A rescue at sea

Recently I decided to take a solo kayaking paddle out on Puget Sound in the United States Pacific Northwest. The day’s paddling conditions looked perfect, with flat water reflecting the sunrise and clouds. I rode the outgoing tide into deeper water, joyfully paddling nearly five miles before arriving back near my launch point. I paused for a snack about two hundred yards from shore, tying up to some pilings. But the weather had changed, and the wind was picking up.

I sent a text message to my wife and told her I was trying to decide whether I should paddle back to shore or stay tied up until the wind died down. Realizing things were getting worse, I paddled purposefully toward shore. But within moments the wind and outgoing tide pushed me back past the pilings and away from shore.

I took out my phone to call for help but couldn’t get it to unlock, as the windblown spray had now soaked me, and my hands were cold. I stashed my phone in my chest pocket and kept paddling. 

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