Sometimes the best trips are the ones we almost don’t go on. I loved the idea of stand up paddling the coast and being a part of a clean water initiative to raise awareness of sewage spills, plastic pollution and urban run-off in the watersheds of South Orange County and San Diego County.
However with the fast wheels of summer spinning it wasn’t until two days beforehand that I decided to go with the help of the latest gear from the Quiksilver Waterman Collection. On July 20th at approximately 8:45am I began my paddle (solo) towards the Mexican border. From the very beach (Pearl Street) that I was raised on, on a perfectly picturesque morning, never feeling more alive than the moment I began to paddle away. With my Mom and Dad watching from the deck above with a host of photographers and journalists.
My journey had begun and once I turned the corner of reefs and kelp. I let out a little laugh. As I looked south as far as I could see and thought to myself; “what the heck have I gotten myself into?”
Even though I had never paddled more than 4 or 5 miles in a single day stand up. I had a certain calmness over me that day paddling 21 miles for the first time to San Clemente State Park. The first of several stops along the way while paddling to the Mexican border while also raising money for the development of SickSurf. A new smartphone app and online database that will allow users to report when and where they got sick after being in the water.
Along the way I met up with the team from Below the Surface a non-profit that promotes water conservation and improving water quality in rivers and oceans. A fantastic group of like-minded individuals who came together for their love of the ocean and distaste for ocean pollution, anyone who loves the ocean knows the feeling of wanting to protect what they love. After all what good is the beach if we can’t enjoy the ocean?
Peace- James Pribram