It’s 2am. Something has woken me. The rainfly is open so I roll over to peek outside.
Something doesn’t look quite right. The ground has a shiny reflection of the full moon. My shoes drift by, slowly bobbing up and down. That’s weird, why are my shoes moving?
My head is groggy. I blink a few times to make sure my eyes aren’t playing tricks on me.
Then it occurs to me and I sit up with a start.
WE’RE IN THE WATER!!!
Despite our GPS indicating that we are camped 25 feet above sea level, we have woken up 1 foot below sea level. The full moon has created an incredibly high tide.
Scott wakes and we look about the tent frantically checking if water is leaking in. The water outside is only an inch or two from cresting the nylon wall of the tent, where it changes to mesh. Incredibly, very little water has leaked through the seams (props to Nemo weatherproofing).
We are dry, but the tide is still rising.
We hurry to pull everything out of the tent and get on higher ground. We dart around, splashing through the water, searching for things that may have floated out to sea, while also reaching into the water feeling for things that may still be on the ground. Even though there is a full moon, it’s still dark so we’re relying on the light from our headlamps to locate everything. We are surprised to see the bikes (with the panniers attached) still standing on the kickstands, even though the water has reached the chainrings.
With the bikes packed up and everything accounted for, we roll down the road, not really sure what our plan is. We had always talked about doing a moonlit night ride. It is a beautiful starry night, the full moon shimmering on the water and casting shadows of us on the road. But the rough condition of the road makes it difficult to ride at night, so after 6 miles we decide to make camp on a section of old road that is closed off to traffic.
The tent is now a soggy mess, but it could have been much, much worse. Had I not woke up when I did, we probably would not have woken until the water was spilling in through the mesh walls. Everything would have been soaked, electronics would have been destroyed. Had we left things outside the tent, closer to the shoreline where I cooked dinner, they would have been lost.
So in the end, we were very lucky that we rolled away from this little misadventure with just the inconvenience of having to find another place to camp in the middle of the night.
Photos from today’s ride:
Into the spectacular Queulat National Park: