Friday, July 27, 2007
Let the paddling begin
The launch date is almost here and it seems like everyone is getting a little bit nervous.
Especially Joe, Beau and I, who are probably experiencing those same pregame jitters many athletes go through before a big game. Nothing major, just a little flutter in the stomach because you’ve been preparing for this for so long and have no idea how it’s going to turn out.
Any uneasiness should disappear the moment we paddle around Ragged Point on Sunday morning, but in the meantime, all we can think about is what could go wrong.
We already know from some of our practice paddles that Mother Nature could step in at any time and put the kibosh on things.
A little bit of wind here, some choppy swells there. Next thing you know we’re stuck in a remote cove somewhere praying for the whitecaps to die down before dark.
What doesn’t help the anxiousness is all this talk about sharks.
In the past month, there have been three reported great white shark sightings off the San Luis Obispo County coast.
In a meeting with our editors yesterday, even Executive Editor Sandy Duerr was talking sharks.
“So what do you guys do if you see a shark out there?” she asked.
Well, we’ll probably do what Dan Prather did last weekend when the fisherman and his kayak were attacked by a great white off the San Mateo County coast.
After he was knocked off his kayak, Prather, according to local newspaper reports, scrambled back to his kayak and paddled as fast as he could back to shore unharmed.
Just what you want to hear a couple days before setting out on a seven-day, 86-mile paddle in the open ocean.
All of which coincides with Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, which begins Sunday and runs through Saturday — the same seven-day period we’re on the water.
Luckily we won’t be anywhere near a television.
– Brian Milne