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Jane’s World: The Great Christmas Eve Kayak Rescue

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Getting the boat ready | Jane Boursaw Photo
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So I was listening to the wind howl last night and wondering if my kayaks were swept out to sea. The water’s been high all season, and I’d pulled both kayaks up as far as I could.

Then I sort of forgot about it this morning until we were on our way to the dump and I caught a glimpse of something sticking out of the water about a hundred feet off shore in front of our neighbors. Sure enough, it was my kayak.

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So I’m thinking there’s nothing to be done here. The kayak appeared to be waterlogged since just the front of it was sticking up above the water, but how was I going to get that thing back to shore? As I’m standing on the beach pondering all this, my neighbor Pat Sharpnack shows up and decides she’s going to put her waders on and see if she can walk out there and retrieve it. I’m skeptical, but she’s a can-do person and before I know it, she’s on her way out to the kayak. But the water is a little too high and not all that warm this time of year. It’s Christmas Eve, for gosh sakes.

So she comes back into shore and says she’s going up to the house to get the oars for their rowboat, which is still on their beach. I call my son, Will, and tell him to come down and help us with the kayak rescue mission. Based on some of the predicaments Will and I have gotten into over the years, this is right up his alley.

Pat gets the boat into the water, and the three of us pile in and head out to the kayak. We decide to leave our phones onshore, lest things get crazy out there. Pat rows close to the kayak, and Will, who’s in the front of the boat, ties a rope onto it. The kayak lifts pretty easily out of the water and we tow it back to shore. Keep in mind it’s still pretty windy out there, and being in a small boat in wavy East Bay was probably the most exciting thing I’ve ever done on Christmas Eve.

The Great Christmas Eve Kayak Rescue | Jane Boursaw Photo
The Great Christmas Eve Kayak Rescue | Jane Boursaw Photo

Back onshore, we tip the kayak over, drain the water out, and nestle it safely on Pat’s beach. My other kayak had also been dislodged from shore, but thankfully, that one was lapping against the beach and we were able to pull it up beyond the rocks.

Needless to say, Pat is the best neighbor in all the land! She’s a problem-solver!

The Great Christmas Eve Kayak Rescue | Jane Boursaw Photo
The Great Christmas Eve Kayak Rescue | Jane Boursaw Photo
Mission Accomplished | Jane Boursaw Photo
Mission Accomplished | Jane Boursaw Photo
The other kayak, washed offshore, but not out to sea | Jane Boursaw Photo
The other kayak, washed offshore, but not out to sea | Jane Boursaw Photo

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever.

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

Bay View Insurance of Traverse City Michigan

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