Posted on May 17, 2013 by Marc Miller
With temps finally climbing back into the high eighties in San Diego it’s was finally time to make what they call “The Loop” around the Island. You really can’t paddle all the way around the Island but you can get pretty darn close leaving on the bay side and coming all the way around landing on the Pacific side only a few hundred yard across the narrowest part of the island from where you started. It’s as close to a full loop as you can get.
We launched around 9am in glassy conditions from the boat launch park across from the Coronado Shores. With a small lunch the goal was to paddle around halfway and make a stop at one of the small sandy beaches for a snack and power out the last leg.
Paddling in glassy conditions is always easy but the blazing sun starts to wear you down. As we rounded the first leg under the Coronado Bridge the wind started to blow against us along the bay side of the island. This is a LOOOONG STRETCH of about 3 miles and the onshore wind makes it a crawl. Only a slight breeze of 2-3 mph but enough to make you work for each stroke. Couldn’t imagine trying to battle upwind for a long distance in high winds.
As we approached the 4.4 mile mark we beached the boards and got into the sack lunch and waters we packed. A quick break and back on the water for the last 6 mile stretch out the mouth of the San Diego bay near the tip of Point Loma.
As we made our way out of the bay back in to the view of the Pacific side of the Island we were met with a slight north wind keeping the water smooth and wind at our backs for the final stretch. Popping out from behind the backside gave us a unique perspective to see the Island from a unique water level angle you just don’t see every day. The view was amazing incorporating the Hotel Del, Coronado Shores, Downtown Skyline, Coronado Bridge and Mountains in the background all in one frame. And being a clear and gorgeous day only helped make the view that much better. A little stop for a few pics and on to the final stretch.
The last leg was fairly easy and seeing the home stretch of the Hotel Del & Coronado Shores come into close view made you paddle all that much harder to finish strong. As I made my final approach I actually snagged a little wave and rode it all the way to shore. All in all it was a 10.8 mile paddle round trip.
After making the landing on the beach I was greeted by some tourists from Arizona. After telling them about my paddle around the island the mom promptly told her twin daughters to carry my race board to my car in the parking lot. Tired and needing a rest I gladly accepted. A classic end to “The Loop” around the Island.
The Final Stats of the Paddle from the GPS
4.4 miles – 1hr 05 minutes 43 seconds – 14:53/mile average pace
6.4 miles – 1hr 30 minutes 07 seconds – 14:06/mile average pace.
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