Yesterday was our hardest day yet. We paddled into the wind and against the tide all day. We have to get on the water by 6 am to avoid the strong afternoon winds which whip up starting at 10 am so we could not avoid the opposing tide. The waves we experienced today were the largest either Jeremy or I had paddled in and although we were fine it was a nerve wracking experience. I felt trapped in the water. The shores we traveled along are rocky with nowhere to get out of the wind and nowhere to get off the water. After 10 miles, what should have been a short day, we turned into Jenny Inlet, tired and sore and finally out of the wind.
We switched on our marine radio to check the forecast for the next day but were met only with silence. We were out of range tucked into the inlet. A boat came by and Jeremy walked out to ask if they knew anything of the weather. “Worse winds tomorrow” was their reply.
I went to bed unsettled and my mind filled with questions. Tomorrow was an even shorter day. Do we get up early and try to beat the wind? Would we end up in conditions over our abilities and have no way to get off the water? Should we stay and wait it out? But with no radio signal and tucked in an inlet with no visibility to the waters we needed to travel, how would we know when conditions were better?
We woke up early in preparation to leave, but our minds still hadn’t settled on an answer. So we stayed. If a decision can’t be made, I lean towards the safe one.
All day I felt trapped. I was in an amazing inlet with snow capped peaks surrounding me, we were camped on a grassy shore with wildflowers, coffee to drink, a book to read and with a man I love very much, but I could hardly stand it. I read every bit of info I had brought on prevailing weather patterns, but as we all know mother nature could care less about weather patterns.
I tried to convince myself to leave and I tried to convince myself to stay. Nothing satisfied me. Maybe it was that I was disconnected from the constant source of information that is the internet for the first time in months. I think I was looking for affirmation that we were making the right choice. It’s very easy these days to decide something, then do a quick internet search to find someone who agrees with you and prove yourself right. Out here it’s just me and Jeremy, our collective experience, our maps and charts and the occasional advice of a stranger.
In the end we both feel we made the right decision to stay that day in Jenny Inlet. After all, any decision that gives you time in pristine wilderness and leaves you healthy and unbroken at the end of the day can’t be a bad one.