On October 9th, a fellow paddler posted about one of the biggest bummers we could encounter. Cathy was visiting San Diego from Lake Havasu, and had left her canoe strapped to her roof. It was in a cover. It was cable locked. And it still managed to attract the attention of an evil thief who managed to cut it free and steal it. Imagine the sinking feeling when you walk to your car and see your beloved craft no longer there. A feeling of bewilderment and question must flood you: "Did I not have the canoe there?" "Is this even my car?" "Maybe a friend is playing a trick on me?"
But alas, the worst case scenario, was the actual scene. Someone stole it.
So Cathy did the best thing she could. She reached out to her paddling community. All of you. Via Facebook posts to groups, and tons of shares, the community activated right away! And a great story came to be, as everyone kept their eyes open and 5 weeks later, her blue Osprey Canoe has been found. A reunion is in the works on her next trip out to SoCal.
We reached out and got the scoop from a friend who helped play a role in finding the canoe and was one of many to help make the connection possible. She goes by the paddle nickname is "Yogurt" (because of the yogurt shop she used to own that paddlers would frequent). She is a Cali Paddler friend and we couldn't wait to hear the details. So in her own words, enjoy the story with us!
Two weeks ago, Dave, my husband's (Troy) surf buddy pulls up to his storage unit on Morena to get something out he needs. Sticking out of the bushes along the end of the building he sees a long 'thing' wrapped in canvas, no one, not even a car, is around. He picks it up and goes to put it in his unit until he can find the owner. A guy walks up with a backpack and says "Hey, that's mine". Dave says "ok, well it was just sitting there." The guy doesn't have anywhere to store so Dave offers to store it until he can get it.
They exchange numbers, the guy even gives his wife's number. After numerous unanswered calls, Dave calls the wife and she isn't even trying to be cooperative. He realizes something isn't right. So Friday he calls Troy and says he found a surf ski. He's (only) a surfer 😁. And can we (I) help find the owner. We swing by on Saturday and unwrap it. I see it's an oc1 not a surf ski. We load it onto Troy's truck and I start texting. My outrigger teammate Mel is at the SCORA meeting but she was in the market for an oc1 so I'm thinking she might know something, even though she found hers. Her first question was "Is it blue?" I start texting madly because I can't call her and IT IS! She forwards me Cathy's post on Cali Paddler and Facebook with a pic of it. I text her back and tell her she is on the Havasu Canoe Club and I messaged her. She replies that she is sitting next to the rep from Havasu and he is tracking her down. Cathy finally gets my number and I am able to reassure her that I have her oc1. It has some cosmetic damage, looks like someone dropped the front end, but other than that, she looks safe and sound. I am storing it until Christmas when Cathy will be coming to town.
The coolest thing is being able to help a fellow paddler, as we are 1 big family. The 2nd coolest thing is 2 years ago when my club, Outrigger Hoe Wana'ao was applying to SCORA, we needed 3 recommendations from clubs already in SCORA. Her club (Havasu) was 1 of the club's that sponsored us. They understood what being a small start-up club was like, and the trials and tribulations we were going through. Now that's Karma.
When I asked Yogurt about the reaction when they connected to share the good news. "I felt like she was cautious, not really sure it was happening, much like myself. Who finds an oc1 lying by the side of a building? And 2 months later!? For it to only have 1 ding is stunning. I wouldn't think thieves would be careful with something they stole but it appears they were. Thank goodness for that. I think she's waiting til when she can lay her eyes on it although I sent pictures yesterday and today. Either way its safe until she arrives.!"
Thank you to every paddler who looks out for one another. On the water and on land. We are in fact a family, regardless of what craft we ride, or what body of water we call home. And this story just goes to show once again, how effective the paddle family can be.
Can't wait to see you on the water Cathy!
[ CP note: We have reached out to Cathy to learn more and will update this once we hear back. ]