October 27, 1997
San Simeon, California, USA

After spending the night at Gail’s house, above Sand Dollar State Beach, we drove down the hill to the school where she is a teacher. I got out and walked across the street to the beach. As I was packing up my boat, I heard the shouts of about 30 kids who were running towards me. Gail and a few other teachers had brought their students down to see me off. They asked me a ton of questions and were very excited watching me go out through the surf. They didn’t stop waving and screaming "BYE...! BYE...! BYE...!" until I was almost out of sight.

When I came around the point, I was immediately confronted by a strong head wind from the south. I began to think I might not make it to San Simeon in one day. After a half-hour on the water, I came upon a colony of Sea Lions and had a photographic field day. I was shooting for ten minutes before they even realized I was there. It was sooo great! Rather quickly, the wind died down completely, and the rest of the day was pure bliss. Well... that’s not totally true. It was a long day - about 27 miles. I was glad to get out of the boat by the end of it.

Shortly after landing at San Simeon, I changed into dry clothes, and knocked on the door of a large Mexican ranch-style house just above the beach. "Hi there! I was hoping you might allow me to use your phone." After they let me in and I got my email, I ended-up spending the rest of the evening with them, watching Oscar De LaHoya fight on the television. The occupants, Julius and Loiuse, are an older couple, and the house belongs to the Hearst family. Loiuse told me that she has been the Hearst family cook for over twenty years, and has cooked for many celebrities. She reeled-off a list of names to me, but Shirley Temple is the only one I can remember. They gave me pizza and allowed me to cook my rice on their stove.

Hey... Why rough it, when I can make friends?