A couple of weeks ago, I got together in La Jolla with my brother and friend Mahir to get in a good training session for the upcoming 12-Hour Moab Adventure Race. We had a great time and true to adventure racing spirit, nothing went exactly as planned.
The idea was to ocean kayak from La Jolla Shores down to Torrey Pines and then go for a long run with packs up and down the coastline and then return back by kayak.
We were greated by a shore break of 3-5 feet which is a nightmare in a kayak. After watching Durdam paddle nearly out past the surfers and the break only to be swooped up and vaulted backwards careening 100 yards perfectly in reverse, we had a hunch it was going to be a bit of an adventure.
We managed to get out past the first break with minimal damage and were able to enjoy a pristine morning watching glassy waves run into an offshore breeze from the "backside" as we paddled north. After an hour or so, we decided to head into shore. I promptly fell off my kayak merely in anticipation of the impending whomp I knew was coming. It took me 3 tries to right myself and then attempt the suicidal paddle in where I was unceremoniously dumped.
After drying off and snacking, we geared up and headed out on a great run up through the Torrey Pines State Preserve down to Black’s Beach, back up a cliffside trail and then back down TP again.
Unfortunately, the surf had not abated. Mahir got some beginners luck and managed to slide out past the break with next to no effort. My brother and I were dumped. Oh, and the water was about 61 degrees (not warm) and we had no wetsuits. The second time I was dumped, my hamstring cramped in the cold water and I had a bit of a fright. Durdam decided to try to paddle out both kayaks (with 50lbs. of gear) with the idea that I would swim out past the break to meet him.
Bad idea, the kayaks turned into accordians and made for some comic (if frightening) wipe outs. Durdam then decided to ferry out the kayaks one at a time which with his herculean strength was able to do but by then I was freezing cold on the beach and not excited about swimming out a 1/4 mile to then kayak so I gave them a signal from the beach and they embarked without me.
I felt bad that Durdam had to tow my kayak (and the wet gear) but I realized that I didn’t have an easy road either! After running for 2 hours, I was now in a bathing suit, 4 miles of sand away from our starting point and I was barefoot with no sunscreen.
Some seven hours after we set out we managed to round up all the gear, get clean, and head out for a feast at Piatti! Here is a map of our route!