After Work Newport Harbor Pizza Paddle

  • Updated: March 31, 2015
  • Post By: Matthew Hengst

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Last year Kristen and I bought an inflatable tandem kayak and started paddling around Newport Harbor some evenings after work.  We found it's ideal since the water is usually smooth, boat traffic is limited, and there's plenty of light from the shore to be able to see.  Soon we were going enough that we upgraded to sea kayaks along with Jen.

We'd been going semi regularly until WTC hit in January and things got busy.  With class ending last week we've all been excited to get back on the water.

We kept the inflatables as loaner boats and after sending out invites and this time we ended up with 14 people in for a Pizza Paddle.

We launch from the beach just south of Newport Aquatic Center. It's free and generally pretty empty right around sunset. If they just had a hose to clean the boats afterwards it would be perfect.

14 people total signed up and to accommodate that we had 3 sea kayaks, two sit on top hard kayaks, two tandem inflatable kayaks, three single inflatable kayaks, and two inflatable SUPs.  It was quite the menagerie.  And a whole lot of inflating to do.

Still with 14 people running around we made quick progress

We made it in the water shortly after 7 pm and headed south towards the harbor proper.

It's nice now that the daylight savings time switch has happened as we get to start off in the light and see the sunset vs the previous few months where we'd start and finish in the dark.

It did get dark as we were turning the corner to enter the channel north of Lido.  We have lights on the sea kayaks so we're visible to any boat traffic.

Our goal was Pizza Nova, a restaurant located between PCH and the harbor.  We like it because the pizza is good, the beer interesting, and the prices reasonable.  Oh and they have a free dock so we can just paddle right up and hop out of the boats.

We'd called ahead and so when we arrived at 8:20 pm or so they were ready for us.

We unloaded on the dock and headed inside where we turned out to be the last group of the night.

Beer and pizza was had by all.

Then of course we had to paddle back.  By 9:30 we were back in the boats and started paddling the slightly longer route around the south side of Lido which generally seems to have less traffic and calmer water.

We made it back to the beach around 11:15 pm and set about breaking down and loading the boats onto vehicles.

The 6 boats owned between Jen, Kristen, and I all needed to be sprayed down so we stopped at a pay and spray nearby before dropping them off at Kristen's garage which we've converted for kayak storage.

With all the cleanup it was a late night and we didn't get home until after 1 am.  Not something we can do every night but well worth it!

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