It was great when you called at the last minute for a paddle in Cadboro Bay on Saturday morning, Rich -- bright, warm weather with about 5 klicks of breeze made the day feel more like April than January. I was glad to have some time to practise my figure 8s when I got to the Gyro Park beach first. Thanks for putting my roller in your van, so I didn't have to take it apart and strap the frame onto the back deck of my Eliza. But next time, I'm going to put the wheels in my hatch and the frame on my deck because I ended up hanging around for over an hour and a half waiting for you to come back from wherever the current carried you!
We found that ebb current flowing mild but steady from Cadboro Point. It was a good day to head over there, look at Baynes Channel and decide instead to go to Jemmy Jones Island, where the current carried us at no more than about one klick. And when we came round Jemmy through the kelp bed, it was okay when you found the current and headed off with it while I headed back towards Flower Island and the shore.
Really, it was okay. I could see you riding down-current, you could see me, and the conditions were so good that either of us would have to have been hit by a meteor to be at any risk. And when I got to Flower, I watched your tiny figure disappear behind the light at Carolina Reef (where the current always picks up speed) and realized that you weren't coming back any time soon. Still, I hung around for half an hour before going back to the beach and landing.
The only time I didn't really feel okay about you heading off on the current was when I had to carry my kayak over the gravel... but I dragged it on the grass the rest of the way to the Beach House and got there just as Bernie was coming out to look for us on the shore. And I had plenty of time during another hour of putting my boat away, cleaning up and walking back to the shore twice, to remind myself that the weather conditions were great and you were probably okay just like the other times you've zipped off for half an hour or so.
I also had plenty of time to decide not to take your van engine's distributor cap off for a little trip to the coffee shop. In fact, I had just decided to go to Olive Olio's when I found Bernie at the shore during HIS second time of checking for you, and he said you were back & would meet us for coffee.
So my plan for future kayak outings is to carry my own damned roller even if it does stick up on my back deck, and not to call the Marine Rescue unless you are -- ooooh, about two hours overdue from your last sighting or message. And in the unhappy event that you ever do end up flipping in Enterprise Channel (something that I know you feel is very unlikely), let me express the earnest wish that you would, of course, survive in chilly good health after swimming to Harling Point or Foul Bay, but that your kayak would drift away to become a beach toy for the young elephant seals on Race Rocks.
Addendum on Feb 1st: Rich writes about his part of paddling on this bright winter day, at his own blog.