Paula Keezer Outdoor Adventure Girl!

Out--There.com

“I jam cans into the bow and stern”

Those who are willing to exchange freedom for security deserve neither. -- Ben Franklin

Deb has headed back to the campsite, Rafa is off to a diving tour and I’m on this little beach with a jam packed kayak and an audience of hombres watching!  I pull the yak into the water, and low an behold it still floats (I think the hombres thought it would sink!).  The little beach I’m at has some protection from the north wind so it is a pretty calm launch.  I get things tightened up (spray skirt, water jug etc) and paddle on out to open water where the swells are one to two feet and plenty of chop.  Camila 13 is a Nechy Teslar.  It has a soft chine which immediately feels different from my Nechy Looksha IV.  A couple of hip wiggles and I get the feel of the stability points.  My paddling gets into a nice rhythm and in a short while I’m rounding the point and heading towards a yellow kayak on the campers beach!

 

I unload three gallons of water to Deb’s boat and after a few more minutes of yak refactoring  we launch and  point our bows south into the sun filled sky.  After a brief discussion about how far off the coast we should paddle and what our first sighting should be, we drop into a paddle routine that includes a bit of bracing and paddle stroke variations in the seas that have grown a bit to the two to four foot swells.  A few tops are breaking off which makes for interesting stern and bow washes.  Still well within our limits and we are in following seas.

 

Deb has a strong, easy flowing paddle stroke and a nice upright position.  Five hundred miles of paddling probably makes your body to all the right things.  It takes a mile or two before my shoulders relax and my stroke begins to match easy rhythm.

 

All this water, barren mountains, cactus, thorn plants and other hardy desert flora make for an unusual landscape.  Much of the beach is rocky and deserted with the swells breaking close to shore.  There will be no landing for quite some time and we both hope the seas will hold steady as they are.

 

After seven miles, nature begins to call and we must find a

Baja Yaker:  Pack dogs

The next morning we are woken by a barking dog.  A quick check and it is a stray sitting at the end of the street that comes down to the Playa.  It barks and then, some distance away, another dog barks, probably another stray, then further away another dog barks as if signaling each other.  This goes on for about an hour.  I get a strange sensation that I’ve experienced this sort of thing before, that these are pack dogs who have been in this city for 300 years, passing on their pack instincts to each generation of strays.  Perhaps it was an ancient DNA memory.  Very strange.

 

Deb and I have an early breakfast at the local café.  I head to Dolphin Divers and Deb heads off to get some last minute provisions.  At Dolphin Divers, Rafa shows up and I have a few more ‘papers’ to sign and we hall the kayak down to the beach.  Rafa heads off to the Port Authority with the ‘papers’ and I start packing the kayak.  Since Deb has to walk all the way back to her kayak at the camp site south of town (about a mile by water) I get to pack everything possible into the kayak.  I jam cans into the bow and stern, two more bags of fresh provisions and four gallons of water.  I tuck my two bags of clothing and camp gear (including tent) into the fore compartment and last but not least I carefully pack away the Hornitos, pineapple juice and two dozen fresh eggs!  Rafa comes back with the last of the ‘papers’ and instructs me on what papers I should have handy if we get stopped and questioned.

 

Rafa looks out at the water “We are in for a good change in weather.  The seas will be calming down but there may be an El Norte moving in for the weekend”.  Have a good time Adios.”

 

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