The pile of trash and yard sale items is finally beginning to look larger than the pile of stuff labelled “possessions.”
I never thought we’d get to that point, as we pack for Belize.
One of the big surprises of the past week was how quickly my kayak went after I posted it on Craigslist. The trick, apparently, is to underprice your goods. Ridiculously. And, yes, I can be ridiculous.
On the other hand, I posted a pair of psychedelic patched blue jeans from 1970 on Craigslist for $10,000 — thinking that this is more than a very old and smelly pair of pants; this is art! Apparently nobody else does. Last week I dropped the price to $5,000 but nobody took the bait. (OK, I went to $500 last night. Still too much???)
Hey, it is only crazy until somebody buys it.
Me, I see the pants encased in Lucite on a slowly rotating pedestal, artfully lit of course. They would look incredibly cool in the San Francisco penthouse apartment of some Google or Facebook uber-executive.
Work with me, people.
The kayak, on the other hand, went for a tragically low price to Ray from Sacramento who plans to use it for fishing. I never used it for fishing. I used it to keep my mind from exploding when the Incredible Pneumatic Vise of Life put the squeeze on my head. Just drag it to the shore, get in and paddle.
Sure it can be dangerous, like the January day that I ignored the warning signs and launched into the Pacific Ocean without a life vest. The warning signs? Just two, really. The swirling wind-whipped gray-black storm clouds and the 20-foot waves breaking about a hundred yards off shore.
I was sure I could get through the waves. Right up until the one that stood me up vertical and flipped me back like the soggy butt of a cigarette.
Did you know that even with a wetsuit on, it is incredibly hard to catch your breath in winter waters? Even in Southern California? It is also very hard to catch your kayak when the next wave rips it out of your grasp and hurtles it toward shore.
The waves were coming in big, fast, furious and very close together. It took me too long to figure out that you dive under the breaking waves and then come up for a breath.
I was pretty sure I was going to die that day.
I am ashamed to say that it wasn’t thoughts of my young children that kept me going. It was the realization that I had a whole newspaper section to write, edit and publish by Thursday and, dammit, I almost never missed a deadline ….
To be fair, I had some fabulous moments in that kayak – spinning around as dolphins circled my boat, back-paddling out of the path of a whale train headed down the coast to Baja, paddling to Coronado with my son Ryan, chasing seals and gazing at fish below in the kelp bed, running into an old friend in a kayak in the middle of a dense fog as we both looked for migrating whales … and we found them, not more than 20 feet from where we talked.
Some of my fondest kayaking memories are of the short paddle to an outdoor concert venue called Humphrey’s by the Bay on Shelter Island. I’d pull into the narrow channel between the dock and shore with dozens of other kayaks, rafts, canoes and even some larger boats. We’d tie up together and at high tide enjoy the best view of the stage, and cheapest too.
After the show, paddling back in the pitch black night the water would explode with phosphorescence as the paddle dug in. The effect, when combined with the stars above, was magical.
Well, Ray, enjoy the kayak. May your hooks always hold a fish and your time on the water be at least as pleasurable as mine once was.
- Bound for Belize homepage
- About us
- Packing for Belize: Sifting through a dancer’s life
- Road to Belize: Consolidate, compress, distribute, discard
- Step 2: Sell everything, then have a good cry
- Sorting out a life: Moving backward & forward at the same time
- Belizean toilet paper — This is how we roll
- Game on, Belize
- Help crowdsource info on moving to Belize!