Spent the first part of the day paddling a kayak around Caspar Cove, a new experience, this kayaking on the ocean. Kayaking anywhere, really. My ocean experience revolves around surfing and my river/lagoon/bay moments typically involve rafting or lounging. Quite fun, especially slipping through the keyholes to secret coves, but my longing to be in the water continued unabated.

So I hitched a ride with a Mendo local (someone I already knew – I was not thumbing along the highway, board in hand, daring a picture as that makes) to Virgin Creek. I’d surfed lumpy waves at Hare Creek a couple days prior. This looked much better. A little shifty, but clean, pure waves direct from the ocean, not reforms bouncing off the headlands. Sunshine lit up water blue as tropical postcards – I couldn’t get over the color and clarity of the water in Mendocino.

Eventually the wind came up and the entire time the current pushed, pulled, sucked, but the moment that’s framed in my mind is the first wave I caught. A slicing right that served up a fastsmoothglidingsliding ride that infused my entire being with instant and complete joy. I do believe I hooted in happiness.