Angel Island Birthday Party, December 9th 2007.

Fred Cooper celebrated his birthday by inviting a bunch of friends to paddle around Angel Island with him. His son-in-law Jan (its German, pronounced Yawn) was in town for the American Geophysical Union meeting and wanted to come with us on this paddle. I almost didnít go on this adventure because I had just been in The Bay the day before. Dave Littlejohn and DŲrte Mann (who is also going to the Geophysical Union meeting) talked me into crashing at their house after the Holiday Party so I didnít have to drive all the way home and back. Also I carpooled to this event with them.

We launched from Horseshoe Cove and paddled across to Angel Island, east along the south side and around Point Blunt on the southeast corner. Half way up the far side of the island we landed at Quarry Beach, the place I ninja camped with John Boeschen earlier in the year. I was wearing my drysuit and should have been warm. But the polypro layer I was wearing inside was damp from working hard and sweating in the tide rip the day before. So when I stopped paddling and stood in the breeze on the beach I started getting cold and had to huddle in the dune grass out of the wind but still in the Sun.

For Fredís birthday someone had brought a gingerbread cake, which is flat and dry and looks like it would survive harsh treatment inside a kayak for long expeditions. Iíll have to keep this in mind for future trips. The Women of BASK jumped on Fred with intent to hug and kiss. Then a bunch of the Men of BASK decided to dog-pile on him as well!

We launched after lunch and made it around the top of Angel Island before the ebb tide became strong enough to make this difficult. But as we reached the south end of Raccoon Strait we found the rip tide going off at Point Stuart. Most of the paddlers just kept on going but four of us, Dave, Don Barch, Rich Luibrand and I, stayed for a while and surfed the standing waves north against the current. It was a great ride, much smoother and more predictable than Yellow Bluff!

But eventually we had to let the current take us back to Yellow Bluff to catch up with the rest of our friends. The rip tide at Yellow Bluff was going off by then and we spent a little time playing there. The notable thing that happened here was a rescue. Fredís son-in-law Jan was knocked over and out of his kayak by the rough water. But the BASKers, lead by Rich, performed a T-Rescue and got him back in his boat before he was washed out of The Bay. Now he has a tale of adventure to tell!

All text and images Copyright © 2007 by Mike Higgins / contact