to do… About half done and still have another dumpster to fill.
Congrats on avoiding our toothy friends of the deep and enjoying time on the water again. Your wonderfully vivid description of old broccoli in the fridge brought back bad memories.
Yes, the old broccoli smell gave me a good laugh and took me back in time as well. Cheers that it soon clears.