He walks up Pet Sematary Beach, his a determined step. The four of us have just come ashore, pulled ourselves out of our three boats. He approaches us, long strides. He stops a few steps in front of us, says, pointing at the boats, “Those your kayaks?”
Ninety minutes earlier, Don’t Follow Don, Gandalf, Silver Surfer, and I met up at Bruno’s, watch two sit-on-tops loaded with fishing gear paddle out the harbor. Not to fall into the deep, dark hole of generalities, but when sit-on-tops loaded with fishing gear head out into the bay, odds are conditions are ideal.
So they are, ideal conditions. The bay’s wiped her memory of last week’s storm: wind, waves, and weird weather. She’s gone Zen, cleared her mind of turmoil, must be meditating, tonight’s water mirror flat, mindfully reflective.
Gandalf and Silver Surfer are in the double, Don’t Follow Don and I in our singles. Silver Surfer’s new to Thurseves and kayaks, “Silver Surfer” because he’s an older gray-haired guy who surfs. Tonight’s water’s nothing like what he’s used to, certainly at odds to what we’ve been used to the past several months.
Crossing the bay to Pt. San Pablo Harbor’s a breeze, without the breeze. Tide’s compassionate, too, lots of fine sand to land on, no exposed rocks or mud at Pet Sematary Beach.
The fellow walking up the beach isn’t unusual, lots of locals wander up the narrow, sandy beach, walking their dogs, stretching their legs. This fellow does seem a bit more purposeful in his stride, though. Like he’s on a mission.
“Those your kayaks?” he asks.
“Yup,” I say.
The fellow looks at me, turns his gaze to Gandalf, Don’t Follow Don, and Silver Surfer. He stands up taller, throws his shoulders back, takes a deep breath, says with authority, “I’ve got a kayak for sale. You interested?”
Don’t Follow Don doesn’t hesitate, says, “We might be, but we need to inspect it.” Of course, we do.
The fellow leads us down the beach to the harbor where his houseboat’s moored. Points to a slick-looking kayak hanging down off the back deck, says, “There she is.”
Don’t Follow Don says, “Hmmm,” follows that with, “We need a closer look.” The fellow leads us along the wood dock to his houseboat, takes us out to the back deck. Don’t Follow Don inspects the kayak. Might be the first time a kayak’s been inspected this way. Quite impressive. You can see Don’t Follow Don’s unique technique in the comiX, link at the end of this report.
Silver Surfer’s eyes go wide when Don’t Follow Don gives his appraisal of the kayak. Still wide-eyed, he turns to the fellow, says, “I’ll buy it,” and the deed is done.
Walking back to Pet Sematary Beach and our boats, we take a detour, meander over to the Black Star Pirate BBQ. Last week, they finished putting up tent canopies over their outdoor patio to protect diners from weather. That very weekend weather leveled the canopies, mucked up the patio.
The four of us grab shoves, rakes, help spread pea gravel over the muddy patio, make it passable. Time passes, the gal in charge of the cleanup says, “You guys have worked long enough. Thanks. Now go cook your dinner on the beach.”
We put the shovels and rakes down. “You know,” I say, tongue in cheek, “the only thing missing from our meal’s red wine.”
Back on the beach, we cook our meal. Midway through the chopped veggie dish simmered in coconut milk—veggies aren’t spiralized ’cause the spiralizer’s kaput—the gal from the Black Star Pirate BBQ walks up to us. She’s holding a bottle of red wine, cups to go with it.
“You didn’t have to do that!” I say.
She smiles, says, “Bon a petit,” turns and walks away.
The kind of evening it is.
Date: Thurseve, 28 October 2021.
Distance: Eight nautical miles.
Speed: One point five knots.
Time: Five point two hours.
Spray factor: None.
Dessert: Snookerdoodles and chocolate chip cookies.