On a usual Goat Rock trip, I get in the water just south of the parking lot that stretches from the cliffs to Goat Rock itself. The waves are small here, sheltered by the big rock and parking lot, so it's easy to get in and out. Just offshore here, there is another large rock that has a huge arch in it. We have always called this Arch Rock, but there is another one, with a beach named after it, a few kilometers south of here. I used to joke with Marty about it when we went for a walk on the beach: "The waves look calm today. Is today the day we shoot the arch in arch rock?" Now I've been through the arch many times, although I have passed up the pleasure on days when the waves looked too rough. Marty and I went around this Arch Rock in the kevlar canoe once, but we did not feel comfortable going through. The waves break into the prow of the rock, then curve around and meet in the middle of the arch. When they are rough, the wave tops meeting in the middle bounce way up inside the cave of the arch. In my one-person kayak, almost every time I get in the water here, I go through the arch. If I plan to go south to Shell Beach, I do this on a day when I get up early, so I don't get caught in the late moring nothwesterly winds. I have messed up on this, and had to paddle northwest into winds that were as high as 25mph, if you believe that old Boy Scout's book that I recall this bit of meteorological lore from: When the waves have whitecaps, the wind is over 25mph. When traveling into the wind like this, it's hard to tell if you are really making progress, so I watch the parallax of nearby rocks against the cliffs, or the parallax of shore trees against the first row of hills. In every case where I've been stuck paddling long and hard into a wind, the parallax changes have convinced me that I was making progress, and that gives me the conviction to keep going no matter how long it takes. Even when I get in a canoe or kayak after months of sedentary living, I'm surpassed at how long and hard I can paddle without a break. It gets uncomfortable, but I've NEVER gotten the feeling that I could not keep it up, even after 4 hours of continuous paddling one time. It is empowering to imagine that if I needed to, I probably have the stamina to do this all day. I'm not trying to brag, I'm trying to convince everyone who reads this that we all probably have this stamina if we need it, and I'm recommending that you prove it to yourself.