Robert (Bro. Pepper-spray of Reasoned Discussion) (montecristo) wrote,
Robert (Bro. Pepper-spray of Reasoned Discussion)

Salt Point Expedition 2002, August 1 - 9

Day 7

The south campsite is vacant again. We got up early this morning. Crystal rolled out at 6:30 AM and the rest of us crawled out around 7:00. Breakfast was french toast. We went down to Gerstle Cove when I finished the breakfast dishes. It is warm today and there is no wind. I took my shirt completely off at Gerstle Cove! Shannon caught some hermit crabs and I picked off some limpets and shelled them. Crystal didn't see any abalone and was getting terribly frustrated and disappointed. She went up into the parking lot and sat on a rock in her wetsuit to mope. We joined her and kept saying encouraging things at her until one of the rangers drove by and stopped for a chat. He said that he'd been abalone hunting for 47 years, which was surprising, as he looked to be in his early 50's, and not late 50's, as he would have to be to have been diving that long. He told Crystal that she needed to look under the rocks for the abalone, whereas she had been hoping to find them on top, at the bases of the kelp plants. He told her that her abalone bar with the built-in scale was likely to get tangled in the kelp and that he preferred the scale separate from the bar, himself. He advised her to try Stillwater Cove, where she wouldn't get clobbered by the rocks so much. Needless to say, we drove down to Stillwater Cove, next. When we got to the cove, we had to park the SUV in a turnout off of the highway and hike down to the cove. At the cove, Jackie and Shannon collected rocks and shells while Crystal went abalone hunting again. She kept complaining about her mask leaking and was loathe to go out very far. We left around 2:00 with no abalone. When we got back to camp we had a lunch of noodles and impromptu chicken-salad, which we ate on sandwiches. We're down to the last slice of bread. Crystal is lying in her camp chair basking in the sun like a happy lizard. I'm sitting here writing with a sock on my right hand like a pervert because I have a nasty sunburn on the back of it and I don't want it to get worse. Before the last two days, my hands and head have been the only things sticking out of my sweater. All are somewhat sunburned, but the right hand is the only painful burn. It has been a fantastic day with respect to the weather. The sun has been shining all day and there is hardly any breeze at all. The ocean looks like sparkly blue glass, and the huge ravens, intrigued by having the ability to hear each other instead of just the wind in the trees, are flying all around the campgrounds amusing themselves with choruses and rounds of raucous, croaking song. The girls have run off to see if they can find anyone with whom to play. Crystal is snoozing in her chair and I am writing and sharing a slice of bread with the Stellars Jays. The jays are the most effective camp raiders that we've seen so far during the day. Of course, the raccoons are the nocturnal champions. Last night, just after almost complete darkness fell, one of the cheeky little devils came to the grass line at the edge of camp. He apparently thought I couldn't see him, but there was just enough light to make out his shape, moving at the edge of my visual perception. After ascertaining that I was not going to pounce on him, he trotted behind a tree, and from there, across the camp in front of mine and Crystal's tent. At that point, I walked toward him and he sauntered out of camp and across the street just ahead of me. A couple of minutes later, I heard some man in the campsite across the street yell, "Get out of here!" I guess we know where he went. Right now, the jays are "raiding" the bread I threw out for them. They have a certain amount of rascally pride. They waited just long enough so that it wouldn't look like a handout, and of course, for the girls to leave, and now they are swooping down to snatch the chunks of bread. In between swoops, they sit in the surrounding trees and argue with each other, daring each other to make an attempt on the pieces closer to me.
4:30 PM
We're all just sitting around now, watching the Stellars Jays. Jackie and Crystal are occupying Crystal's camp chair and are talking and joking. Shannon is in her tent, rooting around for something, and I am sitting here, writing. The south campsite just acquired campers again. This time it's a couple with a camper trailer, towed by a pickup truck with an enclosed bed. They're settling in and leveling up their trailer. It's evening now. We started the fire around 5:00. I used up the last of the wood. We'll have to stop for another box if we want another fire tomorrow. Crystal made teriyaki chicken in foil, and biscuits, over the coals. That was tasty. While it was still a fire, the girls and I toasted marshmallows (and fed some to the Stellars Jays). The birds ate them. They had trouble taking off, laden down with a whole mallow, but they did it. At least I was tearing the ones i threw into halves first. After the fire died down and Crystal started cooking, the girls went to play with some other little girls from a couple of campsites down the street. Meanwhile, a little pup with curly short cream-colored fur with brown patches wandered into our camp. Jackie, accompanied by her new friend, Sydney, who is six, popped in and escorted the pup back to her owners. A couple of the girls found Jackie's kite, which had come down from the tree, and all the girls went kite flying. Shannon got out her kite and she and her friend, Caitlyn, who appears to be about Jackie's age, went kite flying too. Now Crystal and I are sitting here, nursing the remains of the camp fire. She did most of the dishes tonight, because Jackie separated the door zipper to our tent, and I had to fix it. Jackie was looking for her reel of kite string that I tossed into the tent when she lost the kite in the tree. The wind is still low, although it has picked up since evening set in. There is a fog or mist over the Pacific now and it is obscuring the horizon.
7:50 PM
Crystal has gone to collect the children so that we can have the nightly ritual of cleaning, pajama-ing, and reading of today's adventure from the book. I'm going to go put my camera away and throw out this exhausted pen. Two more days: thank goodness for spares.

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