Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Day 33 (Tuesday, July 15, 2008) by Mike

Sailing with Dummies (Hawaii to Alaska Edition)

I’ve mostly given up on the names of the islands. There are too many of them and none of them sound familiar to me. We anchored at a kind of round and pretty steep one that starts with a G. It’s more than a mile high. There is no sand on it for beaches. Just rocks and things. Rocks from basketball size to people size to automobile size. And lots of kelp in the surrounding water.

We were parked generally on the downwind side of the island which makes the wind unpredictable. The wind was gusty and occasionally really strong. And from various directions. Occasionally it was calm.

Kayaking around was an interesting experience. Going over thick kelp slows the kayak some. But when a strong gust from the side comes, you can really tell how much the kelp is holding the kayak. It’s kind of scary in the cold water to be leaned over quickly by the wind. By pointing into the wind during gusts, I did my best to minimize this problem. Eventually I got to shore.

I found a spot where the waves were not breaking, but the water was still surging up and down a couple of feet. I pulled up next to a kelp-covered rock, grabbed hold of the painter (the rope tied to the front of the kayak) with one hand, grabbed the paddle and the side of the kayak with the other hand, and stepped out of the kayak with one foot.

The rock was as slippery as ice. I did the “splits” as a surge raised the kayak a couple of feet the same time I slid down the rock a couple of feet. The water was 41 degrees. That’s COLD! Flailing around and splashing I managed to crawl and slide my way up the rocks until I was above water level.

I got situated and dried off, put on dry shoes and socks, and hiked along the rocky shore. This was the stinkiest island so far. The birds were mostly under the rocks. Wherever I walked they made a racket. I could see lots of small bird eggs under the rocks, too. I roamed around for about 30 minutes and headed back to the kayak.

On the way to the kayak, I noticed my paddle floating at the bottom of a 10-foot cliff. I took the painter (20’ quarter-inch rope) off and made a lasso out of it. It only took 15-20 minutes fishing for the paddle before I had any luck.

Getting back into the kayak was similar to getting out of it. Lots of splashing, a little commentary here and there, and away I went to the boat.

Daily Cuisine:

A person can only go so long without Mexican food. I broke down and made some burritos today.

Arts and Entertainment:

Another Star Trek movie played aboard the Minnow. Number five.

No comments: