A Halloween Horror Story — Almost


Michele in costume as the Lady of the Lake | story and photo by Julie Durbin  |  reprinted from the late autumn 2015 Floating Times

Halloween 2015 started with trick-or-treaters visiting WPH in kayaks. Michele Affronte, Mari Steeno, Rob Weston, Katherine Boschetto, Ed Lopez plus myself and my mother Kathleen Durbin and aunt Judy Anthon, all set out to find out what the treats for our tricks would be. Low tide was at 9:40 p.m. so we thought as long as we returned to the deep water at Michele’s on Liberty by 8:30 p.m. we would be in good shape. Norbert and Fiona, Michele’s neighbors from Liberty Dock, were kind enough to loan their Seacycle (a giant yellow water bike) to Kathleen and Judy. The rest were in kayaks.

All was going well. We caught most candy being tossed to us. (Did you know Halloween candy floats?) We also enjoyed stopping at Chris Young’s from Issaquah Dock who gave us a great bottle of wine and Ted Eitelbuss broke out the Jaegermeister! As we paddled and peddled outside of Issaquah, we noticed that even the deep water was getting shallow very early. In an instant, my mother and aunt could not paddle any more. They were stuck in the mud between Issaquah and A Dock! The rest of our group tried to push and pull the Seacycle, to no avail. The tide was quickly going out. At the last possible second, I had decided to bring my phone. Risky, yes, but quite helpful when we needed to call the Sheriff to come rescue Kathleen and Judy!

Kathleen and Judy, who are from landlocked Missouri, were laughing and not quite understanding that if we didn’t get them off the vehicle soon, they would be stuck for hours until the tide came up again. The deputies brought a long line, which we tied to the Seacycle and the other end to a kind Issaquah neighbor’s floating dock. Thank you Susan Kovner! It was then time for a rescue mission to get Kathleen and Judy safe on land. Michele to the rescue!! She dropped off Katherine from the double kayak, and paddled back to the Seacycle. Judy climbed onto the kayak without falling in and was taken to the floating dock. One saved, one to go. Michele paddled back to pick up Kathleen who slipped and almost fell in the water while transferring from the Seacycle to the double kayak. Whew, she made it!

Once we all returned to Michele’s, we had a lot of laughs. Kathleen and Judy sure have a story to bring home to St. Louis. We learned an important lesson: during negative tides, the water is shallow all the way out, even in what is normally deep water. Our advice is that you cannot only rely on when low tide is, but you have to factor in negative tides or else you will be stuck in the mud!