This was the third day of the trip and the third long day in a row. I had not felt it the previous two days but today it caught up with me. I didn't have a breeze helping me along on this day and it took 9 hours to paddle the same distance that took 7 on the previous day. I have my watch beep at me every hour and let myself take a short break and drink on the hour. The first two days I didn't feel the need for the breaks but on this day I appreciated all of them.
There wasn't much scenery to watch so I amused myself taking pictures of the beachfront houses. I do not believe some of these can survive winter storms! I'm fond of saying that the Coastal Commission is a tool for making sure that poor people can no longer afford to build near the ocean. But I have to admit that the rich people who can afford to jump through the Coastal Commission rules can also afford architects with a lot of creative imagination.
The fog came in after noon so I followed my GPS across a big bight to shave some time off my day. When I got close to shore and the fog lifted I could not see the big breakwater my topo maps shows in front of the Santa Monica Pier. It tuns out it is abandoned and now knocked over by storms. It is now mostly submerged and a hazard to navigation. I paddled inside it and looked at the beach. I was intimidated by the manned lifeguard stations and the "no boats" buoys on both sides of the big pier. I went past the last "no boats" sign and landed there. This must have been an OK place to kayak because the lifeguard did not come over and hassle me.
When I looked for a hotel in Santa Monica I chose one that was a few blocks from the big Santa Monica Pier. What I didn't notice on the maps was that most of the town is 40 feet above the water! There is a cliff between the first two streets parallel to shore. Sure enough when I look closely at my topographic map there are three topographic lines between those streets. Not only did I have to roll my kayak up a steep street to get to my room, but I first had to go exploring to find a street that went "uptown".