Blind Date in Baja!
Delta #543, due San Diego 12:55 on 29 Dec, returning 8 Jan. Can't do it sooner; I must give a paper in New York city on 28th Dec. I tried to get out of it-can't without causing problems for the conference organizer. Will that fit your plans? Please let me know right away.
I write back:
Fantastic, but can you get more than ten days?
She responds by stretching it to thirteen and we are set, except I have never met her; in fact I don't even know what she looks like.
One week before the departure date I break down and call her for the first time.
"Ah. Hi Lenore, a couple questions have come to mind."
She responds, " I thought there might."
I said, "Well, the first question is, how do you like your coffee?"
"And, uh, how will I know you when you get off the plane?"
"Well. I'm 5'6", slender, dark hair with lots of gray and..."
"How 'bout if I stand there with a kayak paddle in my hand and you find me?"
"Great. See you then."
"Okay. See you then. Bye."
A week later I pack my 1967 VW bus, this time for two, and load the kayaks, my Sea Otter for her and my Oddysea Ski for me. I check out my tent and start loading stuff. As I pack my extra sleeping bag I think about the other essentials- food, water, extra gas, tools.
I arrive at the San Diego airport one hour early, go in and check the arrival times. Her flight will be half an hour late. I have one and a half hours to think about the upcoming event. Geez! Is this any way for a forty three year old man to act, meeting some strange woman at an airport, holding a kayak paddle in his hand? What if we can't stand each other? Well, if so, it will all be Kevin's fault. He was the match maker. My old buddy. Her good friend.
I head for the lounge, drink a beer and worry some more. Finally it is time. I go get my paddle out of the bus and head for the arrival gate.
I watch her plane land and pull up to the building. I watch the ramp glide up to it's side. Soon people start to come into the building. I'm standing there, paddle in hand, grinning at every middle aged woman that gets off the plane. They look at me, the paddle, and walk on by. Geez!
Over half the plane is empty. Two thoughts come to mind. Either she didn't get on or she saw me and kept on going. Oh God. What an idiot I am.
And then, there she is. No doubt in my mind. There she is and here we are. We share an awkward embrace, bumping kayak paddle and hand luggage, then turn and head for my bus. She tells me she is carrying everything with her so we won't have to wait for luggage. As we go into the San Diego sunlight I keep stealing side glances. Who is this woman?
We hop into my bus and she bangs her head on the fire extinguisher. I apologize. Oh boy!
Who is this woman?
We talk as I drive along. I don't know what we said. I don't know what we passed. I'm babbling like a fool, driving like a nut. I pull off at the last exit before the border and tell Lenore that I have three things to get. I need Mexican Insurance, two - two and a half gallons containers of water and pesos. We take care of these items and the next thing we know, we are being waved through the border into Baja.
I ask Lenore to help me navigate with the map I hand her while we head for the Ensenada toll road. I have planned to get as far as Punta Banda, south of Ensenada by night fall. Last year I made a wrong turn and wound up in Tijuana where I had my windows washed by some fourteen year old entrepreneurs. They would have repainted the bus and recovered the seats if the stop lights would have stayed red longer!
We have a sunny drive along the coast and a beautiful sunset over the Pacific. Just past Ensenada we stop at a restaurant for dinner. I have the chicken, rice and beans while Lenore has the fish. We wash it down with cerveza. Ah! Good ol' Mexican cerveza frio. All the time we are talking and although I don't know what we said, bit by bit I start to find out who she is.
She is surprised to find that Kevin hadn't told me much about her, where as she had learned a lot about me from him. Kevin rents a room from her, had her as an instructor last year. She also, with my permission, had read some of my letters to Kevin, so she has a pretty good idea of who I am but, as for me, I have just met her.
I know she is a Professor at a University. I don't know what she professes. I learn that she teaches the graduate course in Philosophy and has some heavy duty titles but she puts that aside and says that really she is only a teacher and thinks of herself as one.
We talk some more and continue the conversation as we head for Punda Banda. We arrive, after dark, and find quite a few other campers. I find a level spot close to the shore and we call it a day.
It had been a long one for Lenore. She has come directly from New York, a three hour time change and an even bigger climate change. I have arranged the bus to have a fairly roomy sleeping area so we won't have to set the tent up every night. I give her a sleeping bag and take a walk. After what I think is an appropriate length of time, I return, turn out the light, undress and crawl into my sleeping bag. Again. Who is this woman?
As dawn approaches we wake to the sounds of goats with bells on their necks.
One sticks his nose in the side door to see what's going on!
I make coffee and we sit up in our bags, sip coffee, and discuss our next move. Should we stay in the area or move on? Lenore is for moving on and so am I. It should be warmer farther south and we can begin kayak camping that much sooner. I would like to get as far as Guerrero Negro, 327 miles south, today. That's not far by the usual standards but driving the Mexican highway is a whole different story.
We resume our journey. I drive for a while and then Lenore takes over. She tells me that she has driven many miles in VW busses. Over the years she has owned several and she loves them. Hey! This woman is all right!
It is quite a change for me to be riding in my bus rather than driving it. I discover an I.D. plate on the roof vent I didn't know I had. Also, everyone has different driving styles and she tends to rev the engine tighter than I would. This bothers me but I know I must let it go, relax and enjoy the trip. Never the less, I finally tell her about the stripped spark plug and my concern that it will blow out. Now I can relax. Let her worry about it.
We rattle along with big bursts of conversation and then spaces of comfortable silence, all while watching the Mexican scenery unfold. What a pleasant way to travel. She tells me about her past, her thoughts, her directions. We are becoming friends. We stop for petrol and creveza and then continue on.
From Colonet to El Rosario we catch glimpses of the Pacific ocean to our right. After El Rosario the highway cuts inland as we drive upon a high plateau. We begin to see cirios, tall plants that taper to a point like upside down green carrots. They grow nowhere else in the world. Further on we come to an area very much like the Wonderland of Rocks in Joshua Tree National Monument north east of Los Angeles. Granite boulders of all sizes and scattered in piles.
We drive through a Vado and go around a curve where we decide to stop for lunch break. We park and then sit on the rocks and snack on cheese, fruit and crackers. I just happen to have a bottle of wine along. Several, matter of fact.
After lunch I suggest a hike over the hill to see if we can get down to the stream that passes through the Vado. Off we go through the mixture of boulders and cactus and just before we arrive at the stream I come across something I have wanted for years.
A cow skull!
It is bleached bone white with a nice set of horns. Lenore finds a jaw bone with all the teeth. We take our findings down to the stream and rinse off the sand. Then for a short while we sit and enjoy the scenery, the stream and the quiet. Soon we return to the bus and I put our treasures into the Sea Otter. The rest of the day we drive and talk.
It is dark when we reach the outskirts of Guerrero Negro and stop for more petrol. Three "gringos" are pouring stop leak into the radiator of their motor home. They warn us that the road into town is rough.
I tell Lenore about a restaurant where I had "pescado" last year and we set off to find it. We have to drive up and down the main drag a couple of times to find it but we finally do. I recall that last year I had to do the same thing. The trouble is, it is so hard to tell if the place is open or not. The locals don't hang out bells, whistles, or sodium vapor lights. Either they are open or they are closed. Another confusing thing about this particular restaurant is that the front door is boarded shut. It was last year and it still is but the side door is wide open. Once inside we find a bustle of activity, lots of people but then, not only is it a restaurant, it is also the bus station!!
We are served a very tasty dinner of fish and enjoy some more of that good Mexican beer. One of the local children keeps pointing at my watch. We finally figure out that he is saying that it is one hour off. We have moved into mountain time rather than our Pacific time, reminding us that our journey south is also a journey east.
After dinner we go in search of our spot for the night. I know that there is a lagoon north of town and that it would be a great place for Lenore to try kayaking for the first time. We leave town and head for it. As we drive along looking for the turn off we come to a black topped road headed in the right direction and a sign that say "Aeropuerto".
By now it is very dark and a sort of sea mist fog hangs in the air. I drive along very slowly. After about a mile we come across some abandoned buildings that look like they might have been an air port terminal at one time. A little farther on, the black top ends and a muddy lane begins. We turn around and grope our way back through the fog and find a solid looking gravel area off to the right.
I pull onto it, find a nice level place and shut off the bus. There is instant blackness and silence. I take my spotlight and go have a look around. After a bit I come back to the bus and tell Lenore that as near as I can figure it, we are parked in the middle of a runway. Would it matter? Hard to say but we decide to move. In a few more minutes we find another level spot that doesn't feel like it might hold any surprises and we call it a night.
The morning dawns sunny and cool with a fog bank hanging off to the south. While making breakfast we hear a plane take off but we never see it. Ah! Magic Mexico.
"How 'bout some kayaking, Lenore?"
So we pack up and go off in search of a road to the lagoon. There is a lot of evidence of recent rain and when we find the road there are lots of puddles and soft mud. Now is the time to introduce Lenore to my style of off road driving in a VW bus.
There are a variety of phenomena involved in my approach to off road driving though the white knuckles are probably the most prominent. Underneath my seemingly calm exterior one would find a sever puckering of the lowest part of the digestive track, the right foot hesitating between the gas pedal and the brake, the brain arguing with itself, half saying "go for it", half saying "Stop" and finally, the bottom line. How much is it going to cost to get towed out?
We make it. The lagoon is before us.
At the edge of this breath taking scene we hop out of the bus and look around. Shore birds are wading along the edge. Pelicans are diving into the water, off in the distance are islands of white sand.
We unload the boats from the roof rack and carry them to the shore. I take the paddles out of the Sea Otter and begin instructing Lenore on how to hold the paddle, how to sit down in the boat. As I talk to Lenore I realize she is scared. Well, maybe not scared but I detect a lot of concern. "Hey, not to worry. It's a piece of cake". I glance out at the lagoon again. It is still flat as a board with no wind. I know that once she tries kayaking she will love it.
We have to carry the boats a way out into the water. There is a real gradual slope and we wade out about twenty feet before we have four inches of water. I have her sit down in the Otter while I steady it. She pulls her feet in, I hand her the paddle and shove her off. I grab my Ski and follow.
We have a beautiful morning and it is perfect for beginning kayaking. It takes her a while to get the idea of the feathered paddle but soon she does and we start working on the next step; paddling in a straight line. She is zig zagging all over the place but soon she sorts that out too and begins to notice the scenery.
The whole northern shore is composed of snow white sand dunes, very smooth and rounded. White dunes, dark blue water and pink morning light. It is wonderful. After a mile or so of following the shore, we turn around and poke along back towards the bus. Once there, Lenore floats and paddles along the shore line looking at the birds and enjoying the kayak. I head off to the dunes, strip and take a swim. After my swim we meet back by the bus. I tell Lenore that being with nature brings out the nudist in me. It's not because I have a beautiful body and want to show it off; it's just that it feels so right. I hope she is not offended. She tells me that she is probably a more avid nudist than I am.
We talk about whether to stay or go and we elect to go, though it is a tough decision. The beauty of this lagoon and the possible mysteries along its shore are tempting but I am set on showing Lenore the wonderful places I traveled to last year. We load the boats and look at the map. 171 miles to Mulege.
About half way there we come to the town of San Ignacio. We turn off in order to check it out. It is a beautiful little town, hidden under palm trees. I want to buy some huraches, the sandals with leather tops and car tire tread bottoms and Lenore wants to buy a straw hat. We can find neither so buy some cerveza instead and head on south.
Just before the Sea of Cortez comes into view and just before the infamous Cuesta del Infeirno (the steepest grade of MEX 1), BANG! BAAAAMM! The stripped spark plug blows out!
I ease off the gas and as the horrible racket continues from the engine compartment, I look for a place to pull off the road. On the left is a likely looking spot so, off the road we go. I park amongst the cactus so the setting sun will shine into the engine compartment and allow me to see what I'm doing. I shut off the engine and the deafening roar of the Baja silence drops down around us.
I tell Lenore to go for a hike, if she wishes, 'cause this is going to take about forty five minutes.
I get out my tools, open the engine compartment and set to work. I had bought a 14mm tap and helicoil set a while back just in case the spark plug did blow out. The VW motto "Be Prepared". Using the new 14mm tap and a ratchet handle I screwed new threads into the head making sure the piston is retracted. The instructions that come with the helicoil set say there are no guarantees if I don't remove the head first but that would be major surgery, so I take my chances. After tapping in the new threads I install the helicoil on the spark plug, put some Loctite on the threads and screw the plug into the threaded hole. The instructions suggest a fifteen minute cure time and since Lenore just got back from her hike, we have a spot of tea.
After the allotted time, I unscrew the spark plug and with the insert now glued in place I have Lenore start the engine. It is loud but it blows all the aluminum chips out of the cylinder. She shuts the engine off and I screw the spark plug back in, hook up the plug wire and we're all set. I put away the tools, wipe off my hands and we hop back into the bus. I smile at Lenore, fire up the bus and we back up onto the highway. Thank god I bought that insert kit.
As we buzz along I tell Lenore that when I am traveling by myself I just take these things as part of the adventure but when I'm traveling with someone, I feel like it is all my fault if something happens. Even if there are mosquitoes or if it starts to rain, somehow I feel responsible. She reassures me that she is having a marvelous time and is more than willing to just take it as it comes. I tell her that my mode of travel is definitely not Club Med. She said we wouldn't be together if it was.
Just past sunset we arrive in Mulege and drive into town for some petrol. The streets of Mulege are a special treat. They are very narrow and hilly, winding around in a strange one way sequence. Mixed in with this are no street lights but, lots of people walking around. After gassing up we go into a store and find Lenore a straw hat and my haurraches. Then we go back to the highway, turn south on the highway and head off to find our spot for the night.
couple of false side roads towards the bay we finally find a
trail to the beach. I drive down it and pull out onto the sand. I
park parallel to the shore and we hop out to take a look. Small
waves are slapping the shore. The stars are out by the millions.
I begin bustling around, setting up for the night while Lenore
roots around in her pack. The next time I look her way she has a
bottle of Champagne in her hand! "Happy New Years!" she
says. Wow. I had forgotten all about that. Yes indeed, it is New
Years Eve! I think this woman is going to be all right! I can't
remember what we had for supper but I do remember toasting each
other, Kevin, Baja, the stars, the bay and
Our individual sleeping bags became one.
In the morning we decide to head on south and find a place to leave the bus and start the kayak portion of the trip. South of Mulege is Bahia Concepcion. The bay is about thirty miles long and four or more miles wide. I want to kayak across the bay to the peninsula on the other side like I did the year before.
We drive south and find lots of coves and camp grounds but most of them have too many campers in them for our taste. I recall hearing about a place called Coyote Camp and look for that. Seventeen miles south of Mulege we finally find it. We pull in and although there are a few campers around it does have that "this is it" feel. Besides, we are just looking for a place to leave the bus. We will be setting out with the boats as soon as the wind subsides.
I see a 'gringa' by one of the campsites and ask her about this place. She tells us that "there is no charge for camping here but there is also no one to keep an eye on the bus while we're out kayaking. However, if we park back from the beach, out of the way of other campers, there should be no problem". It sounds reasonable to us.
The day has warmed up although the wind continues. We decide to go paddling so that Lenore can get an idea of what the kayak feels like with some wind and wave action.
The wind in this cove has some weird gusts now and then, which come out of the canyon to the west, but the main wind is still out of the north. A point of rocks projecting out into the bay, north of us, protect us from that but, on out in the bay, the white caps are rolling.
We unload the boats and carry them to the water's edge, get in and paddle out but stay close to shore.
I can see that Lenore's confidence is much greater than the first time out back at the lagoon. We circle around to the north and then I tell her to follow me on a down wind leg, diagonally across the cove. As we cut across the cove I have her aim at a cabin cruiser anchored off shore at the south end of the cove. This gives her more practice on tracking straight. When we reach the cruiser, we circle around it and I tell Lenore we'll go back, this time into the wind, so she can get an idea of what that is like.
When we reach the north side of the cove I decide to paddle out into the bay just enough to see around the protective point of rocks and get an idea of what is to the north of our cove. The wind is quite strong, especially where it is compressed and deflected by the point of rocks. Wind patterns dance across the waves and the waves are churned into whitecaps. I lean into it and power my way out into this stuff, bouncing through the waves. I am being tossed around and having fun. I glance around and see that Lenore has followed me!
"Go Back!" I holler and motion for her to return to the calmer waters. I glance back again to see how she is doing and see the Otter is upside down in the white caps. Lenore is bobbing along beside it.
I turn around and paddle down toward her with the wind pushing me. I am ripping along. In fact, when I get to her and she hands me her paddle, I go right on by! I can't stop! With a paddle in each hand and the wind at my back I'm blown right past her and out of control. "Hang on, I'll be right back!"
The Otter has sunk, nose down, to about a twenty five degree angle. Lenore is hanging onto the stern.
I'm having a heck of a time getting turned around with an extra paddle tucked under one arm. I finally jam Lenore's paddle blade under one of my forward hatch hold down straps. Now I am free to maneuver. Meanwhile we are being blown farther out into the bay.
Neither of us have life jackets on. Lenore's life jacket is behind the seat of the upside down Otter. Neither boat has flotation bags stuffed in them; we were just out practicing! The water isn't frigid but it isn't bath tub warm either.
I have a tow line rigged up on the back hatch of my Ski and I tell Lenore to unhook it from my boat and attach it to the bow strap on hers. She tries but it is caught on something. I hand her my paddle and slide off my boat, swim back and have a look. The snap hook is caught between the strap and the bottom of the hatch cover. I manage to free it and snap it onto her boat. Now at least we don't have to worry about my boat blowing away while we are dealing with the Otter. Lenore hangs onto my boat while I show her the trick I learned for dumping water out of the Otter. I swim to the back of the Otter and lift my weight upon the stern, pressing down while slightly tipping the boat in order break the "air seal" at the seat opening. Air goes in, water comes out. When the water empties out sufficiently, the bow will rise out of the water and then, by giving the boat a spin, it will end up high and dry once again.
I was taught this "rescue technique" in a swimming pool. I have practiced it on Lake Washington, in Seattle. Try as I might, I can't get it to work now. The breaking waves, the wind, whatever, the boat won't empty out. We are farther from shore.
I glance towards the campground off in the distance to see if anyone is coming out to save us "fools' and realize with a shock, nobody has even noticed! We are totally on our own. What a strange, yet wonderful feeling. I'm sorry about our friends wondering about us, but on the other hand, this sure beats a freeway crash or terminal cancer...
All of these thoughts pass in a rush for one split second and then it is time to get serious. I tell Lenore to hang onto the Otter and I will tow her and the boat to the nearest shore. I hop back upon the Ski and start paddling.
The closest shore is the point of rocks almost directly into the wind. I keep paddling and after what seems forever, but is actually about twenty minutes, I can see we are almost there. Lenore has been in the water for over half an hour.
As we approach the rocks in the lee of the wind I tell her to watch out for barnacles and possible sea urchins. We don't need more problems. I wedge the Ski between some rocks and pull in the tow line, the Otter and Lenore.
Here, in the relatively calm water, the "trick" works and I get the Otter empty and upright. Lenore is shivering as I steady the boat. She climbs back in. We are about one third of a mile from the bus. We are both wearing T-shirts and Levi's. The wind chill factor is very apparent.
As we paddle back to the bus I notice the Otter is very sluggish and hard for her to steer. I thought I had gotten most of the water out but evidently not. No time to investigate now. Dry clothes and the shelter of the bus lie just ahead.
We arrive at the shore looking like drowned rats. Lenore is shaking uncontrollably. We pull the boats upon the beach and run for the bus. I dig out my down sleeping bag while she is tearing off her wet clothes. I get her wrapped up in the bag, close the bus doors and hold her. She continues to shake and I remember the bottle of Jack Daniels my kids sent me for Christmas. I ask her how that sounds and I see a definite sign of life. I can't remember if booze in a situation like this is good or bad but I've read where the old frontiersmen swore by it. Of course, they are all dead now, but it's worth a try.
After about an hour we can start to laugh about it. I'm sorry that it happened and I'm glad we learned such a big lesson, bunch of lessons in fact, without having to pay a bigger price. I hope she will be willing to give kayaking another try.
In the evening we walk over to a small restaurant across the highway. We have a nice dinner and some cerveza while we talk about our recent experience. She doesn't remember what happened. She was turning to go back and then she was in the water. I think she flipped over when she made that turn and got sideways to the wind. Using a feathered paddle in strong side winds probably caught her by surprise and levered her over.
Being out there without life jackets on was just plain stupid. Not having flotation in the boat was crazy; the Otter was sinking. The foam seal around the back hatch cover was damaged and water was going into the boat. The rear compartment was half full of water when Lenore paddled back to the bus. That was why she was having so much trouble steering the boat, why it was acting so sluggish. The only smart thing I had done was install the tow line before the trip. We both could have come in on the Ski but the tow line saved the Otter.
We return to the bus and the wind picks up even more. We batten down the hatches. I pull the kayaks up to the bus and tie them to the bumper. I don't want them to get blown into the water and out to sea.
In the morning the wind is still with us but as the day goes by it continues to decrease. The people in the camp next to us tell us that there has been a wind storm for the past five days but that it usually abates after that length of time. In the afternoon we go out with the boats again, much to Lenore's credit. Although the wind still kicks up from time to time, she is learning more and more how to deal with it and we have a good paddling session.
In the evening the wind has died and I tell Lenore of my hope to load the boats with our camping gear and head for the other side of the bay in the early morning. She says she's for it! We go across the highway for our "final supper".
The morning dawns bright and clear with no wind. We pack and load the boats. While packing Lenore's boat I make sure there is lots of flotation in the front and back and that there is weight, down low. A lower center of gravity makes the boat much more stable.
Straight out from the cove there is an island with what looks like a strip of beach. I think the island is about three quarters of a mile away although Lenore thinks it is farther. We set out and as we do, the wind begins to blow but it isn't too bad.
The wind stays at breeze level and the morning is sunny and warm. In a surprisingly short time we arrive at the island and look for a place to land. The wind is compressed as it goes around the island and is stronger and there is a chop washing onto the beach. We swing around to the lee side of a sandy point and pull ashore. It is windy and rather chilly. Darn!
I tie the boats together to a substantial looking bush. We secure the paddles to the boats. It is amazing how feathered paddles will roll across the beach with the wind and disappear!
We set out looking for a protected place. First we hike up to a natural cave we spotted from the beach but find it to be in the shade and windy. We climb back down and work our way along the boulder strewn beach around to the south side of the island. Out of the wind and in the full sun we finally feel quite comfortable and we can even remove our jackets.
I have been surprised and disappointed since arriving in Baja. The weather, though sunny and clear is a lot cooler and much more windy than my trip here last year. I had brought two heavy jackets as a last minute thought but we are wearing them most of the time. Here, out of the wind and in the sun it feels more like the Baja I remembered.
Off in the distance we see shiny splashes moving along the surface of the bay. I have my binoculars with me and take a look. Porpoise! They are skipping along the surface, cutting a long diagonal towards us. We watch them draw closer. It is hard to tell how many there are. They arc through the air in twos and threes. All together, there appear to be around twenty. Their path takes them within about one hundred yards of us before they start to recede. After they are gone we sit there and wonder what to do next.
To continue on across the bay is out of the question. The wind has worked the bay up into white caps again. This island is wind swept. Here, where we sit, it is sunny and warm but there isn't any place to pitch the tent. The people back in Coyote Camp told us about a nice cove on the far side of this island. We decide to paddle around the island and check it out. It is either that or return to Coyote Camp.
We launch and drift south and around into the protected lee of the island. I tell Lenore to stay where she is while I take a look around the point of rocks at the south east corner of the island; I'll try and find the cove and get an idea of what it offers.
As I come around the point, into the wind, I find some people working their way among the rocks, coming my way. They look like kayakers. I pull up by them and find that they are camped in the cove and are trying to find shelter from the wind! Well. That takes care of that. I tell them what I know about the parts of the island I have seen, then turn and paddle back to Lenore.
We talk it over and decide to either head back to Coyote Camp and the bus or, possibly check out what looks like a small cove south of where the bus is parked. The wind is steady and the bay is choppy. I know what must be going through Lenore's mind as we set out on our return to shore.
Lenore does very well. The boat rides the waves nicely. There is some toss and turn but nothing too difficult. Now and then I can see a strong gust of wind coming as it ripples the waves. I holler over to Lenore to watch it and we both lower our paddles and bend low, letting that invisible force rush past us. As we near the shore we decide to check out the cove to the south.
Upon arriving, we find it to be a very small crescent of sand maybe two hundred feet in length with a thick wall of brush immediately beyond the beach. It has nice sand and plenty of shelter from the wind but is there any place to pitch a tent?
We coast onto the sand and since the tide is in, we have to push the boats into the brush in order to beach them. We walk along the sliver of sand looking for a way through the brush. At the south end of the cove I scramble upon the rocks and tell Lenore that I am going to circle around the brush and see what I can find. After working my way up and down and around boulders, sticker bushes and clumps of cactus I find that I have almost made a complete circuit with no luck. Then, around on the north side, I find a nice flat grass covered bluff, full of sunlight and no wind with a beautiful view and a trail down to the beach! As I head down to tell Lenore my good news I met her coming up the trail. This is perfect!
Joyfully, we unload the boats and pack our gear up to our new campsite. We've got the cove all to ourselves. So close to Coyote Camp and yet, so far away!
We stay two nights. During the day we read, we talk, we swim, we sunbathe and we practice more kayaking. The afternoon of the first day we notice a commotion out in the water. A huge flock of pelicans, cormorants and frigate birds are wheeling and diving into the water. I run and get my binoculars and upon closer inspection we find that there are also dolphin jumping in the midst of it all.
There must be a huge school of fish just below the surface of the water.
In the evening we gather driftwood and build a fire on the beach. We are not where I thought we would be but this sure isn't bad.
The second evening we go for a hike up a canyon and find a way up to a promontory. The view is fantastic and the sunset spectacular. The wind has again died down. Looking through the binoculars I think I can see a cove on the far side of the bay.
I still want to go.