The Oracle of Apollo Snippets from the life of Apollo Lee

Dec 17, 2006 - 22:12


Twice in the Drink

Today, I went kayaking with Ozreiuosn. It was pretty windy and the wind came from quite an unusual direction. No matter how hard I tried, I could not keep my kayak tracking straight though the water. The more I paddled on the right side (which is supposed to turn the craft left), the more it wandered right. I could paddle straight and I would go in almost a complete circle. With each stroke, I became more pissed and more frustrated and more exhausted.

At mile 1.7, she agreed that we could turn around and head to a dock to see why my skeg wouldn’t drop into the water and help me track straight. We didn’t make it that far. Breezy winds kept messing with me and I kept struggling to maintain control of my craft. And then it happened. With Oz about 200 feet in front of me, I listed port and tried a brace, but not in time. Five seconds later, I’m in the water. {Oakland Estuary water is COLD.}

After struggling to swim through the water wearing a spray skirt, my cycling tights, a paddling jacket, my floppy yellow hat, my shades, a life jacket, my paddle, and water shoes, 100 feet or so to where Oz had corralled my kayak, I got really tired and really pissed. We performed a t rescue and I slid back into my cockpit, took a breather, and broke a corner of my expensive new crown (installed just about 5 months ago) on the front off on my water bottle. Cold, wet, and pissed from my strenuous slog and the 15 minutes that it took us to come together, I said, “Okay, I’m done, let’s head back. This is too much for me to handle today.”

I started paddling gently, sharing my cockpit with the 8 gallons or so of water still in my boat. Five minutes after we started paddling back, my soggy ass is in the water again. This time, it didn’t take us nearly so long to fish Apollo back out of the drink.

I nearly tipped over another time, but Ozreiuosn, who remembered our training from exactly a week ago well stayed abaft of me, so she could come quickly to my side again if I capsized for a third time. We pulled back in, came to dock, I hopped out and waddled back to the shop to towel off and get into my dry clothes. Meanwhile, Oz rinsed both our life jackets, hosed off both our kayaks, and gathered up my stuff.


  1. You may think your friend is awesome, but if she isn’t Ozreiuosn, you’re only doing second best to me. Sorry.
  2. I’m not a paddler — yet. I’m still a novice. Even though I’m absolutely enthralled with paddling, I’ve done it exactly four times.
  3. A wind coming strongly from an unusual direction makes me reevaluate whether or not I’m up to the conditions today.
  4. ALWAYS make sure all aspects of the craft are operational, especially the skeg, if there’s a wind.
  5. Sometimes you’re doing things right and you still land in the drink. It doesn’t mean you quit.
  6. I definitely need to find out why my dental crown cracked so soon, given no impact. And I better not have to pay another $1500.
  7. It’s time to buy a paddle tether. I kept hold of my paddle when I went in the water. With a tether, if you have your paddle, you have your boat. If you have your boat, you have your paddle. The swim back to my kayak was frustratingly exhausting.
  8. Staying calm saves the day.

Thank you, Ozreiuosn. You were totally my hero today.

1 Comment

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Blackberry Pearl at The Oracle of Apollo
Jan 13, 2007 - 09:01

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