My friend came to visit this weekend and I suggested we try a little kayaking. It might be the last good weekend… the temps have been in the 80s… and she was eager.
We took a walk to the beach to check out the possibilities and although there was a bit of a wind, we thought it would be ok. So back to the house we trekked, got out all the kayak stuff: paddles, life jackets, etc. etc. tossed the boats on the top of the rack and headed out. All was fine. Grand sunshine, light breeze along the shore and the plan to paddle to the point and head down the little river — my sister’s favorite haunt—in search of the grand blue heron on an osprey or two.
Well now, how can I explain… we paddled easily enough to the point…. the wind at our backs and the tide just going out… it was easy peasy! And going down the little river was most pleasant as well… no osprey or herons but the quiet and serenity of the tall grasses and the quiet stream were soothing to our spirits. And so we putz about for abit…. finally deciding as the hour was getting late to paddle back up the stream and head back home. That’s when all hell broke loose.
As we neared the final turn, the stream began to churn and the white caps on the bay water just ahead looked ominous. It was as we made that final sand bar that the wind hit us square in the face. The waves had been building all the while we were paddling down the stream. It took all my strength to keep paddling to make any headway at all. Paddle foward 2, waves push back 1. I knew I would never make it to the beach which was nearly a half mile away… so I quickly headed for the shoreline… my kayak was already getting pushed sideways in that direction by the wind. It’s not easy for me to get out of a kayak — no upper body strength, you see—but I managed to fall myself out of it. Then turned and saw that my friend who had started out right behind me, was still at the far point, actually going backwards no matter how her paddles flailed at the sea.
I had no choice, I plunged back into the shallows and waded the hundred yards back to get her, grabbed the bow handle of her boat and began to walk back, pulling her along. It was all very dramatic of course. I felt like Xena, Warrior Princess fighting the elements. (That is an exaggeration — after all the wind was only blowing 20 and the water had to be a warm 75 degrees.) Anyway… my friend got out, we dragged both kayaks along for a while and when we finally got into the quieter part of the cove, we each got in and began to paddle back to the far shore.
No humiliation in dragging the foolish boats all the way. I’ve done it before when I couldn’t fight the wind. But best to look like we knew what we were doing. There were, after all, tourists on the beach. 🙂