November 3, 1997
Gaviota State Park, California, USA
This morning, I woke up at 6:15am, then immediately walked down to the beach to check out
the surf conditions. While watching the waves roll in, I was entertained by a pod of
dolphins surfing inside the waves. When the face of the waves got high and steep, I could
look straight through and vividly see the silhouette of the dolphins. They appeared to be
having a lot of fun.
Just before I got in the water, Dons wife asked me to sign my article from the
paper. Giving my autograph... that was a first!
I was unsuccessful on my first try at getting out through the breakers. I timed the set
wrong and got hammered bad! I had to go back to shore to empty out the water and catch my
breath. Carl, a guy I had met earlier, helped me out the second time. When Im
sitting at water level, it is hard to see what is on the other side of the first wave
coming at me. Even if I make it through what is in front of me, there may be a monster
waiting on the other side.
Carl took me out into the soup and held my boat steady while waiting for an opening.
"This is as good as it is going to get - go for it!" Carl told me. The waves
were still very large, but I trusted him, and went for it anyway. Unsure of myself, I
started to slow down as I approached the last waves of foam. "Keep going! Keep
going!" Carl coached me from shore. I dug in hard again, then took it on the head,
and blasted through. On the other side of the surf zone, it was like a big lake. I let out
a few "YAHOOOs", then steered the bow of my kayak in the direction of Pt.
The northwest wind was totally cut off by Pt. Conception, and beyond there, it was pure
bliss. I pulled into Gavioda State Park at about 4pm, got changed into dry clothes, and
went for a walk to check the place out. I met the gate keeper, and he gave me a hard time
for not wanting to pay for a campsite. I met two bicyclists, Mark, a German, and Daniel, a
Swede, who have been riding together for the last three months. They asked me to join them
for supper, and, of course, I took them up on it. We had a great meal. Mark and Daniel
plan to travel by bicycle for the next two years.
Im now sitting on the toilet typing this because there are no other power outlets
anywhere else in the campground. My butt is killing me!!!