Tides are controlled by the moon, and the prevailing lunar phase left a low tide at midday. We had to drag our kayaks through the shallows southwest of the island.
After stashing the kayaks in the scrub we began the hike to the Point. It was turning out to be a mostly cloudy day, breezy, good picnic weather. We saw tracks in the sand. “Those look like my tracks from when I was here last summer,” I speculated.
“Um... wouldn’t the tide have come in and washed them away by now?” I conceded the point. Besides there appeared to be paw tracks there too. A dog, probably. I suggested they might be cougar tracks.
“What’s a cougar?” Cathy said.
“Are you kidding? It’s a mountain lion. What if it comes and eats us?”
“There’s plenty of other wildlife and stuff around here for it to eat.”
“Maybe it’s a lazy cougar.”
“We’ll offer it some of the chicken and tell him to leave us alone.”
“Heh... I’ll give it some almond butter. Ever see a cat try to cope with a mouthful of peanut butter?
Just then a couple of egrets flew up out of the brush. I thought of the maddened sheep that ran, panicked, out of the woods in Sleepy Hollow, heralding the appearance of the headless horseman.
“I’d shit my pants if I saw a cougar, though.”
“Well then... I hope we don’t see one."
We rounded the cape on the east side of the island and there where I left it was Jeaux Point. A blue heron grazed with affluent grace along the far shore.
Held aloft and shaken, the big blue sheet instantly unfolded in the wind; we lowered it, flapping like a mad pelican, to the sand and pinned the corners down with our stuff.
“Are you Irish?” I said.
“A whiskey drinker...”
“I pour myself one sometimes when I watch Downton Abbey.”
“To get in the spirit of things.”
“Yes... after I put on something plaid.”
The wind and tide were against us, as usual, on the paddle back. The wind was so strong in the shallows it was a bit surreal. Hats flew. Cathy took hers off to forestall being strangled by the neck strap. But once we made deep water and were back in our kayaks, the wind couldn’t find us - such is the visage of the stealthy craft.
Would we make it back in time for Downton Abbey? Could be.