Seal Rock was it's usual delight; swarms of sea lions doing what they do best, nothing, and allowing me to get closer than ever before. But now I could see their playground straight to the bottom. And as they swam under my boat I felt as though I were in an aquarium.
On my final turn I headed for my favorite low tide spot — the narrow cut in the reef between Crescent Bay and Shaw's Cove — my own personal Suez Canal.
The channel is now thick with kelp. As the surge recedes you have to propel yourself forward.
But the narrow eddies provide a welcome place to hover.
Here you can drink in the aural, spectral, and olfactory pleasures of the sea: the briny smell, the glistening, golden kelp, the purple urchins, grayish green anemones, orange starfish.
It's all here, plus the gentle lapping of water cascading in a hypnotic rhythm over the rocks.
I am a political activist who worries daily about the declining state of the planet. I follow the travails of our local political scene, with all the squabbling and infighting about zoning, parking, view corridors, and public safety.
But on this day, it all washed away by an amazing spectacle of nature firing on all cylinders.
And a reminder that all can be good. Lucky we live here? You bet.
BILLY FRIED lives in Laguna Beach and is the owner of La Vida Laguna, a kayak touring service.