I have paddled this area several times before, and on one of these trips I noticed a beach with regular steep unbroken waves rising up over a gently sloping sandy bottom. At the time I thought these would be good surfing waves, but I was not a surfer and could not try them out. Since then I have learned to surf a kayak and decided that the time had come to go try this spot out again. I planned to take my river kayak to ride these waves.
Normally paddling a river boat on a long trip down the ocean would be tiring, because they do not track well, they donít travel in a straight line, especially when moving fast relative to the water. But I figured that it was only 4 miles from the public access at Pebble Beach. I could stand going that far in a short slow boat, especially if I spent the time close to shore going between the rocks. I published the trip on the BASK calendar and quite a few people were interested in joining me.
Then the weather did not co-operate. The swell was so mild on the morning of the trip that there obviously was NOT going to be any waves to surf! So at the last minute I switched to my Coaster, which is a longer boat and more likely to catch a small wave. We also left a car at Stump Beach so that we could do the whole 10 mile trip from Pebble Beach (Sea Ranch) to Salt Point State Park. One other kayaker, Richard Blum, drove up with his river kayak and didnít have the option of making the switch, so he had to do the trip the hard way in a boat too short for the task.
Because of the mild swell, we were able to hug the shore and do lots of rock gardening on the way. When we got to the beach I remembered, just north of Stewarts Point, I discovered something that I had failed to notice the last time I was there. Although the water has a sandy bottom, it changes to rocks at the high tide line. The tide turned out to be high for us when we got there, so the waves were breaking onto these rocks when they got to shore. If you lost control of your boat when surfing, you would be taken into these rocks! The beach is probably only safe for surfing when the tide is lower. Iíll have to come back next time on a low tide and try again.
While everyone else landed elsewhere and got started on lunch, I hung around in front of my ďsurfingĒ beach and waited for a large set of waves to come in. Even on this mild day with less than ideal conditions, I caught my large wave when it came in and rode it towards shore! I managed to pull off the wave before smashing into the rocks. Iím even more convinced now that a great deal of fun could be had here if the conditions are right. Iíll definitely be back.
Stewarts Point has a private boat ramp on it, an offshore island and several protected sandy beaches. We landed on one of these beaches for lunch and stayed below the mean high tide line so we were not trespassing on private land. After lunch we continued south and turned into beautiful Fisherman Bay where we could get close to shore and do more rock gardening. Another place Iíd like to explore more in this neighborhood is Rocky Point, where there are actually several points with rough water between them. In the calm conditions on this day ee could have paddled into this rock garden, but a dozen large sea lions had beat us to this spot and we avoided disturbing them.
As we headed south and passed into the State Park property, I started feeling guilty about making Richard paddle all this way in his river kayak. So I headed straight across the coves from point to point to get Richard to the take-out sooner. So we missed exploring Horseshoe Cove and the Fisk Mill Coves this trip. There are so many reasons for coming back to this area again some other day!