Paddling on the Brink

San Felipe to Bahia Animas

Baja Sea-Kayaking Adventure #3

24 days, the Sea of Cortez with Linda, Dec 1976

Ray Jardine

page 20 of 22

DAY 22, January 10

At 3:00 am an extra high tide pushes into our sound sleep and forces us to retreat with our camp a few yards up into rocky ground. We try to get a fire going for warmth, but the wind makes it difficult. Finally we each enjoy a cup of hot orange drink, and return to sleep.

And so we are beached for yet another day. Our supply of drinking water is getting somewhat low, so I venture off in search of a spring or well and perhaps a more sheltered camping site. A short way along the beach I find an abandoned rancho. On the wall of the dilapidated structure is the words "Rancho Animas". On further investigation I see that the rancher did some fishing but also that he tended a small herd of Mexican cattle. Therefore, there had to be a well nearby. I search the entire area and find 3 pilot wells, all dry. And finally a wet hole located almost half a mile from the rancho.

I return to camp with the news, and Linda and I carry a couple of packs to the rancho, then set off to test the well water. Lowering our coffee pot on a long cord into the well, we draw a pot of disgusting, mildly saline, stagnant water. Definitely unfit. But at least we can use the rancho as a shelter.

We portage the equipment over to the little house, in all I had walked about 15 miles today, looking for water. We are not making the expected progress along the coast, and have used more of our precious drinking water than intended. So if we don't find water soon, we will have to come up with a new plan.

We force down an unappealing can of Mexican sardines for dinner, then make a batch of popcorn, complements of Dr. Tom. A terrific treat to warm the dank evening. I drag in an old rusty set of bed springs, but to quote from my journal, "It was much too reminiscent of a real bed to make for good sleep."

The story has 22 pages. This is page 20.
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