21 August 2006

Adventures in surfing ... and naked beaches

So I have been taking it easy the last little while. Michael and I have begun a relatively intensive workout regime coming up to his wedding next fall. Lets be honest no one wants to look terrible in wedding photos and those things last forever. Even his fiancée Jenn is thinking of bleaching her teeth and has been working out a lot more in preparation. The fact of the matter remains that both of them are in amazing shape in the first place. Jennifer enjoys a models figure without having to limit her diet at all and Michael’s borderline vegetarian diet due to allergies and the riggers of a kosher diet have kept him very lean. Either way though everyone wants to look their best so I don’t blame them at all. Michael and I have been working out after work at the Qualcomm gym, as it is free for him and I just follow behind him so it’s gratis for me as well.

Now I used to go to the gym fairly frequently and I loved it. I loved the increased flexibility in my joints and general improvement of my physical health. The problem is once you get out of the habit its brutal getting back to it. Not that I’m telling you anything you don’t know mind you. However, I forgot how much time had lapsed since my last series of gym visits. So upon resuming my workout schedule I decided to lift 20% lower than what I had been lifting a good 7 months ago. Turns out that number was a bit too optimistic. Now anyone who has ever tried to get back into weight lifting knows there is a certain amount of pain involved with this endeavor, but as a man you can shrug it off and chalk it up to the sort of problems one is supposed to have whilst becoming all manly and masculine. Unfortunately I really over did it, and couldn’t unbend my arms for two or so days straight. This was a tad embarrassing and what made it worse was the first time it had happened when Justin and I started working out at the gym at the YMCA back in high school. Luckily this time it wasn’t nearly as bad or as cripplingly embarrassing but it didn’t exactly make me feel good. Finding myself struggling to curl 35 pounds was a wholly emasculating experience.

Due largely to these aches and pains we had neglected surfing for the week. Well Sunday rolled around and it was getting on past 3 and it was decided as per usual that it was time to get some surfing in. We have yet to get to a beach for 4 on a weekend for reasons neither of us can figure out. Luckily we decided that we would just body surf and thus save us on lugging heavy recreational implements around with us. It was also decided that we were going to go to Blacks Beach. Now we had been before when Steve was here and the waves were amazing. The hike was a bit daunting but Michael said he had found and easier climb. One of the main problems with getting to Blacks is that there is no road access to the beach well that and there is a ten storey cliff that one needs to hike down in order to get to the beach. Now past experience had taught us that the waves were worth it. The last visit gave us some amazing left handed breaks and clear crisp water with few people on the beach. However, we did know that there was a nude beach somewhere in the general area, although not having seen it or any evidence of it we assumed it was a small cluster hidden away somewhere.

So this particular journey we decided to park at the San Diego Glider Port. This is really neat just watching people on gliders and parachutes jumping off the side of a fairly sizeable cliff. A bit crazy sure but it awakens the 12 year old boy in me who is amazed by these stupid risks. The hike down seemed shorter from the top but soon upon beginning the descent we noticed that it was much more challenging than it looked. Large portions of it had been eroded leading to 3 foot drops between steps and oddly winding uphills. The trail seemed to be fairly packed which gave me some hope that the waves would be decent.

Now let me make this clear I hold no delusions about nudist beaches. There isn’t even one sliver of hope that nude beaches would at all look like a girl’s gone wild video. I would like to consider myself a fairly rational man in this matter. I honestly didn’t expect to be surrounded by nubile frolicking women in their early 20’s. My real expectations were more akin to large amounts of gay men and a few European minded families. I also wasn’t sure if we would end up in the middle of the nude beach given the amount of families we saw ascending the stairs as we headed down. But in the back of my mind I had the feeling that we had dodged it before and were thusly due for it this time.

Well sadly my hunch proved to be correct. The second we came upon the beach we were greeted by a topless woman in her mid 20’s playing Frisbee with some friends. This I thought was a promising sign. Alas, it would prove to be the exception and not the rule. The second Mike, Jenn and I lay our towels down and got ready to soak in some rays before we headed out to catch a few waves we realized we were completely surrounded, mostly by older single men. Now I would like to think that I am a fairly open and understanding person about this whole experience and that my mind has evolved past giggling at the mention of the word penis in sixth grade sex ed. And while for the most part it has there still remains a certain sense of juvenile hilarity at the sight of so much unwanted nudity. Laughing helps you get through the initial shock of being surrounded by a good share of people you would never want to see naked on your worst day. Apparently when gravity starts to pull so dissolves the urge to keep your clothes on.

Now if this behaviour were limited to people simply enjoying the feeling of being naked in the outdoors I could probably understand it. I mean I am willing to accept that the internet, strip clubs and my relatively good taste in women does not by any stretch hold true for the rest of humanity. Sure I have seen mostly only attractive people naked so I was bound to in my time see a few unattractive and if it had to be on a public beach rather than in my bed after a night of enthusiastic drinking then so much the better. However, there were certain behaviours that take place on a nudist beach that prove to some extent it is about showing off even more so than straight beaches.

On your average clothes beach you will not find nearly as man single men. Most men come in groups and even in San Diego and places like Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach where the intention is to cruise for members of the opposite sex it seems less predatory. The lone naked man who gravity seems to have quite literally ‘by the balls’ strutting up and down the beach is a disturbing image at best. Now this sort of behaviour would be strange at a normal beach and raise parents’ suspicions, it has the same effect at a nude beach. So does jogging naked. Regardless of your sex or age jogging naked seems to be a painful experience one that I would never wish to attempt on my own. Something just felt off about the whole place.

Michael and I decided to man up about the situation and head into the water. I mean surely we have witnessed in our time many naked members of the same sex in gym showers and nothing seems out of place so we have to be mature about this. This of course means that one has to man up sufficiently enough to get in the cold water. For some reason the water was colder than usual yesterday, not that it changed our reaction. Each time, just before dipping our first toes in the ocean the usual banter takes place.

Daniel: So are we going to be men about it this time?
Michael: We haven’t every other time.
Daniel: Fair point
*commence shivering and screaming like little girls at the water temperature*

This happens each and every time we get into the ocean and there is nothing that can be done for it, it just seems to be inevitable. So we waded out into the water and inevitably into a small kelp forest. Look I am perfectly aware that there is all manner of vegetable, animal and mineral exist in the ocean. But there is something really disgusting about walking through the wet salad that is a submerged kelp forest. There is also a disconcerting feeling when after freshly stepping down you feel a slimy writhing underfoot, occasionally it swims away and other times you just slide on it. Either way not the best feeling. The waves themselves were mediocre to subpar at best and I was getting annoyed waiting to catch these tiny waves. Michael was growing tired of it to but became even wearier of it after we were joined by naked body surfers. Now let me quickly detour to explain the etiquette of surfing or body boarding. The basic nature of this is that we all wait out in the same area waiting for waves to break. We wait just behind the imagined break line and hope for a decent wave, one that we can get enough jump time on a paddle up to catch. This requires a large portion of time spent next to your fellow surfer. In body boarding the issue is a little different as multiple people can catch the same wave, many more than when one is surfing. So on a busy day you may end up body surfing next to three or four people in close proximity. Well this is where the problem of naked body surfing rears its’ ugly head. As you spend most of your time lying down on the board waiting for a wave you essentially see a lot of naked ass. I could tell Michael was getting tired of it after almost having bumped into said unprotected ass a few times. Mercifully I went wide and stayed out of range of this spectacle. After a few jokes to Michael and warnings ‘don’t look into the eye’ we were done for the day. We packed up and headed out all feeling a little dirtier for our efforts.

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A few aerial shots of the cliffs overlooking Blacks

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The view from space thanks to google earth and mspaint

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pictures of the hike stolen from the net

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not exactly inviting

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don't know who this dude is, like i said i stole this

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