September 4, 1997
Port Orford, Oregon, USA

The last two days have been busy. Not that I’ve traveled very far, but a lot has happened.

Last night, I paddled to a place 4 miles south of Cape Blanco and landed just before dark on a steep beach. It was tough pulling my boat up, so I shouted to a guy who was watching me from a parking lot 300 feet above the beach. After helping me, I quickly briefed him on my journey, then we went our separate ways. As I was pitching my tent, he called down from the parking lot, "Can we treat you to a hot meal?" "Sure..." I said. We went to a real nice resturant and I had a clam chowder and Caesar salad. Loran and Leah are super cool folks. Over dinner we had a great conversation, then they drove me back to my tent.

This morning, as I was getting ready to pull out onto the water, I got quite worried about the dangerous dumping waves I would have to go through. Further down the beach it didn't look as bad, so I got a jogger to help me carry my kayak. Even down there, it was still scary, but I went out anyway.

The first wave that hit me turned the boat sideways. The second wave fell on me like a brick wall. Before getting sucked into the next wave, I jumped out of the boat and pulled it up out of the surf.

I was so stupid. I knew my chances of getting out through the surf were slim. Waiting a day or two for the surf to settle down sure would have been a lot smarter than to risk getting my kayak trashed, and possibly losing all my equipment. What can say... I’m ignorant!

My kayak is no longer sea-worthy, so I will be staying here until I can get it fixed. The front part of the coaming is detached and there is a major crack in the side which could let water in. There are four other cracks, but they are not too bad.

To make a long story short - I found the best fiberglass guy in town, and I am sleeping on his couch tonight.

September 5, 1997
Port Orford, Oregon, USA

First thing this morning, Jack took me to get all the materials I needed to fix my boat, then gave me a step by step lesson in how to fiber-glass. After giving me a demonstration with the first patch, he left me to finish the job on my own. The boat is now good as new - maybe even a little stronger in some places; and best of all, I know how to fix it again when I need to. The materials to fix the kayak only cost $30 - good thing! When Jack first saw the kayak, he suggested I should just get a new one.

Tonight, Princess Diana’s funeral is on the television. Jack’s wife and two daughters are sleeping in front of the TV, waiting for it to come on at 2am. I’d like to watch, but I need my sleep. I’m two and a half days from California. A strong north wind is expected. It should take me there with ease.