Thu 24/08-2017 Day 148

Pos: 45.7634, -123.9701
Loc: Smugglers Cove
Acc: tent
Dist: 55,9 km
Start: 8:00 End: 18:20

Sure, my starting time yesterday was 6 am, not 10.45…but this morning I took it a bit slower. I had to recover a tad bit longer, landing late and having paddled 58 km. Today’s plan was 30 km, and I liked to have the fog lifted for a surf launch!

The swell had lifted today noticeable, although according to Karel it should be yesterday 90 cm and today only 1,30 m? Somewhere, but not really on this surf launch…I even walked my kayak a bit in the shallows to the south, as I thought the surf looks less wide there – as far as I could see in still some fog! But besides a tiny side wash at the beginning as I was stuck, and I had to get out again to straighten the kayak, I was doing fine punching through a bunch of quite nasty breaker lines. I had to duck down twice to get a rough shower of two breaking in front of me large waves, but I think the back surf was moderate. I escaped the last big one, and was out! No roll…and I stayed straight…I think, my rudder is doing quite well in surf!

Now, I thought this was the last big challenge of the last four paddling days! Hahaha…the paddle to the headland of Indian Beach and Ecola Point, my two possible landing points, was relative uneventful, and the swell lowered once I was quite offshore. I saw my regular lucky dolphins, and was sure I would be doing fine today!

I did…but at the headland, the swell felt HUGE, and I had my doubts about my two beaches…Indian Beach, I did not even check closer, as I felt the swell was rolling in unbroken. Many colorful people on the beach…surfer!
I guessed the next point had such a lengthy line of jutting out rocks, this must be somehow sheltered, but besides a halfway calm-ish tiny narrow beach with no real camping background and a steep cliff behind, everything looked like unbroken surf. Also, because it was just an hour before highest tide?

Well, then we had to move to Plan B…paddling another 18 km to reach Smugglers Cove. Nothing about a short relaxing day today…This bay should be a bit more protected! I was quite tired and a bit dizzy from the big swell and the glaring sunshine, so reaching the rough headland after the swell felt calmer again along the open beaches woke me up again. I turned around the point, and saw the beach – and many surfers…but I had to land!

I chose the furthermost left point, where I spotted only one surfer just paddling back out from a nice ride. I sensed some breaker gap about 100 m before the very left corner, sand saw all the surfers floating face out, waiting for a large wave. I turned around multiple times to check the swell rolling in, and what was *I* waiting for? For *NO* wave! In my breaker gap, there was just the large breaker on to my right and the smaller breaker to my left rolling out, I paddled in hard, and surfed perfectly in on a bunch of smaller ones. Oh my god, I am so good! I was really hoping not to perform shitty in front of all those surfers, and sure my first roll of the trip could wait until next year…! It was now two hours after high tide, and the surf looked wide, but doable to get back out tomorrow morning…hopefully the swell will not increase too much!