A weekend in home waters

At home, in Humboldt County, it’s always possible to go paddling. Trinidad harbor provides a gentle launch, and even on a really big day (20 feet or larger), it’s possible to get out into the swell and “ride the elevator” as we like to call it. Mark and I had been traveling for four months, and my first weekend home I was excited about catching up with friends and spending some time on our local waters, no matter what the conditions.

It was good to be back in time for the Humboldt Bay Paddlefest, and I rode my bike to the event, enjoying the sunshine and the smells of the redwood forest that Humboldt County is known for. Compared to other events that I’ve been to, this one is tiny, but I like that, because it meant that I could go booth to booth and catch up with everyone.

Michael Morris does a paddle carving demo.

Michael Morris does a paddle carving demo.

It was great to catch up with Jeff and Shannon from Kokatat (which we're lucky enough to have as a local company).

It was great to catch up with Jeff and Shannon from Kokatat (which we’re lucky enough to have as a local business).

Gotta love the guys (and gals) at Adventure's Edge, my favorite local store.

It was also great to hang out at the Adventure’s Edge booth. If you ever visit Arcata or Eureka, make sure you stop in and visit this store… bring your wallet, they have LOTS of great stuff.

Mind's Eye Manufactory was also there, with a gorgeous model of a baidarka on display.

Mind’s Eye Manufactory was also there, with a gorgeous model of a baidarka on display.

The Pride Festival also came by.

The Pride Festival also made an appearance, adding a festive feel to the day.

Although I opted to stay on land for most of the day, the following day Michael Morris and I decided to take advantage of the unusually calm sea state and head south to paddle some unknown territory.

The calm seas made it a great day to explore an area that is usually very difficult to access.

The calm seas made it a great day to explore an area that is usually very difficult to access.

There were some stunning features to paddle around.

There were some stunning features to paddle around.

One of the great things about paddling a new area is finding all of the hidden treasures.

One of the great things about paddling in a new area is finding all of the hidden treasures.

This part of the coast has areas with very few places to land.

This part of the coast has areas with very few places to land.

There were lots of archways to maneuver through.

There were lots of archways to maneuver through.

A great place to munch on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

A great place to stop for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich break.

Gotta love those tunnels.

Gotta love those tunnels.

On the way back we saw some river otters (if you look really close, you can see their heads poking out of the water).

On the way back we saw some river otters (if you look really close, you can see their heads poking out of the water in the distance).

While we were out we started talking about what a great day it was for fishing. Fishing season in this area is closed, and we didn’t have our fishing gear with us anyway, but we decided to head to Trinidad the following day to see if anything was biting.

The next morning we opted to launch through the surf and head north, instead of taking the longer route from the harbor, around the head and then heading north. Trinidad has a tricky surf beach, even on the flattest of days, and maneuvering our way through the numerous breaks woke us up pretty quick.

Michael's got something.

Michael’s got something.

One ling cod and three black rock fish later, we decided to call it a day.

One ling cod and three black rockfish later, we decided to call it a day.

We enjoyed a nice paddle back to Trinidad Head.

We enjoyed a nice paddle back to Trinidad Head, just as the breeze started to pick up.

Pictures by Michael Morris and myself.

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