paddleboard (20)

paddle race yesterday

The 4th annual Shore-to-Shore paddle race, sponsored by Live Water Surf Shop of Stinson Beach, was here Saturday. Two courses: 2.8 miles, and 7-1/2 miles. There’s a bigger turnout every year. Paddling is catching on in Northern California. It’s huge in Southern California and more recently, Santa Cruz. New technology (as in skateboarding) has revolutionized the sport in the last ten or so years. I’ve always loved paddling, and a few years ago, I got a 12′ Joe Bark Surftech racing paddleboard. It weighs 32 lbs and skims across the water like a water skeeter. If I paddle in the lagoon going with an incoming tide, I’m flying, with a v-shaped wake off the bow. Fun!

What I love about these events (there’s a very large kayak/outrigger race in Sausalito in October) is seeing not just the various types of paddleboards, but the kayaks and especially the outrigger canoes. I have to admit to lusting after one of these outriggers since my friend Tom Mebi, who lives on a beach in Hawaii, told me about his outrigger. 20′ long, weighing 23 lbs. Man!

These ones yesterday were real beauties. Featherlight (and expensive — $3-5000). I’m trying to find one I can try out in these waters, and if it performs well in the ocean, I’ll look out for a used one.

I did the short course. Ocean was choppy, weather foggy, but I love being in the water (prone paddleboard). I was tired, but not wiped out. A good vibes event, great lunch in the park afterwords. Great to see my old beachbum/lifeguard friends. We all love the ocean.

Outrigger canoes: ,

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Around home…

Last night we had fried oysters. I drained the juice into a glass and added a little cocktail sauce, some Worcester sauce, shot of Tabasco, a little lemon, it was startlingly good, elixir of the sea…I made some pasta with squid ink, olive oil, garlic, nice flavor…The night before we had abalone. We’re eating more local food than ever…

Cold winter, we burned more than the usual oak firewood. We just started burning pieces of a hawthorn/rose-type treelet I’d cut down a few years ago. It’s very dense, and burns like coal. Long-lasting bright embers. Was thinking how we’re keeping warm with wood we planted, harvested. A renewable resource, no transport needed…

Went paddleboarding yesterday afternoon, overcast day with drizzle, water like glass. I paddled into some long channels against the outgoing tide and when coming back, I was flying, paddling hard and the tide doubling my speed. There was a wake off the nose of the board. Below is my 12′ Joe Bark racing paddleboard on the town dock, before I took off.

Here’s the Golden Gate bridge, coming into San Francisco at 6:30 this morning:

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Velzy Paddleboard For Sale

Nice looking paddleboard on Craig’s List, sent us by Brendan O’Connor.

“This is a Surftech produced 12 foot Stock Class Sprint Paddleboard designed by Dale Velzy. This board has the beautiful Mahogany wood deck inlay and an EVA rubber deck pad. It is a real rocket and is in great condition.

Paid $2000 new. $795. or reasonable offer.

Reply to waterman through this post:

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Mud and Magic in the Lagoon

Around 3 yesterday afternoon, I took my paddle board down to the channel and paddled back up into the lagoon. The tide was going out, and the water was about as warm as it gets, maybe 63°. Parked my board on this sandbar, stripped down, smeared black thick mud on every part of my body I could reach, then let the sun bake it in for a few minutes, then took 5-10 minutes to rinse off. Going back, I let the tide carry me along (plus ribs were not feeling too great). It was totally still, not a person within miles. A young egret with black beak and chartreuse (I kid you not!) legs was standing on the bank. I didn’t move a muscle, just let the current carry me, and I got within 20 feet of him. Back at the dock, fisherman-surfer Andrew was tying up his boat, and loading 3 halibut into an ice chest. Then he jumped in the water and swam around for a bit. A magic afternoon.

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Mudbath in lagoon

A few nights ago I went for a paddle late on a foggy afternoon. The wind had been blowing for about a week, and the water was really cold. I paddled down one of the channels to a spot where there’s black, oozy mud on the bottom. I didn’t feel like a 100% mud bath, so stopped and plastered my face. The stuff smells of deep ocean and sea minerals and is like glue. I left it on my face for a few minutes and had a bit of panic because my eyes felt glued shut. Then rinsed it off. My skin felt alive.

Here’s a post  about mud baths (with pix) from a few years ago:

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