The Cardon Coast

San Felipe to La Paz

Baja Sea-Kayaking Adventure #9

33 days with Jenny, 680 miles, Nov 1989

Ray Jardine

Cruising The Cardon Coast page 36 of 36

Trip's aftermath:

We disassembled the kayak in less than an hour and a half, such was the comparative ease between painstakingly lashing 42 longeron-to-frame junctures and merely severing each one with a single slash of a razor sharp knife. Prior to, and during, our journey we had applied the contents of 1 tube of Lexel and 3-1/2 tubes of silicon sealant to the gunwale-deck and hull seams, in an attempt to mitigate their leaking. As we dismantled the boat, some of these plastic seams easily peeled away, but those that didn't we split with the blade of a screwdriver. After rinsing the parts in the hotel room's shower, we set them out on the veranda to dry in the sun, then began packing and lashing the various parts and the rest of our kayaking and camping gear in bundles and bags suitable for transport.

That evening we set out afoot to peruse the city's beachfront. After spending a few hours walking the dusty sidewalks past garish curio shops, cheap discotheques and the occasional dingy Mexican bar with los borachos belting out their lusty songs, finally we found something of interest. We sat on a park bench facing the placid bay while a floodlight illuminated the shallows. And here we watched a snow-white egret and a night heron of a nondescript grey, fishing for minnows and enjoying reasonable success. It was fascinating. The two birds displayed entirely different techniques: The egret pranced excitedly about, this way and that, aggressively pursuing its prey, occasionally fluttering its wings momentarily, then suddenly ramming its beak into the water and bringing up a silvery, flashing sardinia. Lacking hands to grasp the little fish, the bird could only wait until the morsel ceased its flailing, and then with a few sudden jerks, the fish would disappear, whole, down the bird's maws. The night heron, on the other hand, would stand fairly motionless, awaiting its prey to come to it. At intervals it would lean far forward, neck outstretched, and peer intently into the water. Then with a sudden pounce a minnow was procured. Which bird was more successful was a matter of conjecture.

1989-12-07

The following morning we jounced by taxi to the bus station, went inside and bought tickets, then stood waiting for an hour to board. The driver loaded our five parcels of baggage, and the passengers began loading, but when it came our turn to board the driver examined our tickets and turned us away. After an extenuated discussion among the bus company personnel, the driver pointed out to us that the date on our tickets was not today's, but tomorrow's. The ticket agent had written the wrong date. Our baggage was unloaded, the bus's door was closed, and the grueling 23-hour ride to Tijuana left without us.

At my request the manager refunded our money. Of their own volition the baggage handlers carried our gear out front. We sat down on it, unable to comprehend the preceding events, and after a time decided we would seek passage to Tijuana on the next flight out, the following day.

With the passing of the hours we began to fit the puzzle's pieces together as best as they would. The problem was obviously a lack of communication, due to our limited Spanish language skills. While purchasing the tickets, Jenny had muttered the words, "por este maƱana" thinking this meant "for this morning" but which the woman at the ticket counter had apparently interpreted as "for tomorrow morning." While we then stood by, waiting to board, all of today's seats were sold. One could hardly imagine someone bearing five ponderous bags and purchasing tickets for the following day, but such are the inevitable and occasional disparities in this imperfect world.

There was nothing for it but to hail another taxi. On the advise of the driver we registered at the Perla Hotel, downtown and much less expensive than the beachfront hotels. Although we spent a great deal of time rambling about the city, ours was a comparatively non-eventful day awaiting the morrow's flight.

1989-12-08

The 1-1/2-hour flight from La Paz to Tijuana was well worth the extra expense involved, as it afforded a bird's eye view of the coastline we had just spent over a month sallying.

Isla Carmen and the Baja coast.




Followup:

After arriving home, we put the Tub back together, and the following Spring took it on yet another trip down the Yellowstone River. And that was the boat's final trip because from there we started making 2-P kayaks of much more durable rigid materials. That's my dad in the yellow kayak that I used during my 1977 trip, and Jenny's taking the photo in our blue single, used on the 1981 trip.

The story has 36 pages. This is page 36.
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