South of France

You can’t imagine how I hated to miss the Dana Point paddle today, but with the high tide, I hoped to lure some rock garden aficionados to paddle to BAR with me. I even had one hooked, but he got loose at the last minute. Sleeping in seemed a valid alternative, but I’ve slacked on my paddling lately, so I figured I ought to get out. Still, the usual solo BAR thing seemed old. I needed to paddle some exotic location for a change. What the heck, I’ve always wanted to paddle south of France!

I started my journey at the Secret Beach, it was going to be a long haul. I was greeted in the harbor by this sight and I just had to wonder if the boat’s owner had time to appreciate the irony of its name!

Paddling through the Panama Canal

Soon I was paddling along the French Guano Penninsula. It was strange how different everything was in this new world even though in some ways things looked quite familiar. These Bald Abalone Vultures looked quite a bit like our common pelicans at first glance. As I continued on, I ran into what was clearly a group of prisoners fleeing a French penal colony in a home-made out-rigger canoe.

A few more miles and I found myself in French Martinized Isles in a place coincidentally called
Pirate's Cove.

This used to be the haunt of the lightly feared pirate Foo Man Chew. Apparently, he was more feared as a younger man when he was know as Bushy Face, but a bout with alopecia had diminished his standing with the Barbary crowd

I came across this prison which used to house the unfortunate pirates who happened to get captured. It was too gross to take a photo of the event, but just 15 minutes before I took this photo, all of the pirates held in this cell were hung from a yard arm!

Soon I was rounding Gibraltar and made a stop to see the famous Piedra del Mucho Archos.

And around the corner, I snaped this shot of the inside of Cornacopia Cave. Of course, I had to execute a combat roll when a wave came through while I was composing my photo.

I continued on paddling the exotic Mediterranean waters and soon found myself paddling under the villas lining the cliffs south of France.

Some French coquettes were gamboling on the rocks and I shouted to them using my limited French vocabulary. The seemed to just ignore me, but really how do you respond
to someone yelling out "a la mode!"
I decided to impress them by paddling into a small sluce close to shore just as a nice sized set decided to roll in. I thought I was pretty protected, but thought I'd hold on to the rock just in case. I got knocked over inside and tried to pull myself up by the rock with one hand, but the ebbing wave sucked me out of my rocky enclave and took away my paddle. Luckily I had my storm paddle on my deck and I used it to make my first storm paddle combat roll. I'm sure that impressed the French lasses.

I paddled on and soon found myself under a WWII machine gun bunker that I'm sure once protected the Maginot Line. Some may question whether I had actually made it to the coast of France, but even without GPS coordinates, the copious tufts of underarm hair on the women and the overwhelming stench of fetid brie confirmed my location.

On I paddled enjoying the varied rock formations and frolicking in the Eau de Mer.

Needless to say it was a busy day, but it just goes to prove what you can do when you put your mind to it. I'd always thought paddling south of France would be so much more exotic than my usual haunt, but although I enjoyed a new view on life, things really didn't seem that different than my usual jaunt. Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised in a world with 6 billion people, but I even paddled past a couple who looked amazingly like my friends Henry and Kathy. Rumor has it, it was the Empress and Arch-Duke of Prussia out for a leisurely, but keep it to yourself, they don't want the Emperor to hear!