August 5th, 2002

Montecristo Captain Quixote

Salt Point Expedition 2002 August 1 - 9

Day 5

Afternoon
We slept in until 8:00. Breakfast was hot oatmeal and a couple of cups of coffee. I went over to the restroom and washed this morning as I was getting a bit gamey. The water was cold but endurable.

We went to the store. After yesterday we decided to have something easy and hot to eat for lunch in case the weather decided to be cold and crummy. The girls and I bought noodles and Crystal got some things too. We picked up a box of firewood also, and a kite for each of the girls. When we got back, both girls tried to fly their kites and both of them got hung up in trees. Crystal helped Shannon get hers down and I helped Jackie.

After a lunch of noodles, I repaired Jackie's kite. Shannon took hers flying and the wind abused it mightily. She came back with her kite and decided that today was not a good day to fly it. Jackie and I, failing to learn from experience and example, lost her kite in another tree when the string broke. We gave up too, at that point.

It is incredibly blustery today! Crystal discovered that she had some sunburn on her face and decided that she did not want to add windburn to it so she has retreated to the tent. The girls and I joined her for awhile and we chatted. Eventually, I went out to add a guy wire to the girls tent because the wind was distorting it into very unserviceable shapes! Our tent is holding up a bit better, but it does have a decided lean to it. I took a picture of it. After I staked the girls' tent, I stayed out here to write this (it's 3:00 right now) and Jackie came out to join me. Crystal and Shannon are still holed up in our tent, hiding out from the wind.

I've lost my hat a couple of times — I'm wearing my Mt. Diablo baseball cap — but other than that, the wind doesn't bother me, as it is relatively warm and very sunny. The wind has put quite a froth on the Pacific Ocean. It looks neat. My pocket thermometer says 71°F in the sun.

The wind is truly unkind today. It has blown over our camp chairs and forced us to anchor everything down. The other campers are having the same ideas. Many of them have decided to take their cars for supplies or else have scurried into their tents. Many of those tents are not faring as well as ours. I heard one family talking in their tent earlier. It looked like their presence in the tent was the only thing keeping it on the ground. It looked like The Flying Nun.

More people are gone today. The campsite to the south is empty again. The Yahtzee players in the campsite north of ours pulled out yesterday and were replaced by a family with a couple of very small children. The latter have a pop-up A-frame-looking trailer in which they are living. They're out in their truck somewhere right now. The girl scouts across the street have been replaced by someone who just put up a tent and left. There is no car or equipment there. They left the reddish-orange tent unzipped and the wind is playing havoc with it.

Jackie is sitting across the table from me, working in her nature journal and humming and chuckling to herself. I'm going to go snap a picture of Crystal and Shannon, napping in the tent.

3:48

Just had my third hat attack. The wind is more persistent than Shannon is. The little devil spent the first couple of days here snatching my hat off my head whenever she got the opportunity. I finally got her to stop by threatening her with death and dismemberment. Jackie just went to the tent to check out the snuggle-fest and Shannon has come out to join me. Shift change. I had her take my picture — see, I was here!

Now Crystal is emerging! It's 4:00 and the A-frame family is back. Shannon is getting Crystal to show her how to work the stove so she can make herself some hot chocolate.

The pocket thermometer says about 80°F in the sun but I think it's just gone stir crazy or something. I'm still sitting here in my Fort Ross Lodge sweat-shirt that I bought at the Fort Ross General Store on Friday just after we got camp set up. Next year I remember to pack warmer stuff. This sweater is nice and warm and it was good that I found it at the store or we'd have had to got to Sabastopol or one of the other towns farther away to get one.

Montecristo Captain Quixote

Salt Point Expedition 2002 August 1 - 9

Day 5

Evening
I'm writing by lantern light. We spent the rest of the day going up the coast looking for good places to abalone dive. Crystal didn't see anything she liked. We went up as far as a beach on the northern Sonoma County border. I got some good pictures. I set the timer and got into a whole-family shot at the beach. I've been in my sweat-shirt over my "lumberjack" flannel shirt for most of the day, except for a couple of warm sunny stretches. We've all got sun and/or wind burn on our hands and faces. On the way back, Jackie made us stop at the Sea Ranch Lodge gift shop so that she could look around. She bought a hat for her friend Dimetria, the girl who is hamster-sitting for us. Further on down the road we stopped to take some pictures of some llamas. There were three of them. They were very tame and friendly and they came up to the fence by the side of the road so we could pet them. That was pretty cool. As we came back into Salt Point Crystal stopped to check out Fisk Mill Cove but was disappointed in that spot as well. I think she's thinking of giving up on the abalone this year or until she can get someone to give her some advice and pointers. We didn't get back until 7:30 PM and the evening land "breeze" (wind, is more like it) made cooking on the propane stove problematical. I started a fire in the fire ring and Crystal finished cooking the enchiladas over that. I was really hungry. I think I was catching a bit of sugar-crash as I was queasy, shaky, and had a headache, but it went away when the enchilada started filling me up. Between the falling temperatures and the wind, the girls wanted to bury themselves in their sleeping bags but Crystal and I talked them into going over to the restroom to clean up and get in their pajamas. Unlike other nights, we did not read from the little notebook in which I have been keeping these entries for later transcription. The western horizon has now faded to a barely perceptible pink glow that is fast fading to black. There are a billion stars out. Crystal wants to go paddle around Fort Ross Beach tomorrow if she can't find an experienced abalone diver with whom to buddy up. We'll see what develops. Now it's time for some shut-eye. Camping is much fun but quite a bit of work. Due to the chill and exertions 9:30 PM does not look like too early to sack out.