October 25, 1997
Julia Pfiffer-Burns State Park, California, USA
This morning, Oscar got me up at 7am, and I was down at the beach by quarter after eight. The surf was still big, but it was breaking much closer to shore than it had been the two previous days. When the waves break close to shore, it is easier to sprint though the impact zone before the next big set rolls in. I knew Id be able to get through the break on my first try, so I said good-bye to Oscar and Glen like I meant it, then took the next window.
Within a few seconds of getting in the soup, I saw a huge wall of foam marching toward me, and my window of opportunity disappearing. I was able to build up enough momentum to break through, but I got hit hard. The last wave was pretty exciting as well. It was so steep, and I was going so fast, I caught four feet of air off the back side.
After rounding Point Sur, the water became as calm as a bath tub with no one in it. There was lots of Kelp in the water. The kelp helps to break-up the swell and the wind waves. And since there wasnt much motion underwater, the clarity was outrageous - possibly 30 to 40 feet.
Combining yesterday and today, I must have seen almost 200 sea lions, and 50 sea otters. I usually find sea lions socializing in large groups far off shore, or sunning themselves on rocks. Otters do just the opposite. I rarely see more than three of them together, and they are always laying on their backs in the Kelp. I havent seen a single sea otter out of the water yet.
I met Mike Mulligan last night at Julia Pfeiffer-Burns state park. The beach I landed on was spectacular, but getting off it was tricky. The beach is surrounded by a cliff with Poison Oak covering one side and loose crumbly rock on the other. I chose the crumbly rock. When I reached the top, I found a park ranger standing beside Mike. I knew the beach I had just landed on was off limits for over-night camping, so I expected to get yelled at. Fortunately, Mike had already explained to him my situation, so he decided to allow it. Mike and I then took off to get a bite to eat, and find a place to stay for the night.
We tried to find a room in Lucia, a small town 15 miles south of the park, but just as we got there they had just given out the last one to the folks in front of us. There were no other rooms available for several hours in either direction. After supper, I gave Oscar a call, and asked if we could spend the night at Stone House. He said that we could, so that is what we did.