The VOR and the participants in her annual womens trip were windbound on Sand Island last year when they met some fellows from the Des Moine and Omaha area. To make a long story short, we are meeting those folks on York Island Sunday for a three day paddle that involves a trip out to Devils Island. We will be heading up Friday however, and the 'first shift' of the trip will involve the BessemerConvivialist, RonO, BDahlieOfMahtomedi, and LoneRangerRob. Like a professional wrestling tag team match, the two groups will tag off some time on Sunday afternoon.
There have been accusations leveled at me that claim I have the easiest job packing for a trip because I never completely unpack from the previous one. There is a certain truth to that but different trips require very different packing. For instance, last night I had to retrieve my rainsuit and wool Pendleton shirt from my Duluth pack and stick it in a dry bag (closed circuit to Pod: I believe my vintage green wool shirt with the elbow patches is hanging on the back of a bar stool at CampO). Gear acquisition and refinements require changes in packing as well. A complete lack of bugs combined with the purchase of bug shirts has led me to conclude that the 'bat cave', the Cooke tarp with mosquito net, will be staying home this weekend. Also, a new camping wok will replace the frying pan and a couple smaller water bags have retired the large, heavy duty zip lock top water bag that had earned the nickname, The POS. Figure it out.
Getting ready also involves some practice and training. This summer has had more than its share of wet exits, paddle float reentries, various rolls, and long fitness paddles. Last weekend the KingOfIronwoodIsland and I thrashed around in LakeO practicing the above skills and then Sunday knocked off a 12 mile paddle that averaged a hair under 5mph. The weekend before that, the VOR demonstrated how practice makes perfect when she executed the perfect T-rescue in 3 foot seas with the help of RacinRick.My guess is that she was back in her boat in about 90 seconds. Word from Omaha is that the same thing has been happening down there, only with a bit warmer water.
The only issue now is when we all arrive on Sand Island. Some folks work late on Friday and there may be a night crossing in the works, the first one of the season. Two or more people, a bright moon, headlamps, and cooperative wind and seas can make a night crossing a magical event. Just as long as we all remember that even in the dog days of August Lake Superior is indeed the boss.