Sometimes I feel as if I have some psychic forces protecting me, kind of like — to use a phrase bandied about in the ’60s — the Lords of Karma. I think of them as aunts and uncles watching over my shoulder and saying, the dumb shit is in trouble again, let’s help him out.
It happened once again yesterday.
I took my 12′ Klamath aluminum boat w/15 HP Evinrude to a nearby bay (I’m not being specific about locale these days, due to the internet).
I went across the bay, landed, and gathered mussels and half a dozen rock oysters. pulled out and went to another beach, landed, and started digging littleneck clams (cockles). I dug for maybe 15 minutes, turned around, and shit! the outgoing tide had picked up my boat and it was 75 yards off shore, heading at a pretty good clip across the bay. What to do?
I stripped down, just leaving on my wool socks (for walking on rocks) and started swimming to the boat. The water was maybe 56 degrees. Funny thing, I was so immersed with the problem, I didn’t feel all that cold. I reached the boat in maybe 5 minutes and realized that if I couldn’t climb aboard, I couldn’t get it back to land. Problem is, my upper body strength is about a third of what it was in my younger years.
I got to the stern and hauled myself half out of the water, paused, told myself you’ve got to do this, and managed to pull myself into the boat, started it up, got back to the beach, got clothes on, teeth chattering, motored back across, got boat back on trailer, and thanked the Lords of Karma for once again saving me from a dumb move.
A guy was watching intently from the shore, and I don’t know if it was a coincidence, but a helicopter swooped down after I’d got back to the beach. Guess they had a look and concluded I was OK.
Back home, I had a shot of Laphroaig, took a hot bath, had dinner, and slept for 12 hours.
And yes, from now on, I’m throwing an anchor with rope to the beach when I land.