What an amazing adventure.
We wrapped up our kayak trip today with a 22-mile trek from Port San Luis to the Guadalupe Dunes – just south of the county line at the Santa Maria River.
The original plan was to camp at the Oceano Dunes and finish the final 10 miles tomorrow, but we had one more 20-plus mile day in us and wanted to avoid another sketchy beach break in Oceano.
The 22-mile leg was our third in six days, and we ended up covering 98 total miles during our trip from Ragged Point to the Guadalupe Dunes (We initially thought we would paddle 86 miles in seven days).
We began today’s leg at 5:30 a.m., which was the first time we launched before sunrise. The fog coupled with the early morning light made for an eerie scene along Avila Beach as we paddled toward Shell Beach. We paddled straight to the Dinosaur Caves, where we explored a bit before heading out to the open ocean again.
We were about a mile off the coast when we saw hundreds of pelicans, cormorants and sea lions off to the west, gorging themselves on a massive school of anchovies.
The three of us paddled over to the bait ball and witnessed one of the most amazing displays of marine wildlife you’ll ever see. But you’re going to have to wait until we publish our diaries and photos to see exactly what we’re talking about. The Tribune's print series begins next weekend, so be sure to pick it up. Trust me, you don’t want to miss this scene.
* * *Thanks to everyone who followed the trip. You’ll be able to get a better feel for what we saw in the print series, which resumes on Sunday, Aug. 12, and runs for five days.
I also wanted to thank Kayak Horizons in Morro Bay, Good Clean Fun in Cayucos, MTI Adventurewear and Portside Marine for their help along the way. This trip also would not have been possible without all of the friends, family and coworkers who lent a hand, so thanks to everyone who met up with us on our quest to paddle SLO County.
And last but not least, thanks to Beau and Joe for joining me on this challenging but very rewarding "story." It was an unbelievable journey that has renewed my love for our precious coast, which all of us take for granted far too often.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have some sand to wash out of my ears.