so I was gifted a windsurfer via Freecycle. went to Sonoma to pick it up, with nothing but my makeshift "kayak" wheels, a drysuit, and a minimal plan to get it into a slough and from there down to San Pablo bay and up the Petaluma river. it did not go as planned.

in no particular order: the wheels didn't work. they hardly work for anything it seems. it needs a complete redesign. the drysuit punctured, due to sharp objects getting into my Tevas, plus possibly others due to blackberry brambles. got dehydrated, hadn't brought my Dromedary bag, so had to go to town for drinkables. had to carry the heavy board plus rigging for miles to get into the part of Sonoma creek that looks navigable. did it by alternately carrying the board, the rigging, and my own supplies. took me all afternoon and night to get to the bridge. traffic on lower Broadway at night was fairly constant, and a lot of it seemed to be people checking out what I was doing, but nobody apparently called the cops because I never saw one. I guess the farmers and other residents of that area have a "well regulated militia". sure wish I knew how to organize my neighborhood that way.

just when I got to the intersection of 12 and 121, I had to pee badly and started stowing my stuff in the bushes so I could find some privacy without overly worrying about someone stopping and making off with it. but then a pickup truck pulled up and a guy asks "can I help you?" I wasn't sure what he meant so I said "you mean like a ride?" and he said "no, but you're on my property". so I got out of there and headed towards the creek. but I wasn't sure if he was still watching me or not, and stayed there on the bridge for a while until I worked out a plan. it would take him and his buddy some time, maybe at least a minute, to get to me, scramble down the bank after me, and make a citizen's arrest. if I could get all my stuff in the water quickly, they probably wouldn't be willing to swim out after me. so that's what I did, but from the bridge I hadn't seen the poison oak. I saw a path around most of it, but I still might have gotten some on me. I also hadn't put my drysuit on all the way, so I was hoping I wouldn't fall off the board. I didn't. made it downstream a bit without losing anything, and peed, then zipped up the drysuit as best I could. it doesn't work easily. plus the aforementioned hole in the left boot got water in it.

earlier that night, approaching dawn, a guy in a truck saw the board which I had carried on ahead, opened the back and was about to throw it in when I started yelling "leave my stuff alone! leave it! that's mine!" and he finally said "OK" and got back in his truck. I don't blame him, it did look like something abandoned, but it sure would have bummed me out to lose it after carrying it all that way, and still having all the other stuff that goes with it now suddenly useless.

so anyway, floating down the creek, using the skeg as a paddle, it took me maybe an hour to get to a place where I could pull out and tie it up. I wasn't sure if the road along it was public or private so I wasn't sure if I should get back to the bridge, only a couple hundred yards away or so, and get out there, or not. but attempting to swim with my leaky drysuit, and an inflatable PFD that I wasn't sure would stay inflated, with a few tens of pounds of wet gear looked like a disaster waiting to happen. I didn't think, based on past experience, that my drybag could be relied upon with full immersion. so I climbed out and walked the road, which, it turned out was public after all.

I've got 3 largish abrasions on my toes and feet, at least one infected. muscle pains all over. I finally got a good night's sleep last night. only ate two rolls and a 59 cent bag of spicy peanuts from Monday morning to late Tuesday afternoon, but Tuesday night was treated to dinner at a trendy San Francisco eatery, Bocadillo's.

waterproofing tech still sucks. tablet computers should be completely sealed and rechargable by inductive coupling. drysuits should be rugged, breathable, and lightweight by now. paper money should be waterproof.

I'm sure there's more, I'm still weak of mind and body, and have to study the sloughs, tides, and San Pablo bay better before I try again. I can't count on being able to use my GPS when the tablet could run out of power or get destroyed by seawater. maybe I'll just go back soon and play around with the sail in Sonoma creek if it's still there. oh, and I lost a bottle of Tejava in the creek but by the time I noticed it I was worried about my drybag leaking and had to get out of there.

more later as I remember.

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last updated 2015-09-30 16:31:23. served from tektonic.jcomeau.com