October 22, 1997
Garapata Beach, California, USA

It was calm and hazy as I left the beach at Monterey today at 11am. After a few minutes on the water, I came upon a several groups of resting sea lions. Even though I was only spitting distance of them, the sea lions seemed uninterested in presence. I got some great photos. Paddling though the kelp beds on my way out Monterey Bay, I also had a few close encounters with sea otters. These furry little guys are a lot smaller than sea lions, and are often found floating on their backs in the kelp, either eating or sleeping.

Around 1pm, a north-west wind started to blow, so I decided to try out my new para-foil. I messed around with it for ten minutes or so, then gave up. I’ll try it again another day. While passing Carmel, I saw the most amazing row of houses I’ve ever seen in my life. Each one had an awesome property, and must have been worth over a million dollars. At 4:30pm, it started to get dark so I began thinking about where to land. Big waves were dumping onto the beach in front of me, but I had no other options.

Before entering the action zone, I secured all loose equipment to the boat, and started reading the waves. A bone-crushing wave crashed on the beach, and then I paddled in on the back of some smaller waves. Unable to stay on top of the first one, I paddled backwards so the next wave wouldn’t come down on top of me, then paddled forward again as hard as I could. The wave picked up the back of my boat, driving the front down under the water. I leaned back to pull up the front, then braced hard as the foam surrounded me. It was a close one, but I made it... just barely! I jumped out of the kayak as soon as the surge stopped moving me forward, and was surprised to find the water up to my waist. I pulled hard on the boat as the undertow tried to suck me back out. With the next surge, I was able to pull the boat up onto the beach. As I was emptying out the water, I heard a nasty noise. I turned the boat over and found a crack where it had broken before. Fortunately, the large patch on the inside was still water-tight.

Looking down the beach, I could see a photo shoot taking place. As I walked along the shore, it looked like two models clothed in either pink bikinis or nothing. I went down to check it out, and found two buck-naked girls around my age, being photographed by two ugly 40 year old men. It was windy, cold and almost dark, and I thought the girls were nuts. I took a photo of the situation, and then walked back to my kayak.

After changing into dry clothes, I walked back down the beach and found the chics now covered in white paint. They were using small brushes to paint multi-colored designs all over their bodies. I asked the girls if the photos were for a magazine. "No, we’re just doing it for ourselves." One of them replied. The photographers asked me to stick around for a few minutes to get a shot of the four of them with his camera. He didn’t need to say please.

After securing all my things at the beach, I walked up to the nearest house to see if I could get my email. Oscar invited me in and set me up with a phone. As I was typing, he asked me to join him and his friend, Glen, for supper. They are professional house-sitters, and the house I am now in is worth around two million dollars.

(You can only see a third of the house in this picure)

After chill’n outside in the hot tub with them for an hour, Oscar offered me a bed, which I’m about to crawl into. It is now 12:07am, and another day has begun... YAHOOO!

October 23, 1997
Garapata Beach, California, USA

I’m still here at at Stone House. The surf was too funky today, so I decided not to head out. This evening we watched "The Sandpiper", starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, which was shot right here in the Big Sur area. Oscar and Glen knew a bunch of the people who made the movie and a lot of the back-ground behind it. The wooden statue of Liz that is in the movie was sculpted by a friend of theirs. A few of the scenes were done here at Garapata, the beach my kayak is now on.

Oscar and Glen are outside in the hot tub already, and I’m on my way there now. Tomorrow, I’m going to try to get out early before the surf gets too big. I sure hope all goes well...

October 24, 1997
Garapata Beach, California, USA

Oscar woke me up at seven this morning, and after an omelette and toast, I quickly packed up my things and beat it down to the beach. At 10am, I was ready to head out, but for the next half hour I just stood beside my kayak with paddle in hand watching the surf roll in. I tried to get the latest marine forecast on my VHF, but wasn’t receiving any signals. Yesterday, the forecast said that today it would blow 15-25 knots from the north-west with gusts to 30 and the swell would be around ten feet - which is what it looked like. Oscar and Glen wanted to watch me go out, so they stuck around. I made several attempts at getting out, but each time I’d wash back up on the beach unsuccessful. After almost two hours, I decided to call it a day. We pulled the boat up above the high tide line, then walked back to the house.

As soon as we got back to Stone-House I got the weather forecast over the phone. The recording told me that currently there was a small craft advisory and that it would be better conditions tomorrow. I’m going to bed much earlier tonight, and hope to get out on the water first thing before the wind picks up. Well... supper is almost ready. Man... this is the life!