“Ok,” I say, eyeing the four lobster tails simmering in the fry pan. I’m not alone, Dragon and Gandalf also staring, the tails surrounded by a pool of melted butter and salted garlic spices. “How’re we gonna split that fourth lobster into three equal pieces?”


The long of it is Don’t Follow Don’s running late, stuck on Highway 101, a traffic jam holding him back. “You going to Rod Reck?” his query.


“Yup,” I text back just before Gandalf, Dragon and I depart Bruno’s for Rod Reck and lobster tails on Toilet Bowl Beach. To be fair, we wait a considerable time on Toilet Bowl before even lighting the cookfire. But we can only wait so long.


While we wait for the fire to burn down to a proper bed of hot coals, Gandalf does a salad to tide us over till the lobster tails are served, his  salads filling. Tonight’s green salad: apples, tomatoes, walnuts, blueberries, feta cheese, Asiago Caesar Dressing. Slices of hot jalapeño bread soak up the dressing.


Midway through salad munching, Dragon deems the cookfire’s reached the proper heat for the lobster tails. Butter’s melted in the fry pan, the tails are gently laid in, spices are added. All eyes are trained on the fry pan.


Ten minutes is how long we stare at the fry pan before Dragon pronounces the lobster tails ready. We each pick one tail outa the pan, leave one behind, Don’t Follow Don still a no-show.


Ten minutes to cook, fives minutes to eat, utensils dispensed with, fingers only. Finished, fingers coated in butter, we eye that lone lobster tail, but hold ourselves in check, instead take turns soaking up the pan’s juices with croissants Dragon’s provided.


The croissants sponge up the butter quickly, leave the fourth lobster tail alone in the pan. “I don’t think Don’t Follow Don’s gonna show,” says Gandalf, quick to assess the situation.


“Yeah,” says Dragon, “traffic musta been real bad. He probably turned around when he could, headed home.” That said, we put any thoughts of our buddy on the back burner, discuss how best to divvy up the last lobster tail three ways.


You know what happens next. Of course, you do. Before we can divvy up the tail, Don’t Follow Don paddles  ashore, walks up to our little encampment, looks at the fry pan, says, “Oh boy! Lobster.” 


We’re glad to see our buddy, but …


To his credit, Don’t Follow Don replaces the extra lobster Gandalf, Dragon, and I are deprived of with ample amounts of spiralized veggies laced with haddock. 


Food’s the main incentive for Thurseve paddles. Far as next Thurseve’s concerned, Dragon says Irene, his first mate, has already prepared a menu. He won’t say what’s on the menu, but we suspect it’ll be on a par with lobster tails.


Just so you know, the distance from Bruno’s to Rod Reck is a little over 4 miles, a little less than 9 miles the round trip. We eat hearty, lotsa food, but we paddle most of it off, our spray skirts rarely tugging at our bellies.


Going to Rod Reck in late afternoon, we paddled in balmy conditions, just a touch of wind at our hindquarters. A bright, warm sun is in a cloudless, mildly faded blue sky. First time in months I haven’t worn a spray jacket. 


Can’t say that for the return paddle, not wearing a spray jacket. The evening’s almost-full supermoon is bigger than the sun, but she’s cold hearted, beams down a chill, forces us to layer up. 


The good news is we paddle a bit more aggressively than usual to stay warm, happy we’re fueled with full bellies. The bad news is Dragon’s car conks out on him leaving the harbor for home. Sorrowful thoughts fill our heads: what’s to become of Irene’s menu without transport next week?


Bad news doesn’t go unchallenged. Friday, Dragon texts his car was on its last legs anyway, that he plans to replace it before next Thurseve.


Good news, indeed.


Stats


Date: Thurseve, 25 March 2021.

Distance: Eight point four nautical miles.

Speed: One point five knots.

Time: Five point seven hours.

Spray factor: Minor.

Dessert: Chocolate-dipped peanut butter cookies.