Memorial Day weekend 2006
Captain planned a two-phase maneuver: (1) kayaking/diving Sunday at Camanche Reservoir (about 50 minutes away), and (2) bass fishing Monday in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta near Stockton (about 10 minutes from the base). This entry in the log covers only through Sunday.
Preparations Saturday revealed a disappointing inventory discrepancy: the daggerboard for the Hobie Adventure was apparently stored in a place so secure that it could not be found. Clearly the daggerboard was received and placed into stores, but just as clearly it was not where it was expected to be nor did several diligent searches reveal its location.
Crew (aka darn cat) supervised the searches and conducted in his own independent search based on his wiggling into every small space and climbing everything there was to climb in the search areas. (Crew: Captainâ€™s storage system is a place for everything and everything all over the place.) Captain assumes Crew did not find the daggerboard though Crewâ€™s reports were sketchy to nonexistent. Nonetheless Captain broke out the tuna for Saturday evening mess in recognition of Crewâ€™s efforts.
Sunday morning found Captain up at o-dark-thirty loading the Taurus personnel carrier. Crew inspects loading in, out, around, under, and on top of the transport. Kayak on top. Dive gear in the dive duffle. Kayak gear wherever in the trunk; towel and change of clothes in an inexpensive dry bag; and valuables in a dry box. Extra bungee cords and a relatively new tarp along just because. Crew claims a high priority secret mission and refuses to re-board for departure; Captain puts Crew on report but wonâ€™t hold up the schedule for any being.
Met temporary personnel at an off the base eatery for a big breakfast and last minute planning. Reviewed scouts report of heavy Memorial weekend crowds, significant wind, and surface water temperatures in the back of coves of 75 degrees. Hit S-Mart for specialty items not carried by the base commissar (where is the turkey jerky?). Maneuvers begin with drive to Camanche Reservoir, North Shore day-use area.
Kayak and divers in the water about 11 am, as planned. Kayak launched with dive flag on top of sail mast (sail furled around mast). Water surprisingly warm but also very murky â€“ less than 2 foot visibility. Snorkeling and shallow diving maneuvers completed satisfactorily. Captain aborts planned deeper diving in the cove due to conditions and substitutes a conditioning surface swim around a point, taking turns pulling the kayak (with rations aboard), in hopes of finding clearer water.
Swim complete but no joy on the conditions: murky water full of floating debris, wind-driven waves increasing in height, jet skiers and pleasure boats galore adding boat wakes. Return to day use area for kayak maneuvers. Hobie Adventure pedal drive effective in deep and shallow waters at all headings; turning radius acceptable, inability to reverse thrust disappointing. Temporary personnel report turn of speed surprised them.
Captain pedals around several paddle kayaks working into the wind just for fun; their occupants look a bit stunned at the performance of the Adventure. (â€œWhy didnâ€™t you get us one of those, dear, look how easy heâ€™s going three times faster than we are!â€
StocktonDon - fishing, diving, sailing, and wondering what's just around the next point. (A pen name for quasi-fictional-hopefully-amusing stuff by dwest.)