November 15, 1997
Carpinteria, California, USA

My stay in Goleta was great. On Tuesday, I borrowed Bob’s bike and rode down to a local health club to check out a climbing wall. Before leaving to go to the club I called Henry, my writer friend from Jalama, to see if his article about my journey was in the paper. He told me that it wasn’t. I mentioned that I was going down to see the climbing wall at the health club, and he told me that he used to own the place. When I got to the health club, the dude at the front desk said that Henry had called ahead, and asked them to give me a day pass for free. I like those kind of surprises!

After an hour of climbing I went to the weight room. I work out my legs whenever I have the chance, so I don’t end-up looking like a popsicle - with a strong upper body and spaghetti legs. After my work-out , I sat in the hot tub for an hour and read a copy of Spin magazine, then swam laps.

The next evening, Wednesday night, I went to a slide show presentation at a local kayak shop. It was presented by two guys who just got back from paddling the inside coast of the Baja from San Felipe to Cabo San Lucas. They told me that I could do without buying a reverse osmosis pump(Reverse osmosis is a process that makes salt water drinkable). They had one, but never took it out of the package. The first few weeks of their voyage sounded like near hell. They were scorched by the unrelenting heat all day... then raped by mosquitoes all night. I’m glad I won’t need to put up with that crap. It is far more pleasant down there in the winter season.

A few other folks put on slide presentations as well. One dude showed his slides from a Black Canyon canoe trip. The Black Canyon is located about 70 miles below Las Vegas, and begins at the world famous Hoover Dam. The Black Canyon is actually an extension of the Grand Canyon; both have been carved the mighty Colorado river. Most of his photos featured people frolicking in hot springs. It looked like a lot of fun. There were a few people in the audience who are going to do that river soon, and they were pretty excited about it.

Thursday, I spent most of the day packing and finishing up some work, so I’d be ready to head out first thing the next morning. That evening I got an email from a lady saying, "I read about your travels in the Santa Barbara News Press, and decided to check out your web site." I then immediately hopped on Bob’s bike and rode to the news stand to pick up the paper. After arriving back at Bob’s and finding no article, I called Henry(the guy who wrote the article). He wasn’t aware that the article had made it into the paper either, so he checked the papers from the last couple days, but came up with nothing.

I figure the lady must have been a newspaper employee who saw Friday’s paper before it was printed, so I hopped on the bike again and rode down the street to where the papers are printed. The folks at the paper told me that if I came back at midnight I could get the first paper off the press. When I came back, they gave me a visitor’s pass and for the next two hours I walked around on my own watching the papers being made. Unfortunately, my article wasn’t in a single one of them. I didn’t get to sleep until after 2am. I got another email from the lady today, alerting me to the fact that she had actually read the article in the Lompoc paper.

The next morning, Bob and I put our boats on his truck and headed off to the beach. When my boat was packed, and we were already to go, I suddenly realized, "Bob... I’m missing my spray skirt!!!". I thought I may have left it at Sam’s apartment, and fortunately I was right. Fifteen minutes after realizing my mistake, we were heading out through the surf toward Carpinteria.

The surf was big for that area, but small compared to the size of the stuff I’ve already gone through. Most of the day was perfect: sunny, with a 15 knot west wind, and 7 foot swell. I caught some sweet waves. The surfing was rad. At times, I was going about running speed(normal is a brisk walk). I broached on one big bad boy, and almost fully capsized. My whole body was in the water, but I was able to get back up again quickly.

I also capsized surfing in at Carpinteria , but that time, I was under for a few seconds. The surf was quite small; I just wasn’t paying attention. It was kind of embarrassing.

There was a guy waiting for me on the beach when I arrived. "Hi, I’m Ray." he said, "Some folks who were down at the beach earlier told me about you. I think what you are doing is really cool. I’m staying in one of those apartments over there. If there is anything I can help you with... please let me know." The couple Ray had met, saw me depart from Jalama. I had never met them face to face before; they got my email address from folks at the campground, then got in touch with me, and asked when I’d be arriving in Carpinteria. As I was speaking with Ray, the couple showed up again, and we spoke for a short time.

Ten minutes after pulling my boat out of the water, I was in a hot shower at Ray’s sister Chrissy’s apartment. It was just what I needed! Not long after that, Bob’s ride arrived, and I said "So-long..." to another awesome friend. He’s a really great guy. I’m sure that will not be the last time I see him.

I then pulled some grub out of my kayak and headed back to Chrissy’s apartment. After eating dinner, I tried using Chrissy’s phone line to get my email, but it didn’t work, so I went to another apartment. A young mother answered the door and let me in. Her husband was on the couch watching TV, and her three wacky kids were eating supper. I sat down at the table beside them. Ray was in the apartment with me, and started telling them everything he knew about me. It was all very flattering of course. They were curious, so I showed them my web site before going back to Ray’s. When Ray left his sister’s place, I couldn’t stay there any longer, so I went back to the other apartment. The folks were very cool, and I ended up sleeping on their couch last night.

This morning, they gave me the keys to their car, and sent their nine year old daughter with me to get groceries. Amazing eh? When we got back, Bill, the Dad, made a huge breakfast, then I packed up my things and got ready to head out. Before leaving I called a weather forecaster on the phone. He told me, "The wind will blow 15 knots from the South today; then will change, and blow 10 knots from the West tomorrow." I figured there was no point in torchering myself, so I decided to wait a day. Besides, they have a hot tub here... and I had an invitation to go out for lunch with Bob and Bette(the folks I met on the beach last night, who saw me departing from Jalama).

The hot tub was great, and so was lunch. Bob and Bette were very nice, and took me to "The Spot" - their favorite burger joint. Tonight, the family treated me to a steak supper, then we watched the movie "Homeward Bound 2". It’s now 1:04am, and I’m a few seconds from crashing on the couch.