Some days we paddle and others we pedal. Saturday we paddled into a stiff Santa Cruz west wind from New Brighton toward Capitola. Well, to be clear, which the water and the sky were, Donna paddled all the way to the Capitola pier. It’s simply work paddling into that wind. I sat on my F-One Manawa and paddled like a kayak. I even bent forward at the waist, stuck my paddle in the water, and used my stomach to pull back.
I was more out of the wind than Donna and got to my destination more quickly, but I wanted to save energy to ride some waves at a little reef between New Brighton and Capitola. A place where I could lose my board and not worry about it hitting anyone. The tide was on the rise so I knew my time was limited.
It took maybe 20 minutes of pretty steady paddling to get out to the reef, and another 15 or so to catch the first wave. It was hard to know where the wave was going to break, so I guessed. Another friendly SUPer paddled out. While chatting it up I discovered that he and his wife had just had a baby; a nine week old girl named Lucy.
Donna was returning from the pier at a pretty good pace. I bid Lucy’s father farewell and headed in. That’s when the beauty of down-wind paddling got to me. It was a different ocean, no work, just stroke and cruise. It seemed that the wind kind of disappeared. We saw Otters and Harbor Seals on the easy ride back to New Brighton.
Sunday we stopped into Mavericks Paddlesports to check out some gear, and to try out my new GoPro Hero 4 Silver on a short bike trip with Donna. We saw humpback whales, thousands of Shearwaters, and a fair number of folks out enjoying the warm sunny coastside. Check it out.