My son, Matthew, and I surfed into sunset on summer solstice. We used to do this every year, but I wasn’t surfing last year, or the seven preceding years for that matter. But then I got into SUP. Then SUP surfing. So Matthew and I planned an outing for Tuesday evening, not realizing that the actual solstice was Monday, but hey, we were close.
We got in the water about 7:30, and got out just before 9. The sun had set, and we had wide grins. My wife, Donna, was there to greet her lads. Matthew, by the way, had never surfed a SUP, but he’s a fitness trainer at Empowered Fitness, has great balance, used to surf a long board with grace and agility, and boy did he take to SUP Surfing like a duck to water. Check it out.
We were packed for a Bolinas outing. We’d planned to paddle the lagoon, check in on the nesting herons and egrets, maybe snag a few waves at one of the surf spots.
The sleepy little town of Stinson Beach is set against the steep western flank of Mount Tamalpais. It’s really quite the treat just standing at the shore looking out to sea, or up the coast toward Bolinas, or over your shoulder to the massive mountain that holds this little town so carefully.
We had a great breakfast at Parkside Cafe, scouted the surf for long enough to know that there might be waves at Bolinas, then hit the road for the last stretch. But by the time we got there the beach was packed, the town was heading toward bumper-to-bumper traffic and it was already 75 degrees.
We paid a short visit to Audubon Canyon Ranch. At least we could see the heron and egret rookeries. But there were none this year. There’s speculation that an increased population of bald eagles may be the culprit.
Onward to Point Reyes Station where we put in to paddle up a creek. Lagunitas creek to be precise. What we found was quite stunning. Maybe a half mile of water just deep enough to paddle. There were cormorants, turtles, and the odd cow in the rolling meadows beside the water. A few fish jumped along the way.
If only I’d brought along the GoPro. But we did visit Spirit Matters, the lovely little shop in Inverness Park that hosts so many treats for the spirit. Donna found a Kwan Yin seated on a turtle, just like the ones we saw in the creek.
The next day, back in Pacifica, I snagged a few little waves right out my own front door. Check it out, all set to some nifty little jazz. Hey, it’s only a minute.
It’s been at least two weeks since I stepped foot in the surf. The waves have been large and unruly but it rained which is good. My ten week workshop with the San Francisco Writers Studio has been fulfilling. This class ends Tuesday. I signed up for the next one which starts in two weeks. Between now and then I plan to publish some of the work I’ve done in the class.
Yesterday I got wet and it solidified the notion that SUP days are better than others. Even though I lost my footing more than once, I caught waves and paddled the length of the beach. After an hour session I left the water with a clear head and sore muscles.
So why the title African SUP? Watch the one minute video: It’s the music.
This afternoon I walked the beach to greet the incoming swell that will pump through Mavericks tomorrow. It’s not expected to be the gargantuan size that they sometimes get, but a 20 foot face would certainly get my chest thumping.
Today, with an outgoing tide and plenty of shore birds, I got a few SUPs against some crisp jazz. Enjoy.
My son has a dog named Zeus. He’s my part-time pet, like when our grand daughter was born two weeks ago. Zeus stayed with us.
On our very first SUP outing, noted in my very first post, I stayed on the beach with camera in hand and Zeus went out with Matthew. It didn’t start out this serene. They were both in the water at the start, but cruised in with style. This is the Princeton Harbor, next to Mavericks where tomorrow’s big wave surf contest will be held.