9 paddlers, one panga and 5 days of Sea Leader Training. While in Baja this week, I sat in on a BCU course run by Ginni Callahan and Santiago Burreuta of Sea Kayak Baja Mexico. As an observer, I had the best job - no responsibility, no stress. I helped when they asked, when they were set, I simply paddled.
We started in beautiful Loreto, founded in 1697 then moved slightly south to a more remote beach. After 2 more days, we convoyed across the desert to San Carlos, on the edge of Magdalena Bay. In San Carlos we made ourselves at home at a small eco-hotel right on the water, launching off the property two days and out of San Carlos port the third. The highlight of the trip was the maddening logistics of getting to the surf. First we drove to the panga, loaded it with sea kayaks and sups, drove the panga to the water, boated across Mag Bay, put the panga on a trailer and towed it across a low peninsula and re-launched into the surf. It was an adventure in itself and added a ton of fun to the experience. Even though the surf was small, it was totally worth it.
All of the students were BCU 3* paddlers, some pursuing 4*, some just out for more personal training. The big question asked of a 3* paddler is 'Will this person be an asset on a trip?' For this group of paddlers, the answer was absolutely 'Yes'.