Thursday, May 3, 2012

Lost in Space

I'm at Gull Island, 2 1/2 miles out from Hatteras, (launched from Mile Marker 46). I love it out here. Everywhere I look I see nothing but water, blue sky, beach grass, and every kind of seabird imaginable dive bombing me if I get too close.

The paddle out takes 1 hour, paddling slow, with a light tail wind.

As I'm paddling back I can see a very subtle darkening start to develop over Hatt. I wonder what it could be.

From left to right the distant line of the coast, my destination, starts to blend into the sky. Fog. This is not good. I still have a long way to go.

I paddle hard. When I'm at about the half way point the fog has come in so thick that I can only see several feet in any direction. I feel it when I breath. It's eerie, peaceful, beautiful. I pull out the camera for a pic.

Twilight Zone

"This is cool!", I think. "I'm an ancient mariner." I navigate by wind direction and chop. But I'm still paddling hard.  It's about 1 mile to land.

The thinking side of my brain knows that the wind could die or shift and I would have no orientation. It will be dark soon. I don't want to sleep on my board out here overnight, no pillow. I check the water depth every few strokes to make sure it's still getting shallower.

I finally see land emerging out of the grey. I make a guess that I need to go left to find my truck but eventually realize that I'm in The Planet of the Apes, oops.

I get back to the truck as the light is almost completely gone, 2 hours after leaving Gull Island. The fog is a little thinner and I can see a nearly full moon.  It's a relief to be back!

I didn't get my rest day, but I did squeeze some unexpected excitement out of a no-kite day. I had a trip into, The Twilight Zone.