SoCal Ocean

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Since my backpacking trip to the Lost Coast Trail, I haven’t run or hiked at all. It’s been over 2 weeks, but unfortunately the plantar fasciitis in my left foot forced me to stay out of most of outdoor activities that I enjoy. I was going to do a long, strenuous hike yesterday, but I decided to take further caution instead. Although I started walking to work as of last Thursday, I concluded that one more week of resting and home remedying my foot would do more good than harm. However, I couldn’t let this deter me from enjoying my other favorite outdoor activity – SUPing.

So, I founds myself launching my SUP at Mother’s Beach in Marina Del Rey.

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It is quite a small but popular one with families with kids because they can BBQ right by the water. In order to get out of the beach, one must go through the marina and into the Venice Channel, which is the pathway to the ocean. So, the channel could get quite busy with a constant flux of boats, ships, water scooters, and rowers and paddlers.

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It takes less than an hour to reach the bank at the end of the Venice Channel by paddling and one must decide to go either to the right or left. As busy as it seems, still there’s a sort of rule to follow in this channel, and traffic must stay to the right, and the slowest, such as kayakers or paddlers, must stay all the way to the right, so it is natural to take a right to exit into the ocean.

Because the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is not too far from the area, while paddling through the channel or around the end of the channel, it is not uncommon to see airplanes take off. Or maybe too often, with a soaring roar.

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I saw quite a few boats already sailing and motor boats cruising further out when I found my spot. In a far distance, I saw a parasailing boat tugging a parachute with passengers up in the air.

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I turned to my favorite view – Venice beach.

I usually have bare feet while SUPing. But due to my plantar fasciitis, I wanted to keep the sole support for my left arch, so I had these water shoes on. I even had the compression sock on. On my right ankle I had the leash on, which is attached to my SUP at the other end.

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I tried to capture a few panoramic shots of the beach from where I was, but the waves were quite high today, making it almost impossible to get a straight-lined beach shot.

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After snacking as I was afloat, I decided to paddle back. Part of me wanted to catch the sunset from there, but I didn’t plan on staying out really late.

SUPing keeps me close to the ocean. Where the origin of life came from. It makes me feel like I am part of this planet. As I paddle hard through the water, the seawater gently splashes against my board and the sun beams its ray upon anything that it reaches.

The vast ocean feels a lot closer as I dip my feet in the deep water. High and low waves are a constant reminder that there’s more to the phenomenon than meets the eye. And at the end the tides always bring me back to the shore, as if it knows where I belong. By the time this ritual is over, I feel more alive than any time of the day or week, because I was connected with nature. Once again.

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About H Peter Ji Photography

I am a photographer. My photos have been sold on EyeEm, Adobe Stock and ShutterStock and also featured on ViewBug and G+ Landscape Photography Community, and via Death Valley National Park Instagram and Facebook. My work is the natural byproduct of my love for outdoors - backpacking, hiking and camping in nature.

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