Saturday, November 23, 2019

November to Remember

N wind 10 to 15 kt.
Becoming NE 5 to 10 kt with gusts to 15 kt.
W swell 11 ft at 16 seconds.
Wind waves NE 2 ft at 4 seconds. 
Not the above picture forecast!

Couple weeks back, during a stretch of unreal mild weather, the forecast called for 1-2 foot surf, light winds and temps in the high 50's on Oregon's North coast. I talked my wife into her first ever ocean outrigger paddle.

Arrived in Manzanita at about 1pm to give it time to warm up a bit and still beat any potential late afternoon winds. Rigged the Huki OC2, suited up and carried the boat down to the water.

We've been paddling for a few years now, but only flatwater water for her to date. Put her in the front seat (as she prefers the view, as opposed to staring at my back!) and started out through the small waves.

It was an uneventful launch (thankfully) and we quickly made it outside and headed north along the hulking Neahkahnie Cliffs towards Oswald West's Short Sands Beach.
Battling a slight headwind and plenty of chop we finally came into the wind shadow of the Cape Falcon and paddled within the glassy waters of the horseshoe cove. There were a handful of surfers riding the tiny waves and we caught a fun little wave to shore to spend a moment on the sand.
A quick snack and some curious looks and we headed back out. As we paddled out, I noticed the approaching waves and called to my wife "Paddle". We crested the first small wave and I saw the next one approaching...

"Paddle Harder!" I told her. Punching through the next wave elicited a small yelp of excitement and I said "Paddle Harder!" as I saw the next wave in the train bearing down on us. The final wave was at best a waist high one but it was enough to launch us and the boat into the air and partially unseat her but my now familiar bark "Paddle!" she refocused her effort, was quickly back in rhythm and we were clear of the surf.

The run back to Manzanita was uneventful...paddling around sea stacks, through surging keyholes and what appeared to be a shark ripping apart another sea critter (as we paddled quietly past) were the only things to note.

Arriving back at Manzanita Beach, we surfed a wave in, carried the boat up to the car and quickly loaded up as the sun dropped behind the offshore fog bank and the temp quickly dropped several degrees.
I told her as we had carried the boat up the beach..."You know you're one of the only people ever to paddle along these cliffs, right?" Her smile said it all.


Mallory said...

What happened to your blog? I just found it and would love to read more.