September 1, 1997
Sunset Bay, Oregon, USA

This morning, I woke up with a painful ear ache. I must have gotten water in my ear from surfing into the beach yesterday. I called the emergency room at the hospital from a pay phone. The nurse recommended I drink a bottle of cough syrup. I got one of the bikers to drive me into town, and I picked up a bottle. It is now 12 hours later, and both the ear ache, and the syrup are almost gone.

Today, the water was so calm... it felt like paddling across a big pond. There was no wind. It was so quiet... all I could hear was the faint sound of a buoy bell clanking in the distance. Even though the conditions were ideal, I only paddled about 10 miles. It would have been a long haul to the next good place to land.

Approaching Sunset Bay, I paddled through a large kelp bed. The water was extraordinarily clear, and I could see crabs on the bottom fifteen feet down. It looked like too much fun to pass up. I immediately put on my dry suit, and scuba mask, and went snorkeling. I was surprised by the extremely colorful bottom. It was almost as interesting as some of the snorkeling I’ve done in the Caribbean. There were lots of star fish, sea anenomies, and sea urchins. I didn’t catch any crabs, but I did see some big fish, and swimming around in the kelp was a blast.

At the moment, I’m in the home of a guy I just met on the beach an hour ago. He is cooking me up a steak. I’m staying here at his home in Coos Bay tonight, even though my tent is set up on a beach 10 miles away. His name is Richard and his friend Vicki is here as well. He’ll drive me back in the morning.

My steak and potatoes are ready...

It’s chow time!