Newport Harbor Pizza Paddle - January 2018

  • Updated: January 25, 2018
  • Post By: Matthew Hengst

January 25th, 2018

Once a month a group of us get together and paddle Newport Harbor after work. We launch from the beach next to the Newport Aquatic Center and paddle over to Pizza Nova in the main harbor in a combination of kayaks and SUPs. There we dock our boats, partake in feast of pizza and beer, and then paddling back to the cars. We do this all year round and in pretty much all conditions. Light, dark, rain, and the dead of SoCal winter where you're tempted to put a sweater on with your flip flops.

You can find writeups of other pizza paddles here. For notifications on when we're doing the next one see our facebook group Pizza Paddle Associates. (Send me a message so I know you're not a spam bot!)

We had skipped the December Pizza Paddle in favor of paddling along with the Newport Christmas Boat Parade which is always a lot of fun but of a different sort than our normal monthly excursions and I was looking forward to starting these up again.  Sadly we're still launching in the dark for at least another paddle or two due to the constraints of gainful employment but on the plus side that means smooth water perfect for paddling even if I do miss seeing the sunsets as we go down the main channel.  (And more importantly it's damn near impossible to take decent pictures at night from a moving boat!)

Loading is always a frenzied affair since the boats are stored way out in Trabuco Canyon and we have to fight our way through traffic to make it down to Newport.

Sadly our sunsets will still be enjoyed from the cars for another month or two.  Fortunately traffic was relatively light and we made it to the beach with plenty of time to set up the inflatable kayak Jen would be using tonight.

This was the scene at the beach when we launched at 6:45.  We had 5 hard side kayaks and one inflatable.  Contrary to how the picture looks there's plenty of ambient light to see and the lights on the boats are just to make us visible to other traffic.

We arrived at Pizza Nova a little before 7:30 pm having made great time with very smooth water.  Kristen is in work clothes because she ended up getting stuck at work and almost had to just meet us at pizza before Jen offered to use the inflatable so we could bring her boat.  (We can only fit two of the big sea kayaks on a vehicle)

We had five more people meet us at the restaurant this time for our feast of pizza and beer.  And finally they've switched over to offering a better selection of dark beers!

By 9:15 we were back in the water and paddling for the beach. 

We always go back along the southern side of Lido Isle since the water is generally a bit calmer than the main channel and it's a change of scenery.  Along the way we have a section of the docks we like to paddle underneath which acts as an obstacle course challenge.  In addition with the Nocqua lights on my boat we get to see quite a few fish.

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