Punta Coyote to Nowhere Bluff, April 17th 2009.

In the morning the wind was calm and we took the time to have another egg breakfast. When we finally launched a headwind came up from the south. The forecast was for big wind from the north. We paddled for two hours into this wind. Doug Hamilton and I found a small curve of cove behind a point and landed for the required (by Andrea Wolf) break every hour or so. When Herb Howe and Andrea arrived, they stopped at the point, looked diagonally across the waves spilling into the point between us, and refused to land. Then they padded past the middle of the cove without noticing the much calmer water at the center of the cove.

Right about then the north wind came back as forecast and started roaring our way. Herb and Andrea put up their sails for a few minutes. Apparently they decided the wind was too strong for the sails. Then Kate DesLauriers and Andrea got scared of the conditions and did what they usually do: Paddle even slower than they were into the headwind and prolonged their exposure to conditions that they didnít like.

This stretch of coastline is known to have few places to camp, so we kept going, looking for a place to land. One point looked promising and we were making progress towards it when Kate fell over in a whitecap. I got her boat back up and her back in with a T-rescue but she refused to try and paddle around the point. I figured if she tried to land in the surf on the exposed side she would capsize again, so I held our two kayaks rafted together and let the surf push us to shore. This worked OK and would have worked perfectly if we had not drifted into the start of a barnacle-covered reef. This was close enough to shore, however, for us to get out. We pushed the kayaks away from the reef and walked through the shallow water to the beach.

Andrea and Herb made it around the point although she was knocked over by a wave and swam to shore with her kayak. Doug paddled back and forth through the surf around the point and collected equipment and water bags lost out of Kateís cockpit.

Kate walked around the point to join up with Andrea and I followed. Doug came in for a landing, and then he and I walked back to collect the last two kayaks. We set up camp behind a sandy bluff out of the wind, but around dinner time the wind tuned to blow sand into our food. It also blew fine sand through the mesh of my tent and dusted sand on all our sleeping gear. Kate said that she was never getting back in the kayak.

All text and images Copyright © 2009 by Mike Higgins / contact