Well, I got my wish.
As a local adventure brochure wrote, "We launch from La Jolla Shores and paddle along one of the most scenic stretches of San Diego's coast. Our adventure is within a marine ecological reserve that is home to abundant wildlife including sea birds, sea lions and harbor seals, leopard sharks (harmless!), rays, and brightly colored garibaldi. Spring time finds sea lion pups and cormorant chicks basking on the rocks; summer brings schools of timid leopard sharks and rays close to shore; and year round, harbor seals eye us curiously from the kelp beds. Our ultimate destination are the magnificent sea caves that the ocean has carved from ancient cliffs and we will explore them as tide and swell permit." But I needed no formal tour, just TSC and a sunny day! We saw it all!
Thanks for a memorable day. Spur of moment, got on the horn night prior, and bam, next day we go. I was at Torrey Pines for a conference, and had a break in the action. TSC picked me up, insisted that I paddle his superb Nordkapp Jubilee (thanks, RobG, too, for selling it to TSC), brought me door-to-door to Torrey Pines--even coming to Del Mar for a cup of java with my wife CD2 first at Pacific Breezes -- gorgeous 65F day, all sun, and taught me how to ocean kayak. Even provided the 208 cm Swift paddle and cag skirt and everything! He was super kind and went out of his way to help me out.
Great to spend time with you, tsunamichuck. Really fun, paddled with seals, through surf (thankfully, calm day, I know seadart and TSC and others paddle in some really challenging conditions; kudos to you all for that), orange garibaldi fish, distant dolphins. La Jolla caves, we made mince meat out of those rental SOTs (tsunamichuck in his Khats, Mitchell GP), and paddled the outer surf zone all the way to the point north of Pacific Beach and back to La Jolla. Million dollar mansions dot the coast. I was new to the constant wavy action, and even on this calm day, there were some breakers and we had to stay away from the impact zone by being about 300 yards off the shoreline. Amazingly warm temps, even the water not too unwelcoming, as tsunamichuck banged off a couple ocean rolls to cool down.
Ended that day with a ginormous slice of pizza pie and a diet cola at Pacific Beach boardwalk, watching the sun settle.
Talked about life, meaning of it, priorities, family, tsunamichick and CD2, and yes, even about some of you Pnetters. Amazing paddling.net, many thanks, for permitting two paddlers from 1500 miles apart to feel comfortable enough to meet, paddle, and enjoy the coastline. Kudos to P-net.
One highlight, TSC even made a special point of bringing me to Aqua Adventures Kayaks in San Diego to meet his friend and paddling buddy, none other than Jen Kleck, the only American (male or female) EVER to achieve BCU Level 5 coaching credentialing. Wow! She was super humble and neat and kind (heck, she hails from New Hampshire, what else would you expect?) Her store is wonderful, if you are ever in San Diego check it out--and it has high end rentals (not just dowdy SOTs).
Listen, thanks a ton, tsunamichuck. I cannot say enough. You still are the person I most wish to paddle with (again) --along with all my pals in central Illinois, certainly.