We woke up about 0200 hrs to a massive storm front pushing through. Heavy rain and wind shook the tent so severely Marc thought he was in the Exorcist movie. Yikes! The waves were huge and pounding on shore just a few feet from out tents. Scary.
The morning launch into the strong surf was uneventful except Marc lost his deck water bottle. Jim lost his sunglasses too. The sea’s a thief.
Navigating the swells was tricky. Seas were 6-8 feet with occasional 11 foot swells. Surf’s up! We kept losing sight of each other due to all the ups and downs. The routine is to always try and keep a paddle in the swell then brace, balance, and move forward. Sort of like walking on a balance beam while wearing socks full of marbles.
The tailwind today was stiff. Marc’s GPS clocked him at 6.6 mph at one point.
Again we ate lunch on the water. Just too much trouble to land. Moving on we start looking for Cannon Island. The charts we have don’t agree with the GPS. Hard to locate but the compass needle is pointing to a spit of land with a large beach. Our only problem now is a shoal blocking our way and causing the wave action to really heat up near shore.
We decide to make a run for it and look for the best slice of water with the least wave action. It’s not much.
Marc goes first and is able to surf his yak over a half dozen big crashing waves without dumping.
Jim is right behind. As he gets near shore he’s hit with a massive wave and as he tries to brace against the water. Then it happens. A thunderous sound- SNAP! His wooden paddle splinters in two. Now he has absolutely no way to control the yak. A second wave comes in and Jim flips. He rolls into shore upside down.
Jim is lucky the broken paddle didn’t spear him in the chest during all the confusion of flipping. He did lose a water bladder but recovered it in the surf. All other items are okay too.
After all the commotion Marc spots some folks down the beach and walks down to speak to them. It’s a group of visitors from Canada. The offer him a bag of GORP and 4 bottles of fresh water. Thank you!!
Now we are setting up camp on the inlet side of this island. It’s a bit more protected. However the wind is kicking sand in our tents. Oh well. A minor inconvenience.
Tough day for us. Tomorrow is another day.
Marc and Jim