In mid-August, Mark and I made the long drive down the coast to Dana Point, California, where we conducted some rolling classes for an enthusiastic group. I spent most of my childhood, and part of my adult life, in Southern California, so I am very familiar with the area. I showed Mark around, and we filled a few days with classes, socializing with the family and a trip to Disneyland. Then Mark left for Wales, and I left for a retreat with the Tsunami Rangers.
Once a year the Tsunami Rangers get together for a retreat, and this year, I was invited along as a guest. We met in a secret location somewhere off the West Coast of the United States, and launched together as a group of 10. It took a couple of hours to reach the beach that we’d be staying at, and once there, everyone set up camp, jumped into the ocean for a swim or fell asleep in the warm sun.
The Tsunami Rangers are a tight group of friends and consider themselves a “tribe.” They share the work around camp, the cooking and the fishing. Depending on the mood of each person, the four days were filled with the options of relaxing on the secluded beach, paddling in the rock gardens and caves, abalone diving, spear fishing, poetry around the fire and of course a knife throwing contest that included not only knives, but various other sharp devices as well. It was a wonderful few days in the company of a group of very wonderful, and very brave, kayakers. Thanks to the Tsunami Rangers for inviting me along!
After the retreat, I made my way to Charleston, Oregon, for a day of classes that covered group dynamics, incident management and rescues. It was my first time teaching in that area, and once again, I discovered that kayakers, wherever they are, really are the coolest people on the planet!