Pin It
Favorite

SUPing rules: Take a spin around Morro Bay on a stand-up paddleboard 

Hey readers! Remember me? I’m the writer who sucks at surfing. My July 27 column “Wipeout” was all about my struggle to come to terms with that fact. Here I am back in the Get Out column this week to write about a similar—but also totally different—ocean experience: stand-up paddleboarding (SUP).

click to enlarge LEARNING THE ROPES:  Clare checks out Morro Rock soon after setting off on our SUPing adventure. - PHOTO BY PETER JOHNSON
  • PHOTO BY PETER JOHNSON
  • LEARNING THE ROPES: Clare checks out Morro Rock soon after setting off on our SUPing adventure.

SUPing has been on my activities list since my girlfriend and I moved to SLO last year. I knew it’d be something we would both enjoy and have success with—a win-win! When I noticed the 75-degree, crystal-clear forecast in Morro Bay for Sunday, Oct. 9, I called up the folks at Morro Bay Stand Up Paddleboarding and reserved two boards.

We drove down at 10 a.m. drenched in sunscreen and met Jim at Coleman Park, which is on the northern edge of the bay. 

click to enlarge PLAYFUL OTTER:  The seals and sea otters in Morro Bay are pretty unfazed by the presence of humans. One especially cute otter followed us most of our way back to shore. - PHOTO BY PETER JOHNSON
  • PHOTO BY PETER JOHNSON
  • PLAYFUL OTTER: The seals and sea otters in Morro Bay are pretty unfazed by the presence of humans. One especially cute otter followed us most of our way back to shore.

He walked up with a golden retriever and bulldog by his side donning little life vests. Apparently, SUPing with your pet is a thing. After making acquaintances, I glanced up at Morro Rock just a few yards away, looking majestic as ever in the perfect weather, and thought, “This outing is already awesome.”

Jim was really nice and accommodating. He gave us the rundown on where we could and couldn’t paddle, a few pointers on how not to capsize, and … we were off.

Clare and I stood up on our boards with ease and start paddling around the bay. Finally—an ocean activity that doesn’t kick my ass! The lesson: If surfing in the open ocean is too hard, try it on a board twice the width in a calm, wave-less bay.

click to enlarge ONE BIG FAMILY:  The sea lions of Morro Bay were rambunctious on this beautiful Sunday. They were unrelenting in their sparring and barking. - PHOTO BY PETER JOHNSON
  • PHOTO BY PETER JOHNSON
  • ONE BIG FAMILY: The sea lions of Morro Bay were rambunctious on this beautiful Sunday. They were unrelenting in their sparring and barking.

After gaining some confidence with our balance and paddling, we crossed the bay and meandered south along the western sand spit and started seeing some marine wildlife. A trio of seals did summersaults in the water; a sea otter mom lounged on her back with her baby; a pack of sea lions sprawled on a dock island barking at each other; pelicans zipped past my head diving for lunch.

It was a pretty special scene to be a part of. The marina is a narrow sliver of the bay where a lot goes on in close quarters. Boats were going in and out of the harbor, paddle boarders and kayakers were all over the place, and the marine life was there—all in seeming harmony.

click to enlarge DUNE GRAVEYARD:  The sand spit dunes are a good place for some marine archaeology. Here’s what appears to be a parts of a bird skull. - PHOTO BY PETER JOHNSON
  • PHOTO BY PETER JOHNSON
  • DUNE GRAVEYARD: The sand spit dunes are a good place for some marine archaeology. Here’s what appears to be a parts of a bird skull.

We made some headway down the bay and decided to hop off and explore the sand dunes. Clare found some bird bones lying around and started putting together a skeleton. We explored the contours of the dunes before returning to our boards. By the time we got back on the water, an ominous fog was rolling in and the wind had kicked up a notch: It was time to head back.

We’d come a fairly long distance, so getting back was a trek with some headwind. The ride back was highlighted by a friendly otter that swam with us most of the way. He flipped and flopped around, occasionally looking at us, literally paralleling our path.

SUPing in Morro Bay is blast. Just make sure to find that sunny day and go out in the morning. The rental companies will shut down for the day if the visibility is too poor.

You can reach Staff Writer Peter Johnson at pjohnson@newtimesslo.com.

RENT A SUP:  Morro Bay Stand Up Paddleboarding is located at 601 Embarcadero and does board rentals from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit supmorrobay.com or call 225-7967 to make a reservation.
  • RENT A SUP: Morro Bay Stand Up Paddleboarding is located at 601 Embarcadero and does board rentals from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit supmorrobay.com or call 225-7967 to make a reservation.

Tags:

Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Search, Find, Enjoy

Submit an event

Movies This Week

More Filmtimes

or

Trending Now

© 2017 New Times San Luis Obispo
Powered by Foundation