Almost gave up trying to get out through 3-4' crunching, low-tide shore break in gray light dawn patrol. Water temp dropped to about 63-64F. Got lucky with a thirty second lull and made it out.
Morning started out calm, light offshores. Fishing off a popular SD North County beach was very good, great luck trolling a silver Frenzy. Some nice fish on clear/red speckled grubs. Mostly calicos, one small WSB, one short cuda.
Wind came up and died a couple times, solid swell on incoming tide. About 8:45AM a big thunderstorm moved over a well-known headland to the south. Saw several lightening strikes less than a mile offshore over water. Helgren's Sea Trek(a metal commercial sportfisher) was between me and the storm cell, so I figured I'd be OK. Caught several more fish when I noticed a thunderstorm coming over the bluff, kind of between me and the launch at the beach. Started thundering, saw a couple lightening bolts right over the launch beach. A little concerned now. Not knowing if I should paddle south and let the cell pass to the north or try to beat the storm to the beach.
At this time, I noticed the Sea Trek beating it back to Oside to the north, so now I was starting to get a little worried. Trolling back towards the launch, it began to rain and a stiff north wind began to blow. Landed the last fish as the wind really began to blow and whitecaps appeared. From calm to victory at sea in about ten minutes.
Got all the gear below deck as the wind really started to blow. The wind was out of the north at least 15-18mph. With the swell and the chop, it was very difficult to make headway. I noticed the Jr. Lifeguards and surf schools on the beach were dropping their popups and running for cover. A lifeguard jeep stopped on the beach and asked me through their bullhorn if I was OK. I waved them off knowing they had a bunch of kids on the beach to deal with and continued to paddle north, just outside the breaking surf.
The wind was really blowing now and I was not making any headway to the north and the thunderstorm was directly overhead. At Noah's Ark, a spot known only to longtime locals, I turned the kayak towards shore and beached the kayak through 3-4' crossed up, cold, windy surf without dumping the boat and only a minor bruise on my elbow. Walked the boat in the water to the closest guard tower, chatted with the lifeguards in the jeep at the tower for a few minutes. Asked the tower guard to watch my kayak as I walked to my truck parked at the south side of the bridge, got the kayak cart, humped back to the tower at the south end of the beach, hooked up the boat and carted back to the truck.
Today is what I would call "The Full Effect".
_________________Waterman at Work
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