Like I said, conditions were fine for our rest stop, and as we slid back into the water to head for home the breeze seemed quite refreshing. The water had some texture now but was still quite clear and we were making fairly good time. Gradually the waves began to demand attention, and Alex remarked that she could see whitecaps. They never got to be the scary kind, with spray blown off the top, and they weren’t really numerous, either. It was more glistening than menacing, but the waves did get bigger and bigger and they weren’t coming from a very convenient direction, either. Then, as often seems to happen, near the mouth of the arroyo, the water seemed to calm a bit — I considered mentioning it. Then slowly, as often happens next, the waves got bigger again, the wind became quite strong, and we were struggling, not so much to keep upright, but certainly to keep pointed in the right direction. Skegs didn’t seem to help. I don’t think we ever saw waves as high as a meter, but they were close together and a bit confused. Alex, ahead and to my left, looked back to ask if I was okay. I said that I was but was thinking of veering a bit toward shore, in case there was some shelter afforded by the point — or in case I found it convenient at some point to swim. She in fact turned in behind me, and we persevered for a time. I remember at least once looking back and seeing her, but not her boat — this was no longer the day we had chosen.
Alex was the first to notice that we weren’t actually getting anywhere, and I saw her turn to get following waves to take her boat to shore. I was not disposed to leave her — or to keep paddling, for that matter — so I aimed for her spot on the beach. We were back to Loreto Bay now — just not to our end of it — and before us was a nice patch of sand that we sometimes walk along.
Neither of us made it all the way without capsizing. Alex at least had her feet out for landing before she was swamped. I got turned sideways in a couple feet of water and shortly was groping the sand. We were glad to stop paddling for a bit.
Reconnaissance assured us that just beyond the dunes lay the golf course. After some careful planning Alex began organizing our gear while I set off for home on foot. I was there in twenty minutes and quickly found the racks for the car top. It was only about three quarters of an hour after leaving her that I sighted Alex again, down at the end of the road that leads past the two new Homex model units. We got the cross-bars and then the boats themselves atop the car, and then spent a long time trying to remember the clever ways we had invented eight months earlier to fasten down our load. Our car has its own web page, by the way; see http://www.mwenda.com/Snowball .
We were soon back home, then showered and drying out. Sometime before sunset the wind died down a bit, suggesting that if we had waited long enough we could have completed our journey without the “auto” rescue. Sometimes we are equipped to risk an unexpected night out, but in this case it didn’t seem to make much sense. We are glad that our fairly urban surroundings make it possible to have adventures like this, especially considering the wildlife we met on our trip, without usually having too much at stake.