Soaking in the Last Bit of Summer

The weather forecast looked just bleak enough to keep the crowds away from the beach this past weekend. We were not discouraged. We both thought 80 degrees with a 20 percent chance of rain and 10 miles per hour winds sounded pretty awesome. We made the trek to the cottage Friday night, fighting a terrible traffic jam on the interstate to get there. With an extra hour added onto the trip we were both pretty exhausted when we arrived at almost 11pm Friday night. We opened all of the windows to let the cool night’s air inside and listen to the ocean and to keep with tradition…we cracked open a good beer. It always taste so much better when you are already tasting the salt in the air. It’s pretty perfect.
Saturday morning we were up early and ready to enjoy one of our last days of summer. Bryan had already put the boat in the water and Mr. Sugarbears was very anxious to get on board. I quickly brushed my teeth and packed a cooler. We took off with long sleeves and hoodies on. Not quite the weather we had two weeks ago, but we knew it would get better and we needed to set up camp. We went to our favorite spot and noticed that the ocean had done a little shoaling over the last two weeks. I went to throw off the back anchor and immediately could not believe the pull of the current. I couldn’t hold it and we lost an anchor. It was crazy. I jumped off of the front of the boat to hold her steady while my husband was trying to control the boat in the death current. My husband was able to gain control of the boat and steady her so I tried to swim out to our anchor line and save it. Bad choice. I couldn’t fight the rip tide and almost needed help. Mr. Sugarbears was oblivious to the chaos and had already jumped ship and was on the beach exploring. After what seemed like an eternity -probably 3 minutes we had the boat secured and I was soaking wet and breathing heavy on the beach from exhaustion. I made a critical mistake by not tying my anchor off before throwing it off the stern. It was stupid. I guess I was just in a hurry to get my camp set up. Of course my husband tried to blame himself, but truly it was my fault and I knew better. Besides losing an anchor, we were fine, but I was really disappointed in myself. After about 30 minutes of collecting myself on the beach, we made the decision to pack up and find a new place. The new shortcut that the ocean provided itself with recently had caused too strong of a riptide and the wind on this island was much stronger than the 10 miles per hour. Looking on the bright side, I decided to look at it as a free microdermabrasion treatment. It was bad enough that we couldn’t attempt to hunt for the anchor. I kept questioning the safest way to look for it and not because it couldn’t be replaced, but to remove it from the depths and not be a litter bug in the sea. Alas, it was just too deep. Almost always when I look at my mistakes I think of all of the things I could have done differently…but that doesn’t change the past. You just have to move forward and hope you are smarter for those mistakes. I will always tie off my anchor first even if it means having to untie it in order to get it right. We loaded Mr. Oblivious back on board and being the “control freak” that I am I forced my husband to push us off land while I captained the boat away from the death zone.
We went and dropped off Mr. Sugarbears back at the cottage and packed a fresh cooler. Sometimes, you just need to press the re-start button. As we were cruising past the downtown area, we saw tents set up and we heard great music. We threw out our remaining anchor and cuddled up on our boat bean bag chair together. The wind was calm, the dolphins were dancing around the boat and my favorite person was by my side. Even after the rocky start, we had the best time soaking in the last bit of summer.

5 thoughts on “Soaking in the Last Bit of Summer

  1. That sounds like the perfect ending to a silly, scary day. I say silly because sometimes you just have to laugh at your mistakes. Like you said, you learn from them. I almost fell off the top of a big boat in extremely heavy weather between Catalina and LA. Wearing a wool pea coat and boots! No life jacket…silly and scary. It was getting dark, we’d been delayed by Jesse, the black lab who utterly FREAKED OUT when she saw the ocean. Never saw it before. A water breed. Yep, she lost it. Ran off the end of the pier and started swimming to Russia. Did it twice before we were able to get her in the boat. And she smelled really bad. Marina del Rey water. Yikes. We hosed her off and someone left the ballast plug out so the boat had to be refilled and that took forever. Bad weather set in but we thought it wasn’t far to Catalina, we’d make it there. Ugh. First silly mistake. There were 5 of us intrepid sailors, but I don’t count. I’d never been on a boat before. Ever. we sailed. I got seasick (horrid horrid feeling) Kirby suggested I go sit by the back bow (stern?) and breathe fresh air near the door. I decided that being up top in the wind and rain would be more refreshing. Second Silly silly silly mistake (and dangerous). I climbed up and got trapped up there. The boat was rocking and I couldn’t hold on. I started sliding around and finally almost went right over the edge. I was holding onto a bolt on the deck edge and a piece of line tied to I don’t know what. My feet were over the edge! The boat rocked back and I was able to get a knee over the deck edge and climb back up. Jeez…no life jacket, dark, heavy seas, no one knew I was up there and I couldn’t make them hear me. I don’t know who finally saw I was gone but those poor men thought I’d gone into the ocean. I could hear them crying and screaming while I just held on for dear life. I got down finally. When they heard my pounding on the roof. Formed a chain and got me down and hugged me and kissed me turn and turn again but then spent hours lecturing me about life jackets and sea etiquette etc…sheesh. Never again. Not unless it’s big enough to hold 300 cars.

    1. Your story sounds really scary. I love to sail and I have definitely had some “close-calls” in my life. I like to think I am very boat smart now-a-days which just made me even more annoyed with myself. We both stayed really calm the whole time and neither of us were upset with the other, so that was really cool. I think we were both equally stunned by how quickly we lost control of the situation. It was a definite “count your blessings” type of day. I am sure you and your dog were very happy to kiss the beach when you arrived.

  2. I’m glad you made it out of the current safely, Shannon. The ocean is a living thing. Not just what lives in it, but its capricious currents and deadly waves remind me of a living thing.

    1. So true. I always have had a great respect for the water and I truly was/am baffled by my reactions Saturday. I guess it just shows that no matter how much you feel trained and ready you can still really screw up. 😦 (also, love that you used capricious-the most perfect adjective for currents)

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