Tuesday, March 11 2014
44.8°, 1006 mbar
After a restless night I finally wake well after sunrise. The wind hasn't abated but it has changed direction. Last night it was coming out of the west, this morning it's blowing south out of Padre Bay and frothing up the surface of the lake with white caps. I might be spending the day here.
If I were to pack up and put on the water I'd have to cross the channel from Dominguez Butte to Gooseneck Point and then from there to Gregory Butte. Both channels are downwind from long stretches of water with plenty of room for the wind to howl and push waves down on me. After Chris and Anna rise we discuss our options, we all decide to exercise caution and stay put.
Instead we hike around Dominguez Butte to the west, head north on the back (west) side then out toward Padre Butte before returning to camp. On arriving back at camp we find two ravens going though our trash, nasty birds.
The wind waxes and wanes and by the middle of the late afternoon the white caps have all but disappeared.
I've got a number of electronic devices most of which are rechargeable so I brought my Brunton SolarRoll 4.5 flexible solar panel with me. I've had it out all day charging the radio and our cell phones. It's working great!
Late in the afternoon I start to think about having to sleep through another windy night and head up the slickrock to see if I can adjust my sleeping arrangements to better suit the situation. Last night I had the tent setup in the middle of a nice, flat, sandy spot, perfect for sleeping without wind but perfectly awful with wind. I hike about and finally settle on a shallow pothole which is deep enough to give me a bit of protection from the wind and is far away from any sand. Since I won't be able to stake down the tent I pack it away and put the tent footprint (a ground cloth) down and fold my pad and bag up in it like a taco with the opening facing downwind. Mindful of the wind's power to sail stuff out into the bay I weigh the whole bedroll down with large rocks, especially the corners. Hopefully this configuration will be more tolerable than sleeping in the tent in the middle of a sand trap.
Before turning in I wander over to Chris and Anna's camp for a neighborly visit. A nice ledge with a slopped back makes for a perfect spot to stargaze. The conversation drifts from their ripped tent to the weather to the sleeping-pad-in-the-bay incident and then finally settled on the stars. We're not astronomers so we make up constellations. Anna finds one she thinks looks like the Bluetooth symbol. Funny how the ancients thought they looked like bears and scorpions but we see in them the icons from our cell phones. How times have changed.