Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Third Day . . .

The Great Circumnavigation Adventure!

Red sky at night, sailor's delight.
Red sky at morning, sailor take warning!

The common phrase "Red sky at morning" is a line from an ancient rhyme often repeated by seamen. The rhyme is a rule of thumb for weather forecasting, dating back over 2,000 years, based on the reddish glow of the morning or evening sky, caused by haze or clouds related to storms in the region.

We woke to the most the most amazingly beautiful red sky the morning of the 17th. We didn't need to hear the official forecast to know we were going to be in for a wee bit of a rough paddle in our attempt to get from Mare Island back to the Drummond shoreline.

We prepared a hearty breakfast, stacked rocks to form a cairn - letting others know there was *safe passage* in this location - and shoved off into gusting winds and waves cresting at 1 to 2 feet. Our first destination - Bow Island.

This was our toughest paddle of the trip - complicated by my "stupid" left arm deciding to show its true colors. Lupus is an insidious disease, attacking tissues randomly. Two years ago the large head of my left bicep unexplainably deteriorated rapidly. The diagnosis - inoperable, unrepairable damage. A completely severed tendon. Physical therapy has taught me to compensate for this injury by relying on the delt muscles in that arm. But the cold and hard paddle of the morning meant a left arm that was simply "angry".

Making Bow gave me time to work through the pain while exploring the Island's shoreline. There is a Geocache located here and hunting it helped me get mentally/physically prepared for our next leg of the trip - Bow Island to Dix Point.

With the storm clouds gathering we head to Dix and a chance to refit spray skirts, make sure everything is carabinered to our kayaks and prepare for the rain that is starting to fall. Our run through the DeTour Passage not only means plying the cresting waves brought by the storm but also rolling with freighter wakes as we cross into their territory. We are in for a fun ride!

Adventure is nothing more than bad planning. Despite all my planning there were two things I completely overlooked - checking the condition of my 6 year old rudder cables and packing a repair kit. Heading into the Passage my right rudder cable heaved a huge sigh and resigned its position as co-stabilizer against the wind and waves.

I head to shore, beach on private property - thank you whoever looked out and saw me attempting to rectify this inconvenience! With no tools aboard to make the necessary repair I make the decision to tie the rudder up and head back out. I will be paddling a *canoe* for the rest of our voyage!

Bright, shining rays of hope come in many forms. Today they took the form of Paul Strom standing on the ferry dock snapping photos as we approached. There was no time to stop and chit-chat BUT it was comforting to know he could get a message to my granddaughter letting her know we were spotted and safe. Just knowing my husband, Barry, would be reassured by Meagan meant the world to me at that moment. Thank you Paul.

The worst of the storm passes and we head to Barbed Point. It is 1:45pm and we are still one day ahead of schedule. We decide to call it a day.

We spread our gear out to dry, set-up camp and pump much needed water for our lunch/dinner.

Cooking potato soup, watching the freighters float by and recounting our day's adventures we have NO idea of the treat that is in store. It will be an OMG! sort of afternoon!

"When you come to the end of your rope,
tie a knot and hang on"
~Franklin D. Roosevelt


Paul Strom said...
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Paul Strom said...

Sometime you just never know when you can be used as an encouragement to someone. The key is to just respond when you realize that you can. I was lounging on the couch and looked up to scan the river, and much to my surprise, I said " Its them", I bolted up and grabbed the camera, snapped a few pictures. I donned my moccasins and grabbed the truck keys and raced to a better vantage point for the next barrage of pictures. Much to my surprise, I am recognized by my new FB buddy, Candis, I enjoy a few moments of conversation, and they are off again.
I am so thankful that I could be an encouragement to everyone involved with your joyride.
I only wish I could have done more.

Candis Collick said...

Paul - thanks for acting as what you do makes a difference. It does. :)