Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Gibson's birthday is on May 25th, but it turned out that Hailey could come from Whistler, and the rest of us were all able to get away this past weekend, so away we went!

Michael and I had Saturday night on our own in the anchorage, and then Mischa and the boys, Jason and his girlfriend Kristin, and Hailey arrived at the beach on Sunday afternoon. Hailey brought the balloons and party hats, Gibson brought his beach toys, Jason brought his guitar and we ALL brought food.

The tide was coming in the whole time we were on the beach, so Michael, and then Mischa, had each taken a turn at pulling the dinghy further up the shore.

But at some point we heard someone yell, "Your boat!" and looked over to see our dinghy floating away! It was about 10' from shore when Michael reacted, kicked off his shoes, threw off his shirt ... and about 20' away by the time he dove in and swam a few strokes.

What you want to know now is that, even in AUGUST, the Juan de Fuca Strait is far too cold to stay immersed for more than a few seconds at a time. Two minutes in this water and you'll be in the beginning stages of hypothermia. Michael knows this because he *does* go in, on purpose, at least once a year -- for about 30 seconds.

So, at 59 years old and out of shape, he was sensible enough to realize he couldn't make it, and turned around and came back. Right then a young man who was watching said, 'That thing have oars in it?' When we said yes, he dove in -- and swam out to our dinghy which was by then about 40' away from shore. We stood there in disbelief that a total stranger was willing to take that risk for a *boat*, cheering him on.He had a bit of trouble getting aboard once he got to it, but managed to pull himself together and hoist himself over the side (which confirmed our fears that Michael could've never done it, and would have been in SERIOUS trouble even if he did make it to the boat).

This dude, whose name is Jessie, has no 'meat on his bones,' and it turns out he'd never been in the ocean before (which explains why he was so willing this time, but may never go in it again, now!) -- he was at the beach with his wife Crystal and two-month-old baby boy Paavo, and he's our HERO, that's for sure!

There were no other boats on the beach at the time, so we would have had to call the Coast Guard, and god-only-knows where our old inflatable might have ended up by the time they arrived.

So Jessie and his little family (his wife said to me that he's *always* cold, and she couldn't believe he did that!)have a special place in our hearts now, and a date to go for a little cruise on the Wind Walker -- without going swimming.

We had a bit of an adventure coming home, too -- we had towed our little sailboat out to the anchorage by just tying it alongside the WW. It was calm on the way to Albert Head, so it was an easy trip. Coming back on Monday, however, was much choppier -- and we realized as soon as we got out of the shelter of Albert Head that we couldn't tow it that way. So, in two-foot seas and about a 15-knot wind, we had to put the WW in neutral and bounce around long enough to disconnect the sailboat from our side, and let it back so we could tow it from behind. NOT FUN, and next time we'll think of that BEFORE we leave the shelter of the anchorage!

Much knitting took place, too, in spite of all the family time and birthday fun! I finished the brown scarf, and a pair of red socks, which are a gift:

I also completed the back and have started on the sleeves of the purple sweater I started last year!

Now I have MUCH work to do today to make up for all this play time.....


Unknown said...

Whoa! Do you think your weekend was exciting enough? I was having heart pal pppuup taa sshhuuns

just reading it. Somehow I think you had fun.
lol Penny

Grace said...

well your weekend was definitely eventful!!! I am glad you had the chance for some quality time together

Monica said...

I love my new red socks. My feet will never be cold again. And ... I love my stripey socks as well. Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

My, the birthday boy will always have quite a story to tell about his third birthday party, eh?

Glad for the happy ending!