Sunday, October 24, 2010

We found our dream home in Gaviota...and now we can't leave

October 24, 2010
Arroyo Quemada Lane
From a sub-tropical fruit farm to the cozy beachfront cottage where we now reside, the honeymoon of our dreams continues to unfold in marvelous ways. For almost a week now, we have been nestled into the cliffside dwelling of the Smith family home, north of Santa Barbara. Here we find inspiration for our future home, enjoy savory warm meals prepared by Linda, and commune with the dolphins...
Posing in Pismo Beach, Kati smiles alongside her friend from the sea.
After our longest day riding of more than 50 miles, Pete is all smiles as we prepare for our final descent on 101 from the mountain passes to the coastal flats of Santa Barbara County. Days of unusual monsoon weather patterns have brought high winds, hail, flash flooding and spectacular cloud formations to the impressive beauty of central California's coast.
With thunder and lightening electrifying the air and winds blasting past us on the road, we finally made it to our destination, the Sanctuary at Arroyo Quemada. More of Kati Greaney's remarkable photographic portfolio can be view at www.katigreaneyphotography. com The last time I had visited the Sanctuary was more than five years ago on a solo bike trip, and the family took me in from the winds of highway 101. On this visit, Linda welcomes us with joyful arms, as we watch the lightening storm from the round windows and drink tea, listening to the waves crash and winds howl, protected and warm and cozy, so cozy.
Under the instruction of Linda, we make ourselves at home, spending the days on the water, surfing waves, dolphin searching and soaking in the beach vista bath tub.
With plenty of time to contemplate, we spend hours writing letters of thankfulness. The momentum of love which we feel each day from our wedding celebration continues to build as the days go on. We wonder if the love cloud of positivity which has carried over so strongly from Costanoa one month ago will continue forever.

As pastel colors burn with beauty to the west, a marble purple stripe allium sativum ophisoscorodon garlic bulb comes into focus. Its satiny bulb wrappers are wrapped in a gentle purple stripe and the curvacious cloves are held tightly to the central stem. Raw the garlic is invigoratingly hot, with a peppery finish and lingering heat. Roasted, the garlic is smooth and creamy, delicious and earthy. The Garlic is Siberian, available online beginning March 1, 2011 at
Guardian of Gaviota, this ocean momma knows her place upon this glowing, lively, magical land.
Headstands and acroyoga practice continue during the low tides of the full moon. 
Kati Greaney, Turquoise Queen, lounges in the sun of late October, along this Mediterranean climate stretch of coastal California.With an assortment of ocean toys readily accessible, we take turns following bottle-nosed dolphins with stand-up paddle boards and riding peeling waves on the boogie board.

On the morning of October 22, while we were paddling slowly through kelp forests just offshore from our kitchen patio, a great white shark attacked a body surfer at Surf Beach, less than 20 miles up the coast. This attack marked the 12th fatal shark attack in California waters since 1950. In 1994 off the shores of San Miguel Island (one of California's Channel Islands and visible from the deck where I now type) a friend of the Smith's was also fatally attacked by a white shark while diving for sea urchins. Ten years prior to this, on September 15, 1984, a kayaker was attacked by a great white shark just two miles north of Ano Nuevo's Cove Beach. These powerful creatures, predators of the sea, make mistakes now and again, confusing humans for their preferred meals of seals. In the photo above, Pete catches a boogie board wave, joyful for the opportunity to ride the swells, asking the Ocean for protection each moment.
 Out for an afternoon paddle. Dear friends Tyler Reid and Katie Garmina-ed their way to find us at our secluded honeymoon cottage by the Sea. We took to the waters on a gloriously clear, warm day along the coast.
 The Three Amigos roll up and down over a building west by northwest swell, with the mighty Coast Range mountains to the north and open ocean to the south.
 In addition to all the smiles, calm ocean condition and sweet autumn sunshine, we had a little shark-factor fear which kept us paddling close together.
 Here we are, the one-handed group photo a success, Ty, Katie, Pete and Kati, friends bonded by the beauty of the ocean.
The HoneyMooners walking back up the beach after successfully riding a Pacific Swell on a precision watercraft, the Floaty.
 Tyler paddles toward the arcing fin of a bottle-nosed dolphin. Also on the morning of October 22, Pete and Kati were surrounded by a pod of ten dolphins. One dolphin jumped out of the water and looked Kati in the eye. Another dolphin swam directly underneath Pete's board and looked up through the waters making eye contact and sharing a glance of curiosity.
 Adventure friends and DareDevils from the beginning of time, Ty and Pete scan the horizon for the perfect set as the sun lowers and casts golden shadows upon the smooth sea.
 Watching the waves after many hours at sea. Ty and Katie will continue their wave quest into the Baja Peninsula for several months between their work seasons guiding clients through the mountains of the western hemisphere.
 The sun sets and we await a brand new day of our lives in tandem.
With four weeks of married life behind us, we cherish the moments together and look forward with joy to a life of double happiness. All our love, Kati and Pete

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