Oh, the Tomales trip. When Kit asked me to write something up it felt a bit daunting. The trip was beautiful and challenging in a way that POST trips are not. Since we were on open water, not our usual forte, we had unusual challenges.
The trip started out with almost perfect weather. I was a bit worried about wind, the real danger on open water. We had no wind. We went quickly across from Miller Point past Hog Island and Piglet Island to the Point Reyes Park side of Tomales Bay. It was a beautiful day with clear skies. On the hills, we could see the elk as small moving creatures. We then followed Eric and Arvid up the coast to Rope Swing camp (Arvid’s name) for lunch, hot tea and hot chocolate. Alan, Kate, Eric, and Arvid were leaving POST at this point camping.
The rest of us began the trek back. Suzanne and Stewart took off while the rest of us watched Don and Karen rig their elegant WWII vintage canoe/sail boat. Shauna and Vince came up and also left the group so they could take a slightly different route back. We all enjoyed watching Don and Karen whiz across the bay and back again. They seemed to have everything firmly in hand.
Thad, Joan, Bob, Pat and I stuck pretty close together with Thad, as he was in a solo whitewater boat. His boat was taking much more effort than ours. We could at this point barely see Suzanne and Stewart who were almost back to Hog Island. Vince and Shauna had made it to the East side and were making their way along the coast looking at the oyster beds. The wind started gradually picking up. Then, Bob announced that a boat was over.
We quickly realized that we couldn’t see a sail. Don and Karen had dumped. Pat and I paddled as fast as we could with Joan and Bob. Pat and I could see Snowy in the water trying to swim for the far shore. Don grabbed Snowy and held him until we were able to get him into our boat. We arrived, plucked Snowy out of the water and began paddling back across the bay. Don and Karen got into a fishing boat that had come over to help. Bob and Joan helped pick up all the scattered stuff and stayed around to make sure that everyone was safe.
I was afraid Snowy would try to return to his owners but this was a dog who wanted to be out of the water and he curled up at the bottom of our boat shivering and crying. We all made it to shore; Don and Karen cold but only slightly worse for the wear. Snowy warmed up but refused a bath the next day. No more water for this dog. By this time, the wind had picked up and waves were starting to form.
The POST adventures were not over. We all woke up on Sunday to rain and wind. Our thoughts turned to Tomales Bay. We all knew that Eric, Arvid, Kate and Alan were out there in that weather. Joan called Sunday afternoon and found out that they were all well but had an adventure of their own. They paddled back close to shore until they got to Hog Island. When they got there and needed to cross, it was obvious to all, that the wind and waves were too much for canoes to handle especially with Arvid on board. They decided to get on shore and wait it out. Once again a small fishing boat came to the rescue. They came over, got Arvid and Kate in their boat and pulled Eric and Alan along in their canoes. Again all were safe.