A mild night, during which I left the aft cabin’s hatch open so that cool air could creep in, gave place to a brilliantly sunny Saturday morning with little wind. Having agreed the previous evening that we’d spend a lazy day in Jarrell Cove State Park (where we can stay free because of the marine parks pass we purchased), we slept late and, as temperatures ascended into the 80s, we pursued quiet activities wherever we were most comfortable–Walt spent his time at the navigation station in the cabin reading online student essays (when connectivity was sufficient), and I lounged on the shady side of the cockpit, reading articles, reviewing the material at the beginning of a book on sailing basics (I can always use a review!), and finishing another blog post and then taking a short nap.
Though I continued to drink more water than usual, I began to detect some symptoms of heat exhaustion (I am NOT accustomed to this kind of warmth coming on this suddenly), so used a plastic bottle in which I’d frozen some water to cool my arms, neck, face, and chest until I felt a little more energetic. Walt and I enjoyed a late lunch of ham and cheese quesadillas, and then climbed into our patient Coracle at around 4 pm and motored around the cove; Walt dropped me off at the park’s registration station so that I could submit our permit number and Braesail’s reginstration number, and then motored over to the tiny park store to search for some measuring cups (success!) and a CAN OPENER (failure!–the manager told Walt that he could purchase one tomorrow morning, however). Before we left the boat, I’d asked Walt if there were writing implements available where registration forms were kept, and he said there were (he’d registered on Friday), but there were none when I’d hiked up the steep ramp from the dock to the shore (VERY low tides again!). I noticed a woman sitting at a nearby campsite reading, so I approached her, passing a lovely fern-laced grotto into and out of which spring water trickled musically, and asked if I might borrow a pen or pencil. When she saw the registration form in my hand, she realized that she had left her pen on her boat and needed to register her presence in the park as well. So we walked down to her boat, chatting on the way about the large number of people using the park and the shallowness of the water in the cove. I used her pen to fill out my form, returned it to her, deposited the form in the drop box at the top of the ramp, and then climbed some stairs and walked a short distance through the verdant, mostly conifer forest above the shore to the group campsite, which was well filled with visitors.
In only a few minutes, Walt was back at the dock to pick me up, and we then spent a very pleasant hour touring the farther reaches of the cove in Coracle, finding deliciously shady pools, some of which accepted the watery offerings of small creeks, and others of which dead-ended in oozy mud flats. We motored around a wide variety of boats, some docked, some anchored, and others tethered to buoys, and watched park visitors swimming, paddling canoes and kayaks, zipping around in personal watercraft (jet skis, etc.), rowing small skiffs and even a racing shell, and exploring via motorized dinghy and paddle board on a hot, very still, afternoon. Back on Braesail, I found a shadowed spot on deck where I practiced tying stopper knots, bowline knots, lark’s head knots, and cleat hitches (I am succeeding more often with the cleat hitch at last!), did some more reading, and began this blog post while Walt prepared a fine pork chop supper to be eaten on our fold-down “picnic table” in the cockpit.
After I’d cleaned the kitchen, Walt and I looked at our cruising guides and tide tables, planning the next several days’ travels and experiencing the relief provided by a cool, clear evening after a too-hot (for me, at least!) day! Tomorrow, however, promises to be even hotter–aargh!