First, thanks to everyone who commented on my previous thread, “Preparing for First Multi-day Trip, Things I Should be Aware Of”. There were some great tips provided by Forum members.
I got back yesterday, had a long shower, slept like a little baby. The trip was everything I hoped it would be. It was physically challenging & highly educational… I am definitely a better paddler now after daily coaching by our guide Marcos, especially in challenging conditions (wind & waves)… I made notes on lot’s of camping “hacks” to ease life in the wild… it was a significant test of my 61 year old body’s ability to withstand discomfort (Advil was my daily friend), or maybe more to the point my mental willingness to accept discomfort. Hot sun, little shade, cool windy nights, sand in every possible nook and cranny, nice comfy barnacle encrusted LAVA rocks under-foot and under-ass. One good surprise; I am so addicted to 24 hour internet access, I wasn’t sure how well I would deal with the separation… in all, I actually enjoyed letting it all go for a few days… I read a good book, did some hiking and spearfishing, climbed a decently challenging mountain… all good stuff.
I can NOT say it was non-stop fun… I definitely CAN say there was not a single moment I questioned my decision to go. My biggest issues were: (1) My back was killing me every morning… took a good hour plus a cup of coffee to feel less of a zombie, and (2) My ass hurt like blazes every day after about 4 hours of paddling, and I developed a painful hemorrhoid… yeah, I know, TMI… but them’s the facts of life when wilderness kayaking, right?
I feel like my preparation was good, but not great… I have a list of gear upgrades I will start making immediately. Does anyone know of some sort of water-resistant-origami-Lazy-Boy-recliner I could tuck away for the next outing? ; )
A few of the best things: Starbucks freeze dried French Roast packets… Burt’s Bees Lip Balm… my cheapo $3 Walmart hat, what a lifesaver!.. the smoked yellowfin tuna salad Marcos made for us on day 4, that’s a keeper recipe… and of course dark Baja nights, clear and full of stars <my one technology miss, access to Nightsky.com on the iPad>, combined with days paddling clear water over reefs filled with colorful fish and sea creatures, and a mind boggling variety of bird species providing constant entertainment.
Gotta say it: Mission Accomplished.