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 3 of 22

DAY 2, December 21

By morning the wind is howling and the sleeping bag is thrashing us with a vengeance. We snug deeper down and sleep a few more hours. I awake again and peer out to see four people striding past with clam buckets in hand, heading for the great tidal flats now sprawled before us. Where they came from we haven't a clue.

Terrific winds are whipping the sea into great combers. There will be no paddling today. The morning is chilly, and we need to find some kind of shelter from the strong wind. We have no tent, but after a short exploration we find a small, hopefully abandoned shack on the bluffs above. After lugging the gear and boat to the three-walled structure we spend the rest of the morning inside, re-packing things into what we had thought were "waterproof" resealable bags. Our vantage high on the cliffs provides a grand vista of the frothy emerald green and white sea in all its uninviting, glorious turmoil. Directly below, the surf smashes the beach in powerful explosions.


We strike a small fire on the dirt floor within the hut, and are thankful for its warmth and measure of consolation. For after all, here we are on a great adventure with hundreds of miles to go, but detained on our second day a mere twelve miles out of town. Patience rides low in the hearts of a man and woman on a day such as this.

Later that afternoon we hike along the beach to investigate a dead porpoise. On the way I find an old beach-thong sandal, from which I later cut a pair of drip rings for a paddle. That night we sleep just outside the hut while an occasional scuffling from within suggests that the rodent-in-residence is checking out our provisions.

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