Step 16: Santa Rosa Island
I turned and ran like the dickens south into Becher's Bay.
It's another planet. A vast shallow sandy bottomed bay with kelp rafts and resting birds everywhere.
I slalomed through the kelp at high speed, sometimes pulling up my rudder to skid over some when I couldn't avoid it.
The pier at the landing was gone, wrecked in a storm.
The information I'd read hadn't mentioned that. Nothing left but a few broken pilings.
Past that were sand bluffs. I kept going to the first low point in the bluff and surfed ashore on a pretty little wave.
I lugged my stuff up behind that sand dune, dragged the canoe up on sticks, and buried the anchor in the sand far above the latest tide lines. The bluff is actually sandstone, with strange natural carvings done by water.
A ranger came walking briskly up the beach toward me.
I wondered what kind of trouble I was in for.
He was probably thinking the same thing.
People just don't do what I'd just done, show up by means of a small boat. Every two years or so it would happen. I wondered what those others had been like. I indulged in some mind reading.
The ranger was wondering if I was a nut, a nuisance, a disaster or tragedy in the making.
There were many hazards. One serious kayaker had been taking the ferry to the island every year to attempt to paddle around it. He'd come four years in a row in a better season than this, and had never managed to make it all the way around the island.
Did I have a reservation in the campground?
No. I was watching the weather and didn't want to have to cross at a particular time. And my cellphone had no coverage out here.
Had I filed any kind of float plan with a harbormaster?
No. I didn't want worry about worriers to make me sail in bad conditions to get somewhere at a particular time.
Was I aware of this and that?