Thursday, December 18, 2014

Storm Paddlin' with Alexis

I've been getting out paddling a bit more recently.  Alexis and I have been trying to get out early in the morning for quick paddle to start the day of chasing after our kids.  The other morning, we went out during a storm.  That was really fun.  The usually calm bay came alive with high winds and rain that stung your face.  We traded off after a while, and catching wind waves on Alexis' SUP was really fun!  

paddling upwind "earning our turns"

Alexis and Pelicans...

I think these were Plovers flying around the bank.  They were really fun to watch. 
hadn't rolled this kayak for a while, so I figured I'd see if I still remembered.  

made it!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Kayak Commute: Sunset from TI beach

Not bad for my Galaxy S4.  The sunset was amazing.... no filter, no photoshop, nothing.  
I figured it's gonna rain next week and I won't get to play soccer for a while... so I played...
I figured I could fight the tides on the way home (see the tide chart below)... so I fought...
I figured this would probably be the last paddle commute of the year... so I paddled.  

I felt as solid as a sumo wrestler, and as nimble as Neymar on the way to work.  Cutting through the glassy bay (probably the most calm paddle I've ever had), I arrived in SF in record time.  On the way back, I was planning to leave a bit early, as I knew the tides were only going to get stronger and stronger.  But my meeting ran late, and I got in the water knowing I'd get worked.  Three ferries buzzed me, as if they were letting me know that the current was against me, foreshadowing my later encounter with the 1740 ton, 273 meter Polar Resolution blowing it's horn a 100 yards away from me.  Definitely the loudest horn from the biggest vehicle that has ever honked at me.  That got my heart pumping.  It didn't help that this encounter occurred where the current was the strongest, and my legs were starting to cramp in the choppy water.

Despite all this, this was the best commutes of the year.  Dozens of pelicans dive bombing all around me; saying hello to cargo boat captains; seals coming up to say hello; and did you see the sunset? I had to stop and take a pic of that!

a minute before the polar resolution blew it's horn... like I didn't notice... check it. 
saying hi to the captain.  Had a short conversation with him... he was basically wondering WTF I was doing.  I was wondering where he was coming from... then it got pretty choppy and I almost fell in.  That ended that
enjoying the glass behind the boat.
Check out all the seagulls following the Polar Resolution.
heading to the beach to stretch my cramping legs

it was a good stretching sesh...
OK, time to get back in...

see those seals popping up behind me?  Most of the pod were in front of me, with dozen of them swimming/barking alongside.
ok, time to get back to beat the dark
Probably was fighting a 2+ knot current under the bridge.  

and on the way home...

Friday, December 12, 2014

The bob named cat.

Check out this kitty cat we saw on our Hamilton ride!  This was my second one I've seen on Mines Rd.... near the same area.  I've seen 2 in Redwood Regional Park when doing my night rides... but this was the best one I've seen.  Had time to get my phone out and take some pics.  

For a good laugh, read this...

Here's our ride... discovered on this ride that there is a post office, some vending machines, a restroom, and water at the top... can't believe I didn't discover that before.  

summit shot...

Monday, December 8, 2014

Puddle hopping to West Point Inn with the Dufours!

After a wonderful Thanxgiving feast with the Carpentier's in San Jose and spending time with Kim's extended family who just moved to San Jose, we decided we should walk off the turkey and head to a hut like we do every year after Thanxgiving.  It's wonderful, we pack up the leftovers, and spend more time with friends at an amazing location.  This year we decided to return to West Point Inn... a magical place on Mt. Tam with the Dufours.  The forecast was for rain, and we were prepared for a slog up in the mud with whining kids, but as soon as they saw their first puddle, they were giggling, jumping, then running to the next puddle.  At the hut, we enjoyed our leftovers, Alexis and I got to play a game of chess (which happens once every other year or so...), and chase Nikko around while he crawled around finding things to eat.  We capped the night off with a single malt Yamazaki I gifted to Alexis in jollification of his 40th B-day.

I wanted to share another Gary Yost production about Mt. Tam... check it out when you get a chance.

A Day in the Life of a Fire Lookout. from Gary Yost on Vimeo.

schrooms!  We need Hoeft to ID these.  
The hike up was foggy... which I always enjoy.  
The crew!  
and before we knew it we were at the Inn. 
drinking hot coco and changed into our warm dry clothes.  
I guess I didn't take many pics while we were inside.  The kiddos were suited up after we ate breakfast, packed up, cleaned our rooms, and finished our chores. 

the fog kept coming in and out on Sunday.   It was nice to get a view again. 
Alexis looking down at the trees breathing fog.  
All suited up, ready to toss some shoes!


and running off to find the next splash-able object.

man down!
Banana slug love. 
Thomas down again!
more puddles!
the clouds came in and out on our hike down... watching the hills breath the fog in and out was mesmerizing.   
Kiddos checking out a waterfall that didn't exist on our hike up.
Thomas down again!
a shockingly in focus shot of Kai running on my phone...
Family shot!
Alexis tossing his kids into bushes...
Kimbo pushed our stuff on the way down... claiming she did half the work...
fog fun...
Kimbo in her traditional hiking gear...
the kiddos approaching the road...
The leftover leftovers...
On our way home we decided to swing by Muir Beach and head to Pelican Inn for lunch.  
The kiddos were exhausted, and made for a quiet ride home.  Kai fell asleep with his bottle in his mouth.