Rich Luibrand, the president of BASK, described all the trips that the club has initiated in the last month. He said “I hear some of you did a volunteer trip to Chard and Buckwheat Islands to remove non-native plants”. One of the paddlers on that trip stood up and said, with some indignation, “We went to the Marin Islands”! Rich didn’t bother to explain John’s pet names for many points, islands and people in the San Francisco Bay and his creative way of writing about them. When I described this interaction to John he was tickled that people are starting to use his names for things in public places.
We paddled across the bay to San Pablo Point and landed on the beach there. While there was a little sunlight left we scrounged around the area for some firewood. Then we hiked down the railroad track through the scotch broom to the Sportsman’s Club for a drink before dinner. The bar is doing better than before, with a new flat screen TV and beer on tap. They must be getting new customers now that the marina has been dredged again. The bartender brought in a large box of chocolates that he didn’t want to eat all by himself and offered some of them to us. I said that John was in Heaven: Beer, chocolate and Football TV!
We hiked back through the tunnel of scotch broom to our beach and cooked dinner. I had planned on steaming brussel sprouts but forgot them at home! At the put-in there is a grocery store that used to be named Bruno’s (hence John’s name for the location, now you know the secret) and I bought some broccoli there instead. It turns out that John HATES brussel sprouts and was happy with the change of menu.
When everyone else started getting ready to go, I set up my tent. This beach has the old railroad track above it, which makes for large flat areas to camp on. It was a windy night and the scotch broom was a welcome wind break.
In the morning my hands did an annoying thing that has been bugging me from time to time: Whenever I touch something cold and hard in the morning, the circulation shuts down completely near the contact. Eventually all my fingers were frozen cold, numb, tingling and painful. It looks like a mechanism for protecting the core body heat from escaping. But I was hot and sweaty from putting on my drysuit, breaking camp, hauling the kayak down the bluff, and starting an energetic paddle! I had kilowatts of excess core body heat but could not convince my hands to help dump some of it into the morning air and cool water!
The tide was flooding when I launched and there was actually a tide rip around the West Brother Island. I was able to ferry across between the islands on the standing waves and catch surfing rides on the west side. The tide had been very low when we launched the evening before. We had to drop our kayaks down a bluff and launch in mud then. But when I arrived back at Bruno’s the tide was so high that my kayak scrunched up onto the asphalt trail at the top of the bluff when I landed.
See John’s take about this paddle at: homepage.mac.com/jboeschen/comiclife/12.20.07/Comic.html