Friday, April 6, 2012

Pinch Me

Pinch Me!  I must be dreaming.

Next week, I am going here

And going to be paddling this

And living like this

Exploring places like this

With this guy

Monday, April 2, 2012

Another Weekend on the Humbolt Coast

Three weeks ago, Jeff and I journeyed north to teach rock gardening classes in Trinidad, CA and to share our Eel River Paddle to the Sea trip with our friends in the Explore North Coast kayak club.

This weekend, I was journeying back to the Redwood Coast for a BCU Coastal Navigation and Planning Class and BCU 3 Star Sea Assessment with Mark Tozer of Greenland or Bust.

As I drove north in the rain, I had to stop several times to marvel at the amount of water in the creeks along the 101 that are usually but a trickle. Waterfalls cascading down the hillside were spectacular. Much of the North Coast of California is considered a Coniferous Rain Forest - this classification is definitely apparent when it is raining.

I signed up for a weekend of British Canoe Union classes with Greenland or Bust. I have recently decided to pursue my BCU star awards and become a BCU coach. I've been reluctant to jump into the BCU system because it involves a lot of traveling to take classes, earn awards, and get signatures.

The BCU Coastal Navigation and Planning Class was excellent. It was well organized and presented with a good balance of theory and hands on activities. Of course it was also great to be learning with a group of like minded folks. Jeff and Hawk of Humboats have been mentoring me with navigation exercises when we plan and paddle together as well as I have been doing some "homework" on my own. I felt that I had some bits of information and knowledge on navigation entering the class. Mark's class really cemented my knowledge gave me confidence that I have a base of the fundamental skills to work from.

On Sunday morning, we met at Trinidad for the 3* Sea Assessment. Every Sunday morning a group of the local paddlers paddles out of Trinidad. They call their weekly paddle Sunday Service. The ocean conditions were formidable with a rock strewn dumping beach break so the Sunday Service crew opted for breakfast at the restaurant on the beach instead of paddling. It was great to get to see them and exchange hugs and stories. I enjoyed the comradery of like minded folk but was also envious that we don't have a paddling community here on the Mendocino Coast. (Stay tuned for blog post on Mendocino Coast real estate and relocation information for paddlers.)

As we assessed the venue, I knew that we were beyond 3* conditions. I could have launched and landed on the treacherous beach but given our goal for the day was happy to reschedule and get to spend a day with some friends who were in town too.

And where did we end up? On the water - birding watching and crabbing on Humboldt Bay.

Life is not always what you expect on the North Coast but is a great place with lots of quality people.

PS Explore North Coast is hosting a Sea Kayak Social for the paddling clubs in Northern California. If you can go, I highly encourage you to go and enjoy the waters of the Redwood Coast with them.