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where in the world is steph.... Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? -- Mary Oliver

Yellow Flag Morning, Kayakers Take Warning

USA | Thursday, 9 April 2009 | Views [1404] | Comments [1]

After days of watching the palm trees flaying around in the wind, and red flag after red flag being hoisted in the breeze...today we had a yellow flag on the beach. The ocean looked calm from the condo window a 7am, the cold snap had ended, and we were determined that today was the day we were going to take the kayak out. After slathering on the sunscreen and loading our stuff and the dog into the car, we drove over to Elizabeth's dad's house to get the kayak. 80 pounds of bright orange fiberglass only took us 45 minutes to drag, carry, push, pull, and kick down to the ocean. The white sand beach was filled with mostly empty beach chairs, though a few kids were playing in the surf, teenagers attempting to break limbs on skim boards, and toddlers remaking medieval kingdoms.

We grabbed the kayak and stomped off into the surf, slightly angling ourselves towards an area were the surf seemed a bit flatter. I paused, and Elizabeth asked me if something was wrong. I responded “no, no. I'm just waiting for .....something.” Something.

After a few more waves, I jumped in the front of the kayak, and Elizabeth quickly followed suit. We were off and paddling. Over the first few waves. I then made the mistake of looking first down into the quickly filling void, then up to the impending wall of green. I took a big breath before disappearing into the wave. Glasses, hats, paddles, kayak were knocked around. I looked down to watch the nose of the kayak dip down, and realized the kayak was filled with water and I should get out before it sinks as in theory a floating kayak would be easier to get back to the beach. I bailed out of the boat, quickly getting hit by another wave and the ocean floor. When upon standing, I realized I was not that far from the surface of the ocean, as the water was not even to my waist.

I looked back at Elizabeth, then back at the ocean. Unable to breath because of the salt water I had just inhaled, and not so happy that I had just lost my sunglasses. A very lovely woman came to our rescue telling us how brave were were, I'm sure she meant crazy but in our battered shape was trying to be nice. She helped us pull the kayak to shore and flip the filled kayak over to attempt to get the water out. 45 minutes to get to the water, 5 minutes in the water. Somehow those were not very satisfying statistics. She announced that there were people on the beach rooting for us, placing bets. We figure there'll be a youtube video out later this week. Soaking wet and sandy, laughing like idiots, we pulled the kayak back up the beach. This time we were going to a pond, were we knew there would be no flag and no surf danger for the day. Several hours later back at the condo washing the sand from the numerous crevasses, I looked out to see the flag had been changed to red. The weather conditions being the same as they had been in the morning, I wondered what idiot did something stupid in the surf and got the warning leveled changed, maybe like sink a kayak.



You might remember those midwest church kids who used to routinely DIE because they'd come to the Pacific coast not knowing the ways of our waves. You goobers.

Beautiful sand and surf, though!

  Mom Apr 11, 2009 2:35 AM

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