Updated: Sep 21
I took an uber to the Miami airport. My flight was delayed for three hours, because of heavy afternoon downpours, and would not be in Seattle until the early morning. It was a full flight. I was placed in the middle seat in between two obese fellows who hogging the arm rests on either side. I closed my eyes hoping to catch some sleep and prayed the fat guy by the window would not need to get out to use the bathroom.
From the Seattle/Tacoma airport I took another uber to Lake Stevens and met with David, got my kayak to finally begin the journey. It was an almost two hour ride even without much traffic. I did not know that the Seattle metropolitan area was so big.
David was waiting for me outside his house. “Welcome to Seattle! I’m excited for your trip! I wish I could be doing that, but I’m afraid I’m getting married in July.”
“Oh, my condolences to you!” I said with a half-deadpanned look. Perhaps this was not the best joke to make with someone you’ve never met before who is giving you an enormous amount of help, but thankfully he cracked with laughter at my dark humor.
“We’ll go to my warehouse and get a look at your boat. I didn’t get around to opening any of the bags, so I am curious to see what a three-piece kayak looks like.”
We had a quick drive to the warehouse where, to my great delight, I set eyes on my familiar kayak bags. Everything looked fine. “Here are the things you ordered,” David said as he handed me a box with the new GPS unit and fiberglass repair kit.
I was immediately reminded of the missing GPS unit I had been looking for all over my house.. I opened the Kayak bag with the cockpit section, found the dry bag with the electronics and poured out the contents. The missing GPS unit wasn’t there.
“I was totally convinced it would be here.” I mumbled. I was confident I’d be recouping the money and now I felt like I had just lost $400, again.
“It is what it is. Where could that GPS unit be?” I never found it.
I started to unpack my other items.
“How are you getting to the water?”
“Oh, I marked a boat ramp on the Snohomish River. It’s about 6 miles from here. I figured that I would make a portage to get there.” I showed David the marker on Google Earth. He looked at the screen on my phone, and his expression was not encouraging.
“You guys in Miami must not know what a hill is. That ramp is at least a four hour walk with your kayak and is probably not the best place. It will be quite late by the time you launch. Let’s do this, I’ll drive you down to Everett. There’s a big marina there, and the waterfront has several hotels. You can then decide what to do.”
That was wise advice. Having barely slept the night before, my rhythm had been running on adrenaline fumes for the start of the journey.
As soon as we loaded the kayak on the roof rack and were on our way I fell asleep in the car.
“You know David, I think I’ll launch tomorrow. I’m tired, and I haven’t even decided how I’m going to arrange everything I have to fit in the kayak, probably best I don’t rush things on the first day.”
“Yeah, probably better. That’s when bad stuff happens. I’ll drop you off at this really good hotel. It’s where most of the folks at my wedding will be staying. I’ll tell them you’re a friend, and they can probably get you a deal and keep the kayak for the night.”
Sea kayak Vancouver Island Circumnavigation