September 8, 1997
Crescent City, California, USA
Yesterday, I did a 20 mile point-to-point crossing; by far my longest one yet. At 11am, when I first started out across the bay, I could hardly even see the point where I was heading, because it was so far away. All day there was no swell and no wind. It was like I was paddling across an endless sheet of glass.
I arrived at the headland just as the sun hit the horizon. Unsure I would make it to Crescent City before dark, I started to worry, and began paddling as fast as I could. I didnt have a very good map. For all I knew, Crescent City could have been another five miles away.
Upon rounding the point, I went from being totally frightened, to a state of pure bliss. My destination laid just a quarter mile away, there was no surf hitting the beach, there were hundreds of sea lions "Arff... Arrfff.... Arrfffing" all around me, and a stunning pink, purple, and orange sunset was reflecting off the water.
Immediately after landing, I pulled out my camera to capture the sunset. As I was doing so, I noticed a man standing beside my kayak, checking me out. When I was finished shooting, I walked back to my boat, and spoke with the man. The man had fangs like a vampire. I got a little nervous. After speaking with him for a few minutes, I finally found the guts to ask him about his teeth. " Im sure I am not the first to tell you this..." I indicated, " But... Man... You look like a vampire!" "These are just my Halloween teeth" he informed me. " I had them made as part of my Dracula costume. My other dentures hurt the roof of my mouth, so I wear these all the time now."
After Bill helped me carry my boat up the beach, I asked him if he would mind taking me home with him. I didnt think it would be a problem, since he had told me that he would be coming back to the beach first thing in the morning anyway. He was a little anxious about what his wife might think, but took me anyway.
On the way, we stopped at the Sea Mamal Rescue Station, where Bill and his wife Eva are volunteers. At the time, they were looking after a couple of Harbor Seal pups, and they allowed me into the cage to get a close look at them. The pups were not afraid of me. They didnt know better.
Bill and Eva live in a trailer park. Eva went to bed early. Bill and I talked until past one in the morning. Bill told me that he is an insomniac, and usually reads all night long. We talked about all kinds of wacky stuff. Bill asked "What are you carrying for protection?" "Just my brain..." I answered. He gave me a brand new filleting knife in a sheath, and showed me how to use it if anyone messed. He told me that no one will question a person for carrying a filleting knife. Bill fought in Vietnam. He showed me the sawed-off shot-gun he keeps between the micro-wave and the sink, and said. " This is what Ill use if anyone messes with me!"
Whenever I wasnt looking directly at Bill, or talking to him, he would mumble to himself, and laugh out loud, between taking puffs from his pipe. I was totally spooked ...but that wasnt the worst part. Before I crashed on the couch, Bill spoke to me at length about witch craft. He told he that was a Jehovahs Witness prior to reading a book about witch craft; and has since burned his Bible. Bill showed me his collection of books on witch craft, black magic, and white magic. He was very proud of this collection, and went through each book, showing me the things he felt were most interesting.
Last night, when I laid my head down on Bills couch, I wasnt 100% sure that I was going to wake up in the morning. The more I thought about all the crazy stuff Bill said and did, the more he frightened me. The man has fangs... He doesnt sleep at night... He has no remorse for killing... He burns Bibles... And hes a big fan of witch craft. No one knows where I am... My kayak is on the beach 10 miles away... And no one saw me leave with this creep. You can be sure I said my prayers before going to sleep.