The Weather. She’s wearing a white, sleeveless blouse, the ends tied in front, her tanned, trim, six-pack tummy glistening. Short shorts below, her brown legs stretching all the way down to her bare feet.
A glimpse of summer, that’s what greets us this Thurseve. We mimic the Weather best as we can, wear short-sleeved shirts, shorts. Our bare legs, however, end in waterproof booties.
Speaking only for myself, not the others, my middle is neither tanned, trim, nor a six pack, and is covered.
The entire crossing from Bruno’s to Pet Sematary Beach at Pt. San Pablo Harbor matches the Weather’s relaxed, fluid strides, paddle stroke for paddle stroke. Effortless, flowing.
One of only two boats we encounter is a catamaran moving slowly under her own power, her sails furled, the wind listless. The couple on board smile, raise their glasses, gin ‘n tonics I suspect. We wave back, paddle on to Two Brothers, East and West.
On the backside of West Brother, we run into the owner of Pt. San Pablo Harbor and his lady friend, both in kayaks. We stop, chat a spell about this and that before leaving them and moving on to East Brother.
A narrow channel of water separates East Brother from Pt. San Pablo. In the distance, we spot a large tug moving fast, heading for the channel. Gandalf and I are in the double, hang close to East Brother, wait for the tug to pass.
The tug passes, and we paddle into the channel heading for the point. Midway across, a large, fast wake from the tug decides he’s going to play chicken with us. He’s not gonna move outa the way, and we can’t.
The good news is Gandalf and I hit the wake head on, climb up his steep face. If we’d been angled more parallel to the charging wall of water, we might’ve rolled over, tumbled back to East Brother.
Gandalf and I make it to the top of the wake. Ten feet of the boat’s long bow hangs momentarily in the air as the wake passes under us, then the bow free falls into the trough, slaps the water with a loud THUNK.
The bad news is the surface of the bay is not summer warm, doesn’t mimic the Weather above. What follows the loud THUNK is a wall of water, a cold wall of water, that smacks me a good one, drenches me to the core.
From my drenching to Pet Sematary Beach is a half mile of flat water. The distance goes by as fast as the big tug’s wake. Weather’s still in her summer togs when we reach the beach, and me and my soaked clothes dry quickly, Weather’s breath warm on us.
Close by is the Black Star Pirate BBQ, a new addition in the harbor’s list of upgrades. The Pirate serves Friday - Sunday, but we smell food cooking, probably prepping for Friday. The smells set our mouths to watering, our stomachs clamoring for food. Now! But we haven’t even laid out the wood for the cookfire.
“Not to worry,” says Dragon. He brings out two containers, one filled with specially prepared shrimp, the other with sweet ‘n sour dipping sauce. “Ready to eat,” he says.
“Irene’s?” we ask.
“Yup,” he says.
The shrimp devoured, Gandalf unpacks a jar of smoked herring in wine sauce. He twists off the jar’s lid, and, appetites primed by the shrimp, we dig in. Gandalf turns to salad making while we light the cookfire.
Waiting for the fire to heat up, we talk about post-COVID kayaking trips, possible destinations include Belize, Canada, Baja, and China.
Once the cookfire’s up to snuff, Dragon does Irene’s chicken and onion pot stickers, that dish followed by Gandalf’s spiralized veggies and salmon.
The cookfire’s hot, but the Weather’s not; after the sun sets, she changes her summer outfit for a wool sweater, down jacket and pants, ear muffs, mittens, and knee-high boots.
We follow her lead, layer up, sit closer to the cookfire. We talk a bit more about boats and trips, eat a box of See’s Candies, clean up, paddle back to Bruno’s.
Date: Thurseve, 1 April 2021.
Distance: Six point eight nautical miles.
Speed: One point four knots.
Time: Four point eight hours.
Spray factor: The big tug.
Dessert: A box of See’s Candies.