Last fall, Morgan Hoesterey and I took at trip up the coast from San Diego to San Fransisco. Even though we didn’t score any surf, I met some amazing people and made new friends in the welcoming SUP community.
I almost had to bail on this trip, because right before we left I got a really bad infection which ruptured my ear drum. This caused my right ear to leak fluid for over two weeks and also gave me vertigo. Dizziness and holes in your head are exactly what you want before a surf trip…right? But I was up for the adventure, so Morgan and Chris Aguilar met me early at my apartment and we loaded up the boards on his car.
We stopped in San Clemente to pay a visit to Pedros for some Mexican food, and Morgan was pleasantly surprised with the accidental carne in her bean and cheese burrito. (Morgan + meat = happiness) After one more stop in Palos Verde to pick up a prone board at Joe Bark’s house, we ended up in Malibu to catch a few waves.
After we caught a few ankle high waves, we continued our journey up the coast to Santa Barbara. We began our second day meeting local prone paddler and surfer Steve Shlens for breakfast. After laughing at the buoy report of 0.0, we decided to put our SUP surfboards in the Santa Barbara harbor and check out some of the fishing boats.
After cruising around the harbor and chatting with the fisherman, we continued on to Curtis Winery in Los Olivos to meet Morgans wine maker friends Chuck and Ernst. We pulled up to the boys cooking some amazing grub- grilled veggies, steak (just for Morgan), fresh salad, pasta, and of course, homemade vino! After a delicious lunch we got the grand tour of the winery and even sniffed some fermenting wine full of CO2, which according to Ernst ‘makes your eyes roll back.’
Our next stop for the night was Jalama, a really sweet little campsite just north of Santa Barbara. The land north of the site is government property, and just south is privately owned, so the drive in is nothing but gorgeous green rolling hills and grazing cows. The surf here can fire, but it also has very fickle winds. Luckily there was no wind while setting up our tent and roasting marshmallows, but during the night the winds started howling. That combined with the raccoon ransack was enough to keep me up for half the night. After waking to a sandstorm, we packed up the car and moved on to Monterey to paddle with the marine life.
After not sleeping for the night and the gnarly ear infection, I was hurting by the time we pulled into Frank’s SUP shop in Monterey, Adventures by the Sea. While I took a time out and attempted to nap in the car, Morgan and Brent Allen paddled around the harbor and frothed over the otters and seals.
After their paddle, Frank very graciously invited us to stay at his beautiful house for the night and even got me a quick appointment with his ear doctor! After some pizza, beer, ear drops, and a good night’s rest we journeyed on to Santa Cruz to visit the inspirational Jeff Denholm. Many years ago, Jeff lost his arm in a fishing accident off the coast of Alaska. That doesn’t stop him from charging though. Jeff is an ambassador for Patagonia who regularly paddles out at Mavericks and competes in the 32 mile Molokai to Oahu World Championship annually. Gnarly! We joined him and the local paddle boys, the Ghostryders, for an evening training session near the Lane.
Here’s a great shot of Morgan surfing the Lane at sunset.
The next day we headed to San Francisco, our last stop. By this point the car was a girl explosion, so here you can see Morgan and I attempting to clean out Chris’s car in the middle of the city.
We then headed over to the Golden Gate bridge, hoping to get a surf session in at Fort Point with Morgan’s friend Igor. Even though it was flat once again, we still enjoyed our paddle session underneath the bridge. After battling the crazy currents rushing under the bridge, we left with Igor and got a couple waves at Ocean Beach before a fun night out in the city with some of his friends.
We had a great trip up the beautiful California coast and the best part was the awesome people we met along the way. We want to thank everyone for the hospitality and for making our trip memorable!