Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cold California - Monterey and Carmel

Fly from Honolulu to San Francisco.
Get one very supportive mom to play taxi driver. Check.
Drive to Santa Cruz and pick up board from very hospitable SurfTech folks.
Show up in Monterey for work meetings and conference...... squeeze in as much paddling as possible.

When I got to Monterey, I thought that they would laugh at me and my Hawaii-adapted blood when I showed up with my XCEL paddling pants, a paddling top, my shortie wetsuit and my mom's booties to layer up for my cold water paddle... but then I saw that everyone else was wearing full wetsuits. IN JULY. TO PADDLEBOARD. Suddenly my layers felt more inadequate rather than overkill.

At Whaler's Cove

Nevertheless, I braved the water, the kelp and the fog to paddle with a great group of guys (the CWC, or Carmel Waterman's Club). They showed me the beautiful coastline of Carmel, from Stillwater Cove along 17-mile drive to Whaler's Bay. We scouted out the course for their upcoming (August 9, 2009) inaugural paddleboard race and they pretty much arranged all of their schedules around my conferences (National Marine Educator's Association Conference and Sea Grant Educator's Network Meeting) to help me train! They even fed me dinner (steak, salmon, chicken, artichoke, asparagus)... I highly recommend this area of CA for the good people and the scenery - next time, I'll just ask them to turn on the water heater before I arrive!

ps. Next stop = Molokai to Oahu! (hurricanes not withstanding - it looks like a few are heading our way!)

Paddling back.....

Mom, the taxi driver, takes to the water on a slightly drier & warmer vehicle than a paddleboard!

No shortage of wild life - the baby sea otters and their moms were all around us!

The sea lions of CA - this one is a BIG BOY!

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