A day of bad weather passed. I watched waves explode against the rocks below my balcony leaving tendrils of mist to blow away in the breeze. I’m staying at Hotel Calanca where the staff is really great, but after a day of sitting around I was ready to paddle, even if the sea was still a little rough.
I went down to the port, and after talking with some folk down there, got in my boat and began to paddle the seven miles to the next town. Five or six people had heard my story and came to see me off.
I would be paddling into a force four headwind. It’s the largest I let myself paddle into and I won’t do more than a few miles under it. That’s why my destination was Scaurio, only seven miles away.
I secured my winged paddle under my deck bungees and set off with my storm paddle which is better suited for paddling against heavy headwinds.
My onlookers pointed out that I had a hard day’s paddle ahead of me and I told them that if I thought it was too rough I would turn around and come back. I didn’t think that would happen. The fellow told me he’ll see me in twenty minutes. I joked, undoubtedly five.
I left the port. The waves were at least two meters high, twice as high as my head. But they weren’t waves so much as chop. Coming from the sea, bouncing off the rocks, or seeming to pop up right under me, they left me a little nervous. I could paddle farther out on more regular swells, but then I wouldn’t have any shelter against the wind. Even near the cliffs, when ever I crested a wave I felt the blast on face.
I turned around, very cautiously so as not to capsize or get run into the cliffs. And I paddled back to the port. I had been out for about twenty minutes.
The town invited me to stay another night and the port guys who were entertained by my plight assured me the weather would be better the next day.
I was already suited up so I practiced my rolls and taught myself a new one called a shotgun roll where in I hold my storm paddle with one hand and secure an end in my armpit. I also nailed some hand rolls, and then missed some.
Hand rolls, that is rolling without a paddle, are one of my projects. Last summer I was getting them all, but this summer I somehow lost it. Hopefully with enough days like today I’ll have them back by the time I finish my trip. I’d like to get certified to train instructors for the ACA when this is over, and I’ll need both exceptional kayaking skills and exceptional teaching skills.