Internal Thoughts

Intern Recommended Mildly Challenging Adventure #3

Hi everybody, James the Intern here again with yet another Intern Recommended Mildly Challenging Adventure!

My continuing internship at OutsidePR has provided an engaging and useful education in the world of PR while also allowing me an awesome amount of free time to explore the beauty of my surroundings here in Marin County. This free time, coupled with my lack of a girlfriend, has enabled this summer to be the most mildly adventurous of my life.  I have braved hiking trails that my mother described as “rather poorly maintained.” I have risked elevation related apnea after prolonged exposure to the perilously thin air atop Mt. Tamalpais (elev. 2,461 ft).  The most mildly challenging adventure of the last few weeks, however, was the hour I spent paddleboarding last week.

While I expect the majority of this blog’s readers are familiar with paddleboarding, this growing sport necessitates a bit of explanation for those who have yet to discover the joys of standing on a board slightly wider than a surfboard and paddling around. Woah. That explanation was easier than I thought it would be… For further clarification, see the picture below. Pretty self-explanatory.

This is what paddleboarding looks like. Note this guy’s expert lack of effort.

My mother and I took part in a beautiful bit of paddleboarding last Thursday in the waters of Sausalito’s Richardson Bay, and I officially recommend this mildly challenging adventure to you.

Location: There are multiple places to rent paddleboards in the Bay, but my experience with Sea Trek Rentals left me nothing if not satisfied. Located at 30 Libertyship Way in Sausalito, Sea Trek boasts an ample supply of boards and a surprisingly pleasant little beach nestled in a small, marina-protected cove. The staff was helpful and engaged, and I was impressed by their ability to store the uneaten half of a burrito I was saving for a mildly nutritious post adventure carboboost. Once out into Richardson Bay I found myself amidst dormant sailboats and barnacled fishing vessels at anchor. The backside of Tiburon and the hills of Sausalito across Richardson Bay formed a corridor that forced my eye across the bay, past Angel Island and Alcatraz to the beautiful San Francisco skyline. Not too shabby, not too shabby at all.

View towards the city from Richardson Bay in the evening (or at five thirty in the morning on a day where everyone got up really early for work, there’s no way to be sure)

Cost: Sea Trek’s rate is a fair one, $20 dollars per hour of board rental. This includes paddle and life vest, along with a handy tutorial from a kind-eyed employee whose name is apparently far less memorable than his patient and straightforward guidance. After our excursion it was clear to me an hour was all we needed in order to keep the adventure “mildly challenging” rather than “somewhat tiring.”

What to do/see: An enjoyable aspect of this adventure is its lack of parameters or boundaries. Once out of the marina you can go any direction you please. The decision to turn left presents you with a view of Mill Valley and Marin’s crown jewel, Mt. Tamalpais. If you were to go far enough in this direction you would find a number of creeks upon which you could embark on your own Heart of Darkness–esque expedition for Mill Valley’s best cup of coffee. The decision to turn right presents you with the aforementioned view of the San Francisco Skyline. My advice is to do what feels best, and to be less conscious of where your headed that of your immediate surroundings. When you are out on that board you are a tourist, really, venturing into one of Marin’s most authentic and gritty cross-species communities. Move through the buoys. Read the names on the back of the boats.  Seals and old, haggard sailors alike will poke their heads intermittently from their respective domains, both giving you a dismissive glance before again disappearing. At one point on our adventure, some sort of ray emerged from the murky water of the Bay not only sun its back but also to scare the bejebus out of me.

Look at this adorable little dude. Added bonus- not a shark !

Must eat/drink: Remember that burrito I mentioned earlier that Sea Trek so graciously stored for me in a location safe from the harmful rays of the sun? Well, it came from a delicious Mexican restaurant a mile up the road called the Salsalito Taco Shop. Forgive me for the assumption, but my best guess is that the name is a play on the restaurant’s location in Sausalito made relevant by the fact that they make their own salsa (which is delicious). While I took my burrito to go, I urge you to take a sit and enjoy yourself at Salsalito’s vibrant outdoor patio.

Miscellaneous: Be wary of the wind. It is best to take up your paddle and shove off in the morning before the harsh winds of the summer come up and sweep across the bay in the afternoon. The wind is far more prominent due south towards the end of Sausalito, where the wind creeps around the Golden Gate Bridge and over the Waldo Tunnel and falls across the water. It is markedly more difficult to paddleboard against the wind, and far colder. Put simply, it is far less mildly challenging. Be cognizant of this threat.

The view of Mt. Tam from Richardson Bay. The small ripples in the water suggest a light wind. If there was a heavier wind the ripples would be bigger. That’s just simple logic.

Paddleboarding was a ton of fun. It was relaxing. It was a great workout for the core and shoulders. It was helpful in my quest to conquer my irrational fear of pelicans. It was all in all a phenomenal experience, and I recommend you try it out as soon as you can.

All best,

James the Intern

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