Although it’s been a busy spring, and there’s been a sprained knee to rehab, I’ve been diligent about setting Monday mornings aside for getting into the great outdoors with my plein air painting peeps at PAPASAN. The past two weeks have been at Sunset Cliffs, the north side of the long hilly peninsula that is Point Loma, which is the stone fortress side of San Diego Bay. In California, the waves usually roll in from the north west, which means that Sunset Cliffs is a prime surf spot.
You have to be agile to surf at Sunset Cliffs. You don’t just pull your car up to the beach and walk a few steps to the water. There are CLIFFS, hence the name. Stairs? Not so much. Steep sand paths that zig zag unofficially down the nearly vertical faces, with gaps and drops to be jumped down or over, generally traversed barefoot (because footwear is superfluous) are the only way down to the best breaks.
Still nursing my sprained knee, I have refrained from scaling cliffs with 25 pounds of of painting gear. My paintings have been done from the heady heights of the cliff tops, where folks hike, let their dogs chase the ubiquitous ground squirrels, snap pictures and enjoy the sight of platoons of pelicans surfing wingtip to wingtip on the coastal thermals.
Although there are lots of dogs, you rarely hear barking, so when I heard quite strenuous yammering coming from the beach, I looked down and saw one dog staring out at the surfers…. His dad was out there, and paddling back to him. As soon as he was within range, the dog dashed into the water and paddled out to meet him. Obviously they’d done this routine before!