Monday, December 26, 2011

California! A One-Month Appraisal...

I've been so busy enjoying our new spot on the planet, that this post is embarrassingly out-of-sequence.  

We left our dear friends Jay and Sue Kimball on November 8th after sharing a wonderful meal and great night's rest.  4 boats, 2 bikes and a lot of paddling gear made up the bulk of our load, with clothes sleeping bags and other crucial items cruelly getting crammed and stuffed into various voids.

Packing it all in!

We spent the first night in Seattle with our good friends Scott and Amy, then headed to Eugene the next day.  That night was spent with good friends again Heather, Ryan and Sylvan sharing a nice meal, and lots of Lego-time for Matt and Sylvan (hey--who doesn't love Lego's?

We then missioned it all the way to our humble little place near Fairfax.  I walked in the door marveling at the fact that this is our new place!  The next few days were spent exploring the are both on foot and by water.  I was fortunate that our friend Sean had a few weeks away from work while his wife Gina recovered from a shoulder surgery.  Sean is an extraordinary paddler, and was generous with his time showing me some of his favorite rock gardening and surf spots.

Between playing on the water, I've been figuring out how to make a living (pesky realities), and I'm happy to say that I've started coaching for CCK and am one of a small crew of dedicated boaters and instructors there, and am also working for a furniture-maker in Sausalito who does immaculate work.  I think there will be lots of opportunities to learn from him in the future.  Check his stuff out:

Another high point has been being able to spend time with my lovely wife, Djuna, and get to know each other again (we change a bit even in three months!). Sharing meals, discussing right livelihood and living in this world, going hiking, and paddling have filled our days in a beautiful way.  We had been apart for essentially three months from August till the beginning of November, and I feel fortunate to be sharing life side by side with her again.

Djuna looks back at the Golden Gate.  Next stop--Japan!

Djuna passing through a deep slot.

How could you not love this guy?

We've been fortunate enough to have quite a few visitors pass through on their way to and from new adventures.  Mathew Wendell and I shared some surf and rock gardening time, and Matthew Maher got to taste his first experience of rock gardening on a beautiful day.  He had a full-spectrum experience; he styled some moves in a couple of areas, and got caught inside a sneaky break over some submerged rocks resulting in a capsize and self-rescue/extraction.  All in a day's fun!

Mathew Wendell under the pillow basalts of the Marin Headlands

A sneaky shot of an intriguing offshore break.  Djuna and her mom, Nel in foreground!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pt. Bonita, CA

Here is a great video edited and posted by Bryant Burkhardt, a good friend, a coach at CCK, and sole soul of PaddleCalifornia.  Within the last couple of years, I've had the pleasure of teaching with Bryant, as well as paddling for the pure pleasure of it.  Check this out of you've got a few minutes...I especially love Sean Morley's surf high above some rocks at the point.  We could barely see a thing as we surfed these waves due to the spray being blown back from the stout breeze blowing out of the Bay entrance.  Felt great to have friends to boat with and that these are now my home waters!  Thanks to all who have made me feel so welcome!  (all photos by Bryant Burkhardt)

Sean rounding Pt. Bonita. 

Steve, a solid whitewater boater, on the sea for the first time!

Matt positioning

Looks like I'm stylin' it, but really I'm off line!