I hit the beach early today because I had a special guest in town! My friend and kayaker to the stars, Beth Barnes, dropped by and spent a few hours with me down at the beach. Before she found me she was asking the lifeguards down on the beach if they’d seem me… the bald guy with the beard that swims here a lot with no wetsuit… turns they knew exactly who she was talking about so I guess I need to behave when the lifeguards are around because they know who I am :) They hadn’t seen me though because I was up on the pier. Eventually we found each other and met up at the base of the Avila Pier and we chatted for a while and enjoyed the fantastic day that was unfolding in front of us. It was warm with a light breeze, perfect beach weather. While asking me about hiking trails and stuff like that in town I mentioned how my folks walk the Bob Jones trail pretty regularly on weekends, and while I was busy trying to explain what it was and where it goes I spotted them about a block away from us! We chased them down and worked on introducing everybody. I’m sure my mom was glad to finally meet the lady that keeps me out of trouble and on track whilst floating in the middle of the ocean for miles at a time :)
Afterwards we walked up the hill for a better view of the beach and sat up by the bluff and talked while watching what was going on in the water. We saw a seal out on patrol pop his head up intermittently, some surfers doing what they could with the small waves rolling through, and eventually a big black dolphin! I haven’t seen a dolphin out here in months so it was super cool to see him swimming around in the bay. Beth spotted him first and we kept track of him as he cruised the buoy line towards Fossil Point and then did some circles near the reef buoy. Hopefully we see more dolphins out tomorrow when I come back to swim! They say if there’s dolphins around there won’t be sharks… whether that’s true or not I couldn’t tell you, but I’m going to go ahead and believe it anyways!
Eventually I grabbed some boardshorts, duckfeet and my bodyboard out of the truck and went down to the beach while Beth went exploring in town. I paddled out into the frosty water (the nearest buoy was running 50!), but the 80ish degree air took a lot of the edge off of it. The waves were small and few and far between, but they were nicely shaped and you could have some fun with them. I caught 4 0r 5 and I’m feeling myself get a lot better at controlling the board and working the wave… now I just need some bigger, better waves to show up! My current goal in life is to build up enough speed on a wave to catch air off the top of it like the guys in the magazines… I think it’d be pretty epic for me, and pretty entertaining for people on the beach to see some big crazy adventure bearded bald guy launch into the air over a wave on a boogie board :) After a while I ditched the board and went back in just to body surf a little bit. If everyday started like this I think I’d be pretty ok with that!
When I was done with the water I spent a little more time with Beth and then went in search of other adventures. I drove up to Morro Bay to check out Central Coast Stand Up’s new shop. They got some space right on the water that they moved into yesterday. It’s pretty sweet to be able to rent a board and hop on it right there! I think they’re going to do real well over there with that direct water access. The wind in Morro Bay was kicking pretty hard and there was some healthy chop in the water… since I’ve paddled there a few times before and they know I’m a strong swimmer and not afraid of some cold water they let me give it a go. I pushed off from the dock and fought about 50 meters into the wind with the the wind and water teaming up to turn my board backwards anytime I took a break between strokes. I didn’t fall off my board or anything, but it was getting pretty obvious that nature was not interested in letting me paddle today. I turned around and was back at the dock pretty much immediately… just a few strokes and I was where I started… it’s amazing what some wind can do! Turns out my timing just sucked, later in the afternoon the wind died down and the water glassed over… oh well, next time!
I’ll be back out in the water tomorrow for my regular Sunday swim!