Beginnings can be a little bumpy and this has been no exception.
I was slightly delayed leaving New Bern because about 15 miles down 17, I realized I’d forgotten my paddle board. Of all the things to forget, it’s literally the largest thing I’m taking with me. A paddle board isn’t a necessity, no, but part of the allure of this trip was the idea of paddling all over the country.
Besides, I’d remembered the paddle. What good was a paddle without a board? It might get lonely. I know I’m going to. I turned around and went back.
I’d bought a cover for the board and my locking straps aren’t long enough to fit with the cover on. I gave it up, put on the regular straps and resigned myself to the fact that that board will probably get stolen somewhere along the way unless I come up with a better solution.
Another 15 miles down 17, and I got the impression that something was wrong. Looking out the windshield, I could see that the front part of the cover had slipped off the board and was now flapping around the top of the car like an unruly seagull.
I resigned myself to looking ridiculous and continued driving. The cover is strapped on; I knew it wasn’t going anywhere. But then I started wondering if all that activity might not loosen the straps. Looking out the windshield, I was certain the board had shifted backwards a bit. Not knowing where the next exit would be, I pulled over on the side of a highway with traffic going 70 miles and hour past me and assessed.
The straps were definitely loose. I think I must have been seconds from that board sliding right off the top of the car. I honestly don’t know how it didn’t. It didn’t have anything to do with the cover. The pads that the board sits on had slipped around the new crossbars (which apparently are thinner than the old cross bars), considerably reducing the space between the board and bars and the straps.
To make a long story short (too late), I got everything tightened back down (the pads are now permanently turned downward, which isn’t correct, but that’s the best I can do for now). I had to keep pulling over a few times to check it just for my own peace of mind, but it seems to be staying put. I balled up the useless cover and stuffed in the back of the car.
I made a brief detour to Holden Beach, where I used to go with a very good friend and her family when I was in elementary and middle school. The beach and the town looked much the same. The board was still secure.
I headed on to Charleston.