Monday, December 28, 2009

A Bay Area Christmas

My buddy Alex invited me down to Orinda (just behind Oakland) to spend Christmas with him and his parents. They turned out to be very generous folks and I had a great weekend with lots of good food and some vicious games of dominoes. I also managed to squeeze in some paddling.

On Saturday Alex and his parents went off to golf a round while my friend Ronny came down to spend the day paddling with me on the Bay. We launched out of Horseshoe Cove at the base of the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge. We went in to Yellow Bluff but the current wasn't yet strong enough for any action so we paddled on to Angel Island to see if Pt. Stewart had any waves - no such luck. So back to Yellow Bluff which by then had some little waves to play on. But it wasn't that exciting so we headed out under the Gate for lunch on the beach at Kirby and then out to observe the swells at Pt. Bonita. They were huge! It seemed like you could still safely get out by going a long way around but we didn't want to take the time so we just enjoyed the show and then headed back in.

On Sunday I basically repeated the paddle with Alex. Except we went to Sausalito to see where his parents used to live back in the day. And the swells were wrapping into the Bay a littler larger this day so when we went to land at Kirby we both got wiped out on the landing. I actually thought I had landed fun but when I got out of my boat and grabbed the bow to drag it further on shore the receding current was strong enough to pull my feet out from under me in the soft sand. So I ended up on my but watching my boat get pulled into the dump zone and my paddle going further out. I grabbed my boat and secured it before swimming after my paddle - actually a fun exercise since I was in my drysuit. While body surfing back in I got recirculated in the dump zone myself for a brief moment which felt exactly like being stuck in a hole on the river. But luckily waves are only temporary and once it past I just stood up and walked ashore. No more excitement after that.

Here is some video showing the swell action - in HD no less!

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